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Across the World in 80 Stereotypes: Pictures of the MENA Area in Hollywood

Hollywood, a time period generally used to seek advice from mainstream US-cinematic manufacturing, has transported audiences to far-off lands because the starting of the 20th century. One specific manufacturing to obtain a constructive reception – and one of many 100 highest-grossing movies within the US the yr it was launched – was Franc Cornaci´s Across the World in 80 Days (2004). Spectators flocked to the cinemas and accompanied the protagonists as they travelled by a number of nations, together with France, Turkey, India and China. Although evidently works of fiction, such movies depart the spectator with sure impressions of locations and cultures that they could by no means have truly skilled. Because of this, Hollywood is known to own appreciable “comfortable energy”. This shouldn’t be underestimated, particularly in mild of the shut relationship that has existed between the White Home and Hollywood because the first studio was based in 1911. Pertinently, the White Home has known as upon the providers of Hollywood in occasions of conflict and disaster, together with the declaration of the Struggle on Terror by G. W. Bush in 2001. Since then, the MENA area has been thrust into the forefront of the American media, and it’s no mere coincidence {that a} better variety of MENA characters characteristic in Hollywood productions from 2001 onwards. All through the 2000s, the principle studios have been topic to a tidal wave of accusations, by each tutorial and non-academic critics alike, relating to the stereotyping and vilification of Arabs, Muslims and Iranians, teams which this research refers to beneath the umbrella time period “MENA” (Center East and North Africa). The representations or photographs these media provide have been essential within the formation of the American public´s notion of the area. That is vital provided that media and overseas coverage mutually affect each other. With American troops withdrawing from Iraq after nearly a decade, the representations offered and re-produced have and can have a real-world influence on each areas.

This research is interdisciplinary, drawing upon 4 areas of research, particularly, orientalism, geopolitics, movie research and sociolinguistics, taking orientalism as the first lens by which to interpret outcomes. The following part, part 2, opinions the principle literature produced on this subject, figuring out the hole which is addressed within the current research. In part 3, the analysis questions are established. Part 4 presents the broader theoretical framework inside which this research is located. Part 5 outlines the methodology used and part 6 constitutes the evaluation. Lastly, part 7 presents the conclusions.

2. Literature Overview

This part presents a overview of the literature associated to the representations of the “different” in American media. “Otherness” is a big psychological assemble referring to the standard of being totally different or “different”, particularly if there are connotations of exoticness (Miller 2008).  “Otherness” is subsequently carefully associated to the ideas of intersubjectivity and recognition. Otherness-oriented analysis has been carried out in a number of areas, together with race and ethnic relations. Inside this space, in depth research have been carried out relating to representations of the overseas “different” in addition to American minorities by Hollywood, depictions of Muslims and Arabs typically, representations in Arab cinema, post-9/11 cinema, and linguistic analyses of accent utilization in animation movies.  

2.1 Hollywood and the “others”

Numerous research criticise Hollywood´s tendency to stereotype and vilify nations, minorities and folks teams, arguing that the replica of stereotypes has detrimental penalties for the teams depicted. In a single such instance, Dokotum (2020) extensively research Hollywood movie productions between 1908 and 2020 by which Africa is constantly offered as a homogeneous entity. On account of Hollywood´s huge scope, the replica of a colonial mastertext and detrimental imaging of Africa have been consolidated on a big scale. On a nationwide degree, Greco Larson (2005) offers a broad overview of the illustration of minority teams in American information, movie and tv. This guide analyses the illustration of the Latino, Black, Native American and Asian American populations, exhibiting racial inequality is justified. Additional, extra particular research into the depiction of every of those minorities have made a useful contribution to the sphere (Ramírez-Berg, 2009; Olson, 2017; Broughton, 2020).

2.2 The MENA Area in Hollywood

By way of Hollywood´s representations of the MENA area, probably the most salient examples are the fictional characters created by American tv and movie producers. Indisputably, the main scholar on this subject is Jack Shaheen, writer of the three foundational works on the representations of Arabs and Muslims: The TV Arab (1984), Reel Dangerous Arabs (2003) and Responsible: Hollywood´s Verdict on Arabs After 9/11 (2008). As well as, Shaheen options in Jhally´s documentary Reel Dangerous Arabs (2006) and has written quite a few articles on the topic. In accordance with Shaheen, Arabs are depicted as cultural “others” intent upon terrorizing Westerners, who manifest themselves nearly solely within the types of terrorists, villains, sheikhs, Egyptians and Palestinians or, within the case of the feminine Arab, dancing harem maidens (Shaheen 2001). While Shaheen (1984, 2003, 2008) and Jhally (2006) function glorious referential works, protecting an enormous breadth of representations in movie and different media, they lack depth and detailed evaluation because the sheer scope of those research enable for the dedication of just some traces to every movie analysed.

