Mothers, Victims and Bombers: Images of Women in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Dr. Eugenie Almeida
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A critical discourse analysis was performed on U.S. newspaper coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the years 2002 and 2003 to explore the manner in which Israeli and Palestinian women are described in the U.S. press. Three discourse methods were employed in this study: (1) a fine grained, microanalysis of selected articles to reveal thematic and linguistic patterns; (2) a quantitative analysis of 100 articles on a range of linguistic devices developed in the microanalysis; (3) a comparison of news articles to several public discourses current within Israel and Palestinian. Conclusions of the study are that most Israeli and Palestinian women are portrayed in extremely traditional ways. When atypical women are described, for example, Palestinian female suicide bombers, U.S. news writers condemn their actions and/or search for reasons to explain the abnormality of their behaviors. Comparing U.S. news discourse to public discourses about women in Israel and Palestine, U.S. news discourse supports more conservative Israeli and Palestinian discourses about women.

Keywords: Critical Discourse Analysis, Public Discourses, Narrative, Patriarchy, Symbolic Annihilation
Stream: Media, Film Studies, Theatre, Communication, Language, Linguistics, Ethnicity, Difference, Identity, Sexuality, Gender, Families
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Mothers, Victims and Bombers

Dr. Eugenie Almeida

Assistant Professor, Department of Performing & Fine Ar, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina

Eugenie Almeida received her PH. D. in Communication from the University of Buffalo in 1991. Her dissertation research was entitled, "Facuality in Newspaper Discourse" and was published in Text as an article, entitled, "Categories of Factuality in News Discourse," With her husband and colleague, Michael J. Almeida, a professor of computer science, she then develped a partial computerization of her category system. She continued doing research on news discourse, exploring other discourse structures routinely used by American newspapers. These investigations were presented at numerous conferences, including the National Communication Association, Eastern Communication Association, International Communication Association and Southern States Communication Association. In the late 1990's, she turned her attention to the area of communication competence, and, after presenting several conference paper, published her new research in Communication Education and the International Journal of Learning. For the past five years, she has been investigating how the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been portrayed by American newspapers.

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