HomeLUMINAvol. 21 no. 2 (2010)

When Language Means Power: A Sociolinguistic Study of Bill Clinton’s Between Hope and History: Meeting America’s Challenges for the 21st Century

Uzoechi Nwagbara

Discipline: Languages, Society, Sociolinguistic



The kernel of this study is to interrogate how power is exerted and couched in political languages or speeches that take as their primacy the social arrangement of the people being addressed. Studies abound regarding sociolinguistic strategies that are employed to gain power through well crafted linguistic pieces that pay attention to target audience’s social, political and cultural configurations. Also, this study is predicated upon the relevance of sociolinguistic analysis in comprehending the essence of Bill Clinton’s book, Between Hope and History: Meeting America’s Challenge in the 21st Century.