“We owe this noble duty to our children”: A corpus-assisted critical discourse analysis of Ghanaian parliamentary discourses around children

Kwabena Sarfo Sarfo-Kantankah[1] & Ebenezer Agbaglo[2]

See authors' affiliations

[1] Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Cape Coast, Ghana, https://orcid.org/ 0000-0001-5662-2886, e-mail: esarfo@ucc.edu.gh

[2] Demonstrator, Department of English, University of Cape Coast, Ghana, https://orcid.org/ 0000-0002-4720-0662, e-mail: ebenezer.agbaglo@stu.ucc.edu.gh ebengola@gmail.co



Drawing on frame theory, corpus-linguistic methods and parliamentary Hansards data, the paper examines the discursive framing of children in Ghanaian parliamentary discourse. The analysis shows that children are framed within the context of child rights and protection, child labour, child marriage and child trafficking. While Ghanaian parliamentarians think that children should be protected from child labour, they challenge the international description of child labour; they think that child labour should be defined within cultural-specific contexts, for child apprenticeship is not child labour and child labour not child apprenticeship. Again, the MPs raise concerns about what constitutes child trafficking as described by international bodies and organisations. Child marriage is unequivocably condemned by Ghanaian MPs. While the fight against these ills affecting children is strongly advocated by the MPs, the success of such fight is unclear. These discourses around children are indications of how children are included in national discourses.

Keywords: Child Labour, Child Marriage, Child Protection, Children, Corpus-Assisted Critical Discourse Analysis, Frame Theory, Parliamentary Discourse.


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