The representation of Saudi women in Al-Jazirah and BBC Arabic: corpus-based critical discourse analysis

Harun, Farah Nadia (2021). The representation of Saudi women in Al-Jazirah and BBC Arabic: corpus-based critical discourse analysis. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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In Saudi society, the role of women is less compared to men. Male domination constantly remains in various fields and women often marginalised in societies. Saudi women are often portrayed as wearing hijab (veil), being mother and wife. Their involvement is merely limited to family matters, women activities, and social affairs. This study examines the way modern standard Arabic online news of Al-Jazirah of Saudi Arabia and BBC Arabic of United Kingdom represent Saudi women in their news reports between 2010 and 2014. The main aim of this study is to discover how Saudi women are represented in these two prominent online news outlets by analysing the ways language is strategically used by Al-Jazirah and BBC Arabic to portray Saudi women. The study will be conducted in the form of Corpus investigation with data being gathered from news archives and then analysed using AntConc software. The research employs Critical Discourse Analysis approaches of van Leeuwen and Fairclough with the help of Corpus analysis techniques. The study finds differences between Al-Jazirah and BBC Arabic representation of Saudi women at both the textual and discursive levels. Also, the analysis reveals that the two outlets practised group polarisation characteristics. The in-group in Al-Jazirah coverage are the Saudi women and the Saudi authorities; hence the outlet produced hegemonised discourse and sustained the government policies. In comparison, the in-group in BBC Arabic is the women activists who criticise the government policies of women. It is recommended that the future study on the representation of Saudi women in the media inquire further into said problems and limitations, to get into a more comprehensive understanding of media coverage of women in Saudi Arabia. The preliminary result of the study shows that both news institution has a different way of portraying Saudi women according to their political agenda and ideologies. Thus, at the end of this study, the researcher hopes to reveal the representation of Saudi women in BBC Arabic and Al-Jazirah online news over the five years under the reign of King Abdullah.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music, Department of Modern Languages
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
J Political Science > JZ International relations
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PI Oriental languages and literatures


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