University of Twente Student Theses


Orientalism and Islamophobia as Continuous Sources of Discrimination?

Wolf, Maxie (2015) Orientalism and Islamophobia as Continuous Sources of Discrimination?

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Abstract:This thesis focuses on how Islam and Muslims are represented in the British broadsheet newspaper Daily Telegraph by means of reporting about the first free democratic election in Tunisia and the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo. The postcolonial theory of Edward Said called Orientalism and the concept of Islamophobia are applied as approaches for explaining and understanding the underlying structure of the reporting. Special emphasis lies on the extent to what the West/East dichotomy is maintained, resulting in the possible provision of arguments for Islamophobia. By examining the relevant newspapers, the thesis argues that Orientalism is not a suitable approach to conceptualize the key assumptions of the representation of Muslims and Islam. In contrast, the author argues that multiculturalism and transnationalism have caused a loosening of Said’s proposed West/East dichotomy. However, the critical revision of these findings demonstrates a rather low connection between Islamophobia and Orientalism. Separately, the two concepts are contributing factors to the continued undifferentiated utilization of particular events to open more general debates. The thesis essentially draws the conclusion that postcolonial discourses have changed throughout the years, but can still be applied on the media landscape, which is fluid itself.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:89 political science
Programme:Management Society and Technology BSc (56654)
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