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Title: The representation of the Arab Spring narrative in English and Arabic news media
Author: Alian, Najat Hashem Mohammad
ISNI:       0000 0004 6348 9456
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2016
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Since its emergence in late December 2010, the Arab Spring narrative has sparked many controversies among researchers, commentators, analysts, and scholars from different disciplines around the world in terms of the causes and the reasons behind it and even its name: ‘Arab Spring’. This study explores the Arab Spring narrative from its emergence to its continuing dénouement in the English and Arabic mainstream news media from corpus-linguistic and critical discourse analytic perspectives. The Arab Spring bilingual corpus consists of two main sub-corpora, English and Arabic, compiled from LexisNexis and other news websites. Totalling 15,088 articles and 11,522,846 words, the English sub-corpus consists of 7,018 texts with total of 5,901,416 words, while the Arabic sub-corpus comprises 8,070 news texts and a total of 5,621,430 words. Taken from prominent news media outlets from Western, Arab and Islamic countries, and divided into two major text types (news and editorials and opinions) with date range coverage from 15 June 2010 until 31 August 2013, it allows us to diachronically and synchronically examine the discursive construction of the Arab Spring narrative. Combining quantitative and qualitative methods associated with Corpus Linguistics (CL) and Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), the current study explores the key topics associated with the Arab Spring at both the linguistic as well as the semantic levels by means of frequency, keyword (KKW list function in my case), collocation list functions and concordance. Analysis also identifies the main news actors and news values. Actors and events are represented, negatively and positively by means of lexical choice, and the different presentation strategies indicate that many of the Arab Spring news stories are politically, socially, and ideologically polarized. The contrasting themes/concepts within the resulting semantic categories (by means of pairs of items with positive/negative connotations) are also prevalent. For example, at the lexical level the following contrasting pairs are revealed: democracy/dictatorship; religious, sectarian/secular; peace/ violence; government/regime; allies/enemy; corruption/ reform, opposition/ support. Similarly, at the grammatical level items, such as pro/anti, is/non- and not, also indicate the contrastive as well as the polarizing nature of the Arab Spring narrative.
Supervisor: Johnson, Alison ; Dickins, James Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available