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Title: The ideological discursive representation of Islam and Muslims in the press : a comparative study
Author: Sarkhoh, Nadia
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2013
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In an increasingly globalised world, dominant social group representations become highly influential agents in the sustenance or impediment of constructive intercultural relations on both a national and international level. Throughout the past decade, Muslims as a social group have been constantly thrust into fierce public debates and discussions stemming from a stream of diverse political and socio-cultural conflicts. This resulted in an amplified presence on various media outlets, developing serious concerns regarding their representation as a social group. In fact, a large body of media and social research argue Muslim representations as leaning towards negative and hostile depictions, emphasising a continued presence of an Orientalist ideology. In addition to exploring the existence of dominant representations, rooted in the study of discourse, this research is primarily interested in the linguistic construction of these ideological discursive representations, relating them to the wider socio-political context. This was done by conducting a comparative discourse analysis of articles related to major Muslim news events in quality newspapers in the UK and the less explored Arab English language quality press published in the Persian Gulf region. Through a specifically tailored qualitative/quantitative methodological approach, the research describes how these dominant representations are translated in the text by highlighting the various linguistic constructions and strategies adopted and utilised. By relating the textual findings to reader interpretation and production processes, as well as, the various socio-political contexts, a more comprehensive understanding of the production and interpretation of dominant social meanings was developed. Anchored in positive self and negative other presentation and utilizing similar micro/macro discursive strategies, both contexts revealed dominant ideological representations of Islam and Muslims with diverging and at times directly antagonistic meanings. Past dominant meanings are argued to persevere, exhibiting new recontextualised forms, while various social and institutional processes are argued to determine and shape the dominant discursive representations proliferating media texts.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available