The Good, The Bad, and the Women


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Publication Bachelor thesis
Title The Good, The Bad, and the Women
Author Persson, Isabelle
Date 2016
English abstract
This study focus on Western constructions of two categories of women – the female Kurdish fighters of the YPJ and the Western Muhaajirat – actively engaging in the Syrian conflict at the time of writing. Using Norman Fairclough’s critical discourse analysis in combination with postcolonial feminist theory, I have scrutinized 12 news pieces selected from Swedish, British and North American influential news media houses, in order to provide a deeper understanding of the discourses underpinning these constructions. The outcome of the analysis show that news media tend to reproduce reductionist and orientalist views on these particular women. The YPJ is generally constructed as the liberated woman and the ideal Other, whereas the Western Muhaajirat tend to be understood as the victim and/or conservative and backwards, thus neatly positioning them as opposites so as to promote specific (Western) ways of progression, development and gender equality. Women’s agency is constructed and judged according to Western standards, and results in the continuous reproduction of imperialist discourses and the European gender order where femininity remains less valuable than masculinity.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Kultur och samhälle
Language eng (iso)
Subject News media
Women's agency
Critical discourse analysis
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