A Critical Analysis of Emerging Attitudes from the Mau Forest Restoration Discourse in Kenya



  • Albert Moinani Department of Linguistics, Languages and Literature, Kisii University, Kenya
  • Margaret Barasa Department of Linguistics, Languages and Literature, Kisii University, Kenya
  • Eucabeth Ong'au Department of Linguistics, Languages and Literature, Kisii University, Kenya


forest conservation, ideology, language techniques, political discourse, social attitude


This essay seeks to examine attitudes towards forest conservation as covertly expressed in the Mau Forest conservation discourse. It was based on the assumption that political discourse informs and influences social attitudes towards environmental conservation. The study was guided by Norman Fairclough and Ruth Wodak’s Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) framework. The study adopted a qualitative research design. The study focused on a population of 35 speeches. Downsampling procedure was used to select 20 speeches by political leaders on the Mau Forest debate. These speeches were obtained from the media for transcription and analysis.  The CDA analysis was carried out on a sample of texts from the corpus and the data were analyzed using qualitative techniques. The data analysis was based on the lexical choices and language features and their social implications for forest conservation in Kenya. The results indicated that various language techniques such as lexicalization, metaphors, and rhetorical questions served to express the speakers’ hatred, contempt and dislike for the forest conservation cause. The data was presented as transcripts or excerpts of political utterances. The findings of this study would be beneficial to the Government and policymakers by showing that language can help achieve a shift in attitudes and behaviour on forest conservation issues.


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How to Cite

Moinani, A., Barasa, M. ., & Ong’au, E. (2020). A Critical Analysis of Emerging Attitudes from the Mau Forest Restoration Discourse in Kenya. Nairobi Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 4(1), 18-34. https://doi.org/10.58256/njhs.v4i1.52