A Study into the Discourse of American Print Media about Representation of Islam and Muslims
Keywords:Islam, Muslims, Representation, Print Media, CDA, Ideology
Print media discourses mirror social reality related to a particular context and time. Most often, they serve as a distorting prism to construct and represent a desired version of reality. The data for the present study comes from the articles of ‘The Washington Post’ about the representation of Islam and Muslims. The time span for data collection ranges from august 2019 to October 2019. Van Dijk’s (2006) research model for critical Discourse Analysis has been employed to analyse the data. The analytical categories of the model include representation, actor description, metaphor, polarization, number game, authority, lexicalization, topos, comparison, distancing and consensus. The data has been analysed at the level of word, sentence and discourse. The findings of the study highlight that the adjectives of negative social connotations such as militants, hard liners, belligerent, extremists, suicide bombers, jihadists, heaven seekers, the squad, terrorists, etc. have used to represent Islam and Muslims negatively. Highly politicised terms such as Islamic racism and islamophobia are alluded to islam and Muslims. The frequency of occurrence of the article related to Islam and Muslims during the selected time span is significantly higher. The themes associated with Islam, Muslims through the articles include ISIS, Islamic state, and jihad, Talibanised Ideology, Islamic Militants, fight against terrorism, Political Islam etc. It contends that 100% negative representation of Islam and Muslims has been observed. Besides, it concludes that print media discourses are one of the best sites for ideological investment and to shape mindset of target readership accordingly.
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