Mothers, Victims and Bombers: Images of Women in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
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
Dr. Eugenie Almeida
Assistant Professor, Department of Performing & Fine Ar, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina