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Doing (in) Justice to Iran's Nuke Activities? A Critical Discourse Analysis of News Reports of Four Western Quality Newspapers

DOI: 10.5923/j.linguistics.20120101.01

Keywords: Critical Discourse Analysis, Social Actors, Iran's Nuclear Discourse, Exclusion, Activation, Passivation, Association, Dissociation, Individualisation, Assimilation, Personalisation, Impersonalisation

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Adopting and adapting Theo van Leeuwen's system networks of the representation of social actors, this study explores the morpho-syntactic modes through which social actors implicated in Iran's nuclear activities discourse are represented in news reports of 4 Western quality papers all dealing, one way or another, with the issue of imposing or tightening sanctions on Iran, viz. The Economist, Express, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. Using the 5 sets of categories of inclusion/exclusion, activation/passivation, association/dissociation, individualisation/ assimilation, and personalisation/impersonalisation, we try to show the possible asymmetrical patterns in representing a variety of social actors involved, in particular the actors associated with the Western camp and the Iranian government on the issue of the sanctions. The findings have revealed systematic ideological bias in representing the Iranian side, thereby giving a differential treatment of Iran.


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