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Title: Self and other representation in discourse : a critical discourse analysis of the conflict over Iran 's nuclear programme in the British and Iranian newspapers
Author: KhosraviNik, Majid
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2010
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Abstract:
The row over Iran's nuclear programme is one of the most publicized international political controversies. By January 2006, the stand-off between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the West extraordinarily intensified after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the new president of Iran, makes some controversial and confrontational remarks against Israel and the West while the country re-opens its nuclear enrichment facilities. The present study attempts to account for this specific cross section of the stand-off and explain how either side of the row: Iran and the West positively construct and legitimate the position of Self while negatively construct and de-legitimate the position of the Other. The body of data analysed in the research is taken from a sample of British and Iranian newspapers. On the British side, The Times and the Guardian are selected to represent the country's conservative and liberal perspectives' while on the Iranian side, Keyhaan and Shargh are selected as representing the country's radical conservative and reformist perspectives respectively. The study adopts a Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) approach in its overall structure while specifically focusing on the Discourse-Historical Approach (DHA) in terms of its discourse/text analytical methods. The DHA's analytical categories of Referential, Predicational and Argumentative strategies are investigated in detail in the entire British and Iranian selected texts to capture the main discursive trends in Self and Other construction and (de)legitimization. In the meantime, the implication of other linguistic analytical categories for example, the function of presupposition and recontextualization in discourses of Iranian and British newspapers are investigated. The overall findings emerging from the extensive textual analyses of the study indicate that there are two discursive/ideological approaches in legitimating the position of Self in the Iranian newspapers: a macro-legitimatory approach which encapsulates the issue of Iranian nuclear programme within a broad (global) ideological confrontation between Iran and the West and a micro-legitirnatory approach which isolates the issue and accentuates the (local) legitimatization of Iran's nuclear activities within the international frameworks such as the NPT. The overall findings emerging from the extensive textual analyses of the British newspapers indicate that the legitimation of the Self is largely pursued via construction and de-legitimation of the Other as an imminent threat. The construction of such threat relies, synchronically, on the news discourses emerging from Iran e.g. the hostile remarks of its president and diachronically, on a body of assumed shared knowledge which are treated as background information. The conservative approaches (advocated by the British, The Times and the Iranian, Keyhaan) generally rely on negative Other presentation and de-legitimation of the adversary rather than legitimization of the position of the Self. As a general trend, macro-political approaches, advocated by both (radical) conservative papers on both sides are the dominant tendencies in the row while more pluralistic and inclusive approaches of the (more) liberal papers function on the periphery. The study concludes that despite ardently drawing on the role of international organizations such as the UN and the IAEA, the row is essentially a political and ideological confrontation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.556665  DOI: Not available
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