In more moderen research, quite a few students have constructed upon the concepts of Shaheen, specializing in smaller choices of cultural productions from his inventories so as to perform extra detailed analyses. Latest examples includeHaider´s(2019) article that makes use of racialisation principle to analyse 11 post-9/11 Hollywood movies, demonstrating how Muslim are vilified and dehumanised throughout the context of the Struggle on Terror. In an analogous vein, Adams (2019), carries out a qualitative content material evaluation of Arab and Muslim girls within the tv collection Homeland, concluding that Islam is depicted as irreconcilable with American values, thus the collection reinforces islamophobia.

2.3 Hollywood and Arab Cinema

While these articles contribute necessary in-depth readings of particular person movies, they fail to think about Arab cinematic productions and self-representation of the MENA area. This side has been lined by Khatib (2006) who argues that historical past could be written otherwise from totally different angles and that movie´s relationship with historical past is subjective. Consequently, particular occasions are interpreted otherwise in Hollywood and Arab cinemas, as an illustration, portrayals of the Arab-Israeli battle. The guide considers the questions of house, gender, nationalism, battle and fundamentalism in movies produced in eight nations between 1980-2005. Equally, Mahdi (2015) affords a comparative case research of movies produced by Hollywood and Egyptian cinemas to attract consideration to the function of cultural politics in mediating a constructed picture of “otherness” of Arab Individuals. He discovered that Hollywood dismissed the cultural citizenship of Arab Individuals and continually questioned their allegiance and belonging.

2.4 The Impression of 9/11

The September 11 assaults are extensively recognised as a turning level within the American psyche, as such, a plethora of research have been printed on the representations of US nationwide identification in cultural artefacts within the aftermath of 9/11. Westwell (2015) feedback on recurring themes and describes how post-9/11 cinema pertains to totally different variations of US nationwide identification within the aftermath of the September 11 assaults. McSweeney (2017) analyses a choice of ten movies from the post-9/11 decade and asks how movie displays the defining fears of post-9/11 American society. Arva (2019) research representations of trauma within the magical realism style in Submit-9/11 literature and movie.

2.5 Linguistic Analyses

The research talked about to date have taken an aesthetic- or narrative-based method to media evaluation. Various fascinating research have additionally been printed on language use in movie and different media. Ibrahim Shousha (2010), in a crucial discourse evaluation of the picture of Arabs within the American Press, analyses themes and frames within the chosen articles and signifies that the linguistic options employed reinforce a detrimental picture of Arabs in addition to unequal energy relations.

Whereas the printed press affords a descriptive, third get together evaluation of the MENA area, different media, equivalent to movie, go one step additional: screenwriters fairly actually put phrases into the mouths of their fictional creations. Movie constitutes a higher-impact, multisensory (visible and aural) and emotive medium. Rahimi and Amiran (2017) argue that in quite a few productions, Iranians are constantly portrayed as merciless enemies as a mirrored image of the political local weather. Utilizing Van Dijk´s (2004) framework of crucial discourse evaluation to check Iranian characters within the movie Not With out My Daughter (1991), the authors present how the movie´s producers use “us” and “them” as social teams to create constructive self-representation and detrimental other-representation. Whereas each research current fascinating findings, crucial discourse evaluation could be thought of a extremely subjective and insufficiently rigorous method (Breeze 2001, 1-2).  For instance, in solely analysing chosen articles and scenes, many cases of language use can have been missed.

Moreover, linguistic evaluation of scripted media shouldn’t be restricted to what’s spoken however also needs to think about how it’s spoken. You will need to recognise that screenwriters not solely select the phrases uttered by their creations, but in addition their paralinguistic communication, equivalent to pronunciation and tone, and extralinguistic communication, equivalent to expressions and gestures. This too conveys key data to the spectator and is a vital space of research. When contemplating representations of “different”, linguistic “othering” should even be taken into consideration. That is typically realised by the use of a overseas language or accented English. Bleichenbacher (2008) considers whether or not Hollywood movies perpetuate patterns of detrimental stereotyping as regards to audio system of different languages typically. Utilizing a corpus of 28 language contact movies from a spread of genres produced between 1983 and 2004, he examines whether or not being multilingual grants characters kind of energy. Tayyara (2014) notes that using Arabic in movie has elevated because the late Nineties and examines the representations of Arab-Muslims by use of the Arabic language as a sociolinguistic marker between 1999 and 2008.

