Mandela in the Arabic media: A transitivity analysis of Aljazeera Arabic website
Mohammed, Tawffeek Abdou Saeed
MetadataShow full item record
The paper uses an eclectic approach combining systemic functional linguistics (SFL), critical discourse analysis (CDA) and corpus linguistics to reveal how Mandela is presented in the Arab Media. SFL and CDA enable the researchers to explore the ideological and attitudinal bases underlying the selection of particular discourse structures for the realization of transitivity, that is, the ideational meaning in the texts/corpus. Specifically, the paper unravels process types, that is, material, relational, mental and verbal processes in data from Aljazeera’s Arabic website to account for the manner Mandela as a participant is presented compared to other participants, and the kinds of participant roles ascribed to him. The paper shows that material processes covering actions and events in which Mandela is the main agent and actor are by far the most frequently used type of processes in the corpus. Additionally, the discourse structures appear deliberately selected not only for sentimental reasons, but also to evoke readers’ sympathy regarding his wife’s infidelities and his hospitalisation, and also to induce appreciation for the man who endured 27 years for the freedom of his people and yet held no grudges against those incarcerated him. We conclude that Mandela is constructed in such a way that he is the focal point on which the Arab world could look for moral inspiration, reformation and reconciliation in the face of adversities resulting from religious, political and socio-economic turmoil.