The Framing of the Arab-Israeli Conflict in the Writing of Thomas Friedman: A Critical Discourse and Conceptual Metaphor Analysis
This study presents an analysis of the Arab Israeli conflict in the discourse of the journalist Thomas Freidman during the period from 2001 till 2010. The study utilizes Critical Discourse Analysis, Conceptual Metaphor Analysis and Frame analysis in analyzing the data. The research focuses on the conceptual metaphors and the critical discourse analysis tools used in the rendering of the conflict with a specific focus on the entities involved in it namely, America, Israel, The Arab world and Palestine.
The study argues that the use of conceptual metaphors and discourse analysis tools would help in shedding light on the ideological and political leanings of the writer. The main aim was to find the conceptual metaphors and discursive tools the writer used in his discourse and to form a comprehensive picture about the ideological and political orientations of his discourse in the period from 2001-2010.
The principal tools used in the study are Lakoff and Johnson’s experientialist cognitive Conceptual Metaphor theory (1980) and the Critical metaphor Analysis theory developed by Charteris-Black (2004). Additionally, Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) tools (Fairclough 1989; 1995a) and Frame Analysis theory (Entman 1993) are also applied to provide a more detailed picture of the data.
The analysis concluded that the representation of the conflict and the entities involved in it in Freidman’s discourse, utilized the Clash of Civilizations paradigm as developed by Samuel Huntington (1997) as a main frame to present the Arab Israeli conflict as part of the War on Terror that was taking place at the time, along orientalist stereotypical lines that fosters the ideological slant of the discourse. Findings also showed the writer’s perspective to be leaning towards the positive rendering of the Western side of the conflict including Israel to the disadvantage of the Arab side.
- School of Education and Social Policy