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Investigating Conflict Discourses in the Periodical Press


Edited By Giuliana Elena Garzone, Mara Logaldo and Francesca Santulli

The contributions collected in this book deal with the representation of conflict in the periodical press, which has often been an arena of adversarial stances, staged and enacted either within the same publication or enlarged to involve various newspapers and magazines in a series of provocations and replies. Underlying all the contributions is the awareness that the periodical press provides an ideal terrain for research on the discursive representation of conflict, having the prerogative to combine insight with a constant updating of the debate. The issue is approached in an interdisciplinary perspective, bringing linguistics and discourse analysis with Periodical Studies, hence highlighting the connection between language and ideology. The focus on lexical choices and rhetorical devices used to tackle current controversial issues such as Brexit, immigration, violence in sports, policies regarding health and food, women’s role and legal matters ultimately transcends national boundaries to become more widely representative of today’s discourses of conflict.

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Arab Women in Western News Discourse during the Arab Spring: Fading Stereotypes and Emerging Images


1 Introduction

Recently, Arab women have been a topic of discussion in academic research because of their active role in the so-called Arab Spring. Most studies dealing with this issue highlight aspects of their progress, activism and empowerment, thus focusing on content analysis rather than discourse analysis (Hornok 2011; Khamis 2011; Al-Ali 2012; Bergmann 2012; Kelek 2012; Kratochwil 2012; Thörner 2012; Filter et al. 2013; Sjoberg/Whooley 2015; Dastgeer/Gade 2016). The linguistic construction of their image in media discourse during that period has not been systematically pursued. Even studies (e.g. Al-Hejin 2012, 2014) dealing with the linguistic aspects of Arab women’s portrayal in the press do not focus on the effects of the Arab Spring on their established stereotypes.

In this study we investigate the representation of Arab women during the Arab Spring in Western news discourse, focusing especially on German, British and American news stories read in Germany between 2010 and 2015.1 We argue that the uprisings during this period have considerably affected the established stereotypes of Arab women featuring in Western media, giving way to new images. Implications of this study pertain to how changes in stereotypes featuring in news coverage may impact public attitudes towards gender roles in certain ethnicities.

2 Literature Review

Research has shown that the image of Arab women in media overlaps with that of Muslim women since most Arab countries, if not all, have a Muslim majority population (Falah 2005; Al-Hejin 2012; Al-Hejin...

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