Relating to accent, dialect and use of the English language, numerous fascinating research have been carried out on kids´s animated tv and filmic productions (Dobrow, 1998; Soares, 2017; Maržić, 2019). The frequent use of overseas accents by villains in Hollywood productions, particularly Acquired Pronunciation or “RP” (Customary British English) and Russian, has been researched extensively (Robinson, 2007; Ruijter, 2017).

2.6 Conclusion

These research present that American media have an extended historical past of misrepresenting and vilifying sure areas, nations and minorities in accordance with the political context of the time. Since 2001, depictions of the MENA area as a threatening “different” have been noticed as a result of declaration of the Struggle on Terror (Haider 2019). Particularly, the influence of 9/11 and the Struggle on Terror have been analysed as regards to the illustration of Muslims and Arabs and recurring themes of trauma and concern. Research on representations of the MENA area are inclined to concentrate on bodily look and narrative. A small variety of students have approached the subject of linguistic representations of the MENA area, although they use extremely subjective Vital Discourse Evaluation and focus nearly solely on restricted examples of content material, omitting necessary extralinguistic and paralinguistic options. Conversely, in depth analysis exists on language use in animation movies, which spotlight fascinating tendencies as regards to stereotype reinforcements.

2.7 Addressing the Hole

While the illustration of the MENA area in American media has been studied extensively, the linguistic side of those representations has largely been missed. The current research addresses this hole. Primarily based on analysis carried out on accent, dialect and language use in animation movies, this text employs comparable methods to analyse MENA representations in movies produced between 2001 and 2008 – a turbulent interval as regards to US overseas relations relating to many nations in mentioned area. Given the importance of the language varieties utilized in animation movies to convey that means, you will need to think about how Hollywood movie producers use linguistic expression within the creation of their characters and by extension, their constructed picture of the MENA area. 

3. Analysis Questions

This text asks how the language types of Hollywood´s representations or “photographs” of the MENA nations contribute to the reinforcement of detrimental stereotyping of the area beneath the G. W. Bush administrations (2001-2008).

Though definitions fluctuate, right here “MENA” (Center East and North Africa) is outlined because the “area as stretching from Morocco to Iran and from Turkey to the Horn of Africa” (Dumper & Stanley, 2007). Stated (1978) makes use of the time period Orient (a Eurocentric label for a similar geographical house), which he suggests is an nearly European invention (Stated 1978:1). For the needs of this research, the time period “MENA” encompasses Turkey and Iran and excludes Israel. Though Israel is geographically integral to the area, it’s excluded primarily attributable to its distinctive and shut relationship with the USA, but in addition its evident spiritual and ideological distinctions from the remainder of the area.

This research makes use of the consecutive G. W. Bush mandates (2001-2008) as the chosen timeframe, given the extensively acknowledged collaboration between Hollywood and the US authorities, and the political significance of sure MENA nations throughout this era (Dodds 2007a). The well timed contact between Bush and Hollywood representatives in 2001 was extensively criticised because it coincided with the declaration of the Struggle on Terror, indicating that the business can be used to popularise the US navy marketing campaign. A sociolinguistic evaluation is subsequently carried out which analyses all photographs of the MENA area that characteristic within the 100 highest-grossing field workplace movies within the USA between 2001 and 2008. A variety of linguistic options, equivalent to accent, overseas language use, multilingualism and silence, will likely be analysed. Although you will need to recognise the exportation of Hollywood movies, and consequently the interpretation of the linguistic options hooked up to those photographs (each in subtitles and dubbing) the current research focuses on a North American viewership and translation is not going to be examined within the current research, although would make for an fascinating future investigation. 

The current research poses the next questions: Which stereotypical photographs happen most often within the chosen movies? Which language varieties are assigned to those photographs? Is there any correlation between these language varieties and motivation? What does the linguistic expression of those photographs talk to the spectator?

4. Theoretical Framework

With a view to contextualise the studying of the chosen movies, the current analysis attracts on totally different areas of research to assemble a theoretical framework. While there are numerous applicable and related fields, this research will likely be located primarily within the subject of orientalism. The 4 most related fields to be explored on this part are: orientalism, standard geopolitics, movie research and sociolinguistics.

4.1 Cultural Geopolitics

Cultural geopolitics is located throughout the wider subject of crucial geopolitics. Tuathail and Dalby (1998, 4) outline typical geopolitics as “the apply of statecraft by leaders and their advisors”, whereas crucial geopolitics “enhances this with an understanding of geopolitics as a broad social and cultural phenomenon”.

