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Political Violence in Media: A case study of the media framing of the Kurdish female fighters in Northern Iraq and Syria
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Studies.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim and purpose of this study is to explore how the Western media, more precisely six British newspapers, portrays the Kurdish female fighters of the Women’s Protection Units and the Peshmerga, who today are fighting against Deash in Northern Iraq and Syria. There have been a growing media interest in the Kurdish female fighters since the rise of Daesh, and they were an often recurring subject in newspapers and other media platforms during 2014 and 2015. I have collected 32 articles from six different newspapers, and applied a framework consisting of six different frames developed by Brigitte L. Nacos together with theories of media framing and social constructivism. The methodology is conducted as a critical discourse analysis, inspired by Norman Fairclough’s three-dimensional model.    

In the articles, the Kurdish female fighters are portrayed as a different phenomenon, however, the articles still describes them as brave and dignified fighters who are rational in their understanding of what they are fighting for and what they are sacrificing. They are portrayed as being motivated by issues such as equality and female liberation in contrast to Deash anti-female values. The previous research conducted by feminist scholars often focuses on that the media portray women, who conduct acts of political violence, in a negative ways, such as deviants who are lacking traditionally stereotypical feminine characteristics or that their looks are in focus instead of their motivations. However, I have drawn the conclusion that there is more to how the Kurdish female fighters are portrayed then what one would think.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 45 p.
Keyword [en]
Kurdish female fighters, YPJ, Peshmerga, critical discourse analysis, media framing, political violence
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-56460OAI: diva2:968030
Subject / course
Peace and development
Educational program
Peace and Development Programme, 180 credits
Available from: 2016-09-16 Created: 2016-09-11 Last updated: 2016-09-16Bibliographically approved

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Lundmark, Therése
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