SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIONISM AND WELFARISM: THE STYLE-PRAGMATIC CONVENTIONS IN SELECTED MTN AND GLO ADVERTISEMENTS
AbstractAdvertising represents a buoyant part of any capitalist economy and social life, reflecting or constructing, in the same manner, interesting parts of our immediate and proximate society, using a blend of stylistic and pragmatic resources. Previous studies on these areas have approached them from monolithic points of view, using speech acts or stylistic forms without linking them to identity and ideolog. This study focuses on the construction of social identity and ideology in mobile telecommunication advertisements. It adopts the Critical Style-Pragmatics approach, blending tools from Lesley Jeffries’ Critical Stylistics and Jacob Mey’s Pragmatic Acts theory. It co-opts eight advertisements of MTN and GLO. These were downloaded from YouTube where they were streamed to advertise mobile network services to millions of subscribers. Findings show, using the conceptual-textual functions of naming and describing, equating, and contrasting, prioritising, enumerating, and exemplifying, assuming and implying, that MTN and GLO advertisements represent the ideology welfarism, where the identity of consumerist is attributed to the subscribers and the identity of capitalists is labelled on the service providers. The analysis shows that advertisements on bonanza services of MTN and GLO make subscribers spend more on buying mobile services, which at the same time increases the capital base of the network providers. The features of contexts marking welfarism and constructing actors and social life are metaphor, reference, inference, relevance, and marked by implicature, entailment and presupposition, while the dominant stylistic features deployed to mark identity and ideology include exclamations, rhetorical questions, collocations, borrowing, hyponym, and irony, among others. The study concludes that there is, indeed, an interlocking significance between MTN and GLO advertisements and the construction of social life. Keywords: Critical Stylistics, welfarism, advertisement, pragmatics, multimodality
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