Inside crucial geopolitics, one other chief within the subject, Dodds (2007: 16), defines standard geopolitics because the research of the methods by which media contribute to the “circulation of geopolitical photographs and representations of territory, assets, and identification”. He claims that curiosity within the standard dimensions of geopolitics elevated significantly in 2001 thanks partially to the declaration of the Struggle on Terror and given the well timed contact between the president G. W. Bush and representatives from Hollywood studios. Given its standing because the dominant Western superpower, representations and pictures produced by the USA should be scrutinised, taking international political issues into consideration. On this vein, standard geopolitics has been utilized by numerous students to cinema.

Shapiro (2009), affords an fascinating examination of movie and politics in mild of each the post-cold conflict and post-9/11 worlds. Saunders (2015) considers propaganda and the theme of imperialism in up to date international politics as represented within the science fiction style. Dodds (2003; 2006) and Funnell & Dodds (2017) think about the geopolitics of the Chilly Struggle as manifested in James Bond movies. Quite a few research together with Dodds (2007; 2008), Carter & Dodds (2011), Dalby (2008) and Weber (2005) study the worldwide politics of the Struggle on Terror in up to date movie and cartoons. Saunders (2012) analyses fears of globalisation and lack of border management within the zombie subgenre.

While it’s essential to acknowledge this method, this research focuses particularly on representations of the MENA area and doesn’t enter into an in depth dialogue of the broader political context, subsequently it’s deemed extra applicable to use an orientalism lens.

4.2 Orientalism

On this research, orientalism will function a theoretical body foundation for decoding the findings of the investigation. The idea of “orientalism” was developed by Palestinian-American mental, Stated (1978), in his revolutionary work Orientalism, by which he outlines the enduring Occidental angle of superiority in direction of the Orient (Center East and Far East), starting within the eighteenth century –an ideology by which lecturers, writers and colonial directors have traditionally approached the oriental “different”.  

Orientalism has robust colonial connotations and could be outlined in 3 ways: firstly, as an educational self-discipline inside space research, secondly, as a world view and eventually as a “Western fashion for dominating, restructuring and having authority over the Orient” (Stated 1978, 2-3). Europe and the Orient share an extended historical past, the latter having performed a key function in defining the previous as its contrasting picture. Within the case of the USA, nevertheless, such a historic connection doesn’t exist, fairly it has inherited a European (and Eurocentric) view of the Orient.

Stated (1978) criticises principal orientalist thinkers and argues that tendencies of orientalism current themselves in lots of disciplines. For the reason that publication of Orientalism, a myriad of useful contributions have been made to the sphere, taking orientalism as a body and making use of it to a spread of disciplines together with: academia (Keskin, 2018), gender research (Lewis, 1996; Bayraktaroğlu, 2019), and cinema (Bernstein & Studlar, 1997; Semmerling 2006; Cettl, 2009; Westwell, 2014). Shaheen (2003) attracts upon Stated (1978) in Reel Dangerous Arabs, his in depth stock of Arab representations in US cinema. In part 2 (literature overview) of the current research, Ibrahim Shousa (2010) additionally makes use of orientalism as a theoretical body in her thesis on the picture of Arabs within the American press. In an analogous manner, the current research considers the “New West´s” (USA) 21st century cinematic manufacturing by the lens of orientalism. 

4.3 Movie Research

Provided that the thing of the current research are cinematic productions, it’s important to take related movie theories into consideration. Shortly after the invention of the movement image, Münsterberg (1916), in his guide The Photoplay, establishes the self-discipline of movie research and affords an method which examines the consequences of the varied components of movie making (fashion) and the way these talk concepts and feelings to the spectator. An necessary contribution to the sphere is the well-known essay Le cinémalangue ou langage?by Metz (1964), which includes theories of semiotics into movie research, thus creating the notion of “movie semiotics”. Movie semiotics examines how that means is conveyed in movie, each denotatively (actually) and connotatively (implicitly) (Metz, 1964). This research focuses on connotative features, i.e. within the linguistic evaluation carried out, the denotative component is that means of the phrases spoken, whereas the connotative component is the way in which by which these phrases are spoken.

 Extra lately, the considerably controversial “display principle”, developed by the British journal Display within the Nineteen Seventies, is related to the evaluation carried out in part 6 because it considers the consequences of cinema positioning the spectator utilizing varied methods so as to elicit a specific response. The target of display principle is to grasp how media (cinema) can compel us to undertake sure beliefs and identities, arguing that the spectacle creates the spectator, not the opposite manner round. This principle approaches how type, that’s enhancing methods, prepares a predetermined subject-position for the spectator.

4.4 Sociolinguistics

This research considers movie manufacturing methods, particularly using linguistic methods and the way these relate to the (re)building of orientalist photographs and stereotypes typically. Thus, a sociolinguistic body is required so as to set up primary ideas earlier than making use of them to the evaluation offered in part 6. Sociolinguistics – the research of society´s impact on language – is related to the current research because it acknowledges that language is, by its very nature, a communicative and interactive apply and, as such, is produced inside, by and for a sure group.

Of their chapter on language angle research, Giles and Rakić (2014) think about accent in relation to social identification. People socially consider an interlocutor primarily based on voice from the primary occasion, deducing totally different sorts of photographs from ethnicity to character to socioeconomic standing. Removed from constituting goal assessments, these attitudes are “clusters of beliefs that govern social judgments of speech kinds and their customers” (Giles and Rakić 2014, 12). This is a vital start line provided that movie producers search to play upon this phenomenon in character creation, recreating the identical impact in scripted language manufacturing, thereby eliciting the specified response from the spectator and drawing them into the narrative.

This research attracts closely upon Lippi-Inexperienced’s (1997) sociolinguistic method to accent, dialect and bilingualism. Chapter 7 presents a quantitative evaluation of language varieties utilized in animation movies, categorising characters in response to language selection, motivations, gender, setting, and so on. and evaluating the outcomes from one class with one other. Findings point out that animated movies hyperlink language varieties related to sure nationalities and ethnicities with “social norms and traits in non-factual and generally overtly discriminatory methods” (Lippi-Inexperienced 1997, 101).

5. Methodology

5.1 The Energy of Cinema

Cinema is a robust expression of cultural politics. When contemplating the USA´s present superpower standing and the US movie business (Hollywood)´s huge attain each nationally and internationally, it turns into evident that photographs and ideologies projected by this medium have energy to influence the actual world.

Of cinema tickets bought within the US and Canada between 1980 and 2019, there’s a peak between 2001 and 2004, coinciding with the 9/11 assaults and the Iraq Struggle. While the 2 are usually not essentially linked, you will need to think about that there have been a better variety of cinemagoers paying to look at Hollywood movies throughout this era of direct battle with sure teams within the MENA area. This research focuses on the 2001-2008 interval, throughout which period the bottom variety of tickets – 1358.04 million – was bought in 2008.  That is nonetheless a big amount and doesn’t indicate that the attain of Hollywood diminished because the variety of tickets bought rose once more in 2009.

Shaheen (2003) highlights movie’s energy to coach by repetition. He argues that the stereotypical photographs of Arabs in Hollywood are usually not solely continually reproduced, however are additionally the one photographs produced, resulting in a normal homogenisation of the Arab world and its individuals. Provided that these movies are considered by hundreds of thousands of spectators in North America alone, a big a part of that are American voters, the photographs proliferated by Hollywood have an actual political affect. This turns into much more vital if the influence of US overseas coverage in nearly all elements of the world is taken into consideration.

Moreover, these cinematographic productions don’t fall into oblivion after manufacturing, however fairly endure for generations within the type of DVDs and streaming providers, to not point out unlawful downloading. Movie is a type of recorded speech, which is likely one of the extra everlasting language modes (Crawford & Csomay 2016). Due to this fact, movies proceed to narrate the identical photographs and messages lengthy after manufacturing and preliminary reception. In abstract, Hollywood´s representations of actuality are available, whereas various variations could properly not be. 

5.2 The Significance of Stereotypes

Earlier than starting with our evaluation, we should first provide a definition of the time period “stereotype”. By way of social notion, stereotyping is a helpful social device which pulls upon earlier data so as to categorise individuals and folks teams (Rosch, 1978). It’s a problem-solving technique which maximises the knowledge obtained while requiring a minimal expenditure of effort. A stereotype is outlined as an “oversimplified set of beliefs about members of a social group or social stratum” (Andersen & Taylor 2016). Stereotypes are normally primarily based on probably the most salient traits of race, gender and age. They subsequently operate as a lens by which totally different teams understand one another. 

This precept applies not solely to the actual world, but in addition to representations of it. For example, readers of fictional narratives draw on stereotypes when evaluating a personality´s character (Auracher & Hirose 2017). Right here, the reader´s cultural beliefs and values have affect provided that tradition straight shapes our cognition and by extension the way in which by which we course of data. In her dialogue of “categorisation”, Fiske (1998) breaks the idea down into three elements, arguing that stereotyping is probably the most cognitive element, prejudice