Modern Standard Arabic Online News Discourse of Men and Women: Corpus-Based Analysis
Arab society treats their women differently compared to men. Arab women, in general, faced restrictions which limit their social participation. In contrast, Arab men dominate most economical, social, and political activities, thus acquiring the highest social hierarchy position. Men also enjoy the freedom of choice and making their own decision, while, women are forced to obey the male members of her family based on the male-guardian system. Over the last two decades, mass media has recorded struggles between the group demanding more rights and freedom for women in the Arab region and the conservative preserving the fundamental of Arab's tribal cultural practices and Islam's teaching. Thus, the present study investigates the representations of m(a/e)n and wom(a/e)n by using Corpus linguistics tools. The study analyses language forms used to represent Arab m(a/e)n and wom(a/e)n in modern standard Arabic online news coverage using AntConc software. The corpus data used in this study consists of 25 news articles each gathered from five different Arabic news institutions namely Elkhabar of Algiers, Addustour of Jordan, Alwatan of Kuwait, Alyaum and Al-Jazirah of Saudi Arabia, published between November 2014 and October 2015. These news outlets represent the diversity of Arab world, as the outlets operate in different Arab countries, carry different political alignment, which findings will come out with different points of view in representing both gender men and women. The quantitative result of corpus data then will be analysed using the qualitative approach based on the textual-oriented Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) of Fairclough and media discourse of Ruth Wodak. The result shows that the news outlets have a different way of portraying Arab women and their men according to their ideologies and political stance. Despite that, the command stereotype of Arab women is still preserved in the news discourses. Thus, at the end of the study, the researchers hope to reveal the outlets' stand on this issue, highlighting the hidden ideologies at the back of the struggles in the construction of Arabic online news discourses around gender issues.
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