Al Jazeera In 1000 Academic Studies

9. Name: Julian Awwad Title: Al Jazeera’s Discourse of ‘Arabness’: An Examination of the Discursive Construction of Identity in Talk Show Programming Institution: McGill University Country: Canada Date: 2005 Language: English Abstract: This study provides an analysis of Al Jazeera’s Arabic programming, which is lacking in burgeoning English-language academic literature. It highlights the way in which treatment of global current affairs informs a sense of Arab identity on a regional level. It also argues that, apart from competitive broadcast journalists, Al Jazeera offers an oppositional discourse of identification that does not necessarily challenge the hegemony of Western media discourses. By employing an oppositional stance expressed in typical anti-colonialist and anti-imperialist terms, the channel constructs an overarching notion of ‘Arabness’ that is predominantly discursive. The study analyses three talk shows: ‘Al Ittijah Al-Mu’akis’ (The Opposite Direction), ‘Bila Hudud’ (Without Boundaries) and ‘Lil Nisa’ Faqat’ (For Women Only). These talk shows are ideal for examining the oppositional discourse because they constitute important forums in which perceptions of identity are cultivated in the discussion of current affairs. Each episodes is treated as a media “text” that contributes to the formation of a discourse of ‘Arabness’. The analysis identifies the recurrent discursive patterns and strategies in providing a basis for the discursive category of identification across Arab state borders.


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