Media perception of Islam and Islamic culture: a comparative Spanish – French – English phraseological approach

    Par Azahara Veroz González

     

    This work develops an approach for the comparative analysis of discursive representation employed in the digital press media of Spain, France, and BritainWe start from the premise that through these texts it is possible to build a collective Spanish, French, and British social imaginary around Islam and other concepts related to this religion and culture that are difficult for non-Muslimto understandTverify this hypothesis, we have we have conducted a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the phraseology used by the media in the two most widespread press outlets of Europe in the Spanish, French, and English languages. 

     

    Our main purposes are to (1) identify possible misinterpretations, if any, related to religious and non-political concepts of Muslim culture and the Islamic religion in the phraseology used in the press in these languages and (2) if such misinterpretations are found, contribute to the transmission of reliable information about this subject in the media. 

     

    To this end, To this end, six media sources were used to compile the corpus. The subcorpora comprised news items on terrorism related to the use of Islam as a political act in the two most widely read newspapers in each of the three languages, namely, ABC and El País of Spain; Libération and Le Figaro of Franceand The Sun and The Guardian of BritainChronologically, the corpus begins with the 9/11 attacks until the present day. 

     

    The corpora were compiled with Sketch Engine, a software tool that analyses the frequency of the most used phraseological sequences in a set of textsQuantitative models were used to analyse the phraseological sequences related to Muslim culture and the Islamic religion in the discoursesThe real meanings of these phraseological sequences in the Muslim culture were then compared with the meanings attributed to them in our corpus. Finally, based on the quantitative findings some preliminary qualitative conclusions are drawn regarding the working hypothesis and the Spanish, French, and English collective imaginary of Islamic culture. 

     

    Keywords: Discourse analysis, Islam, corpus, information retrieval, phraseologySpanish, French, English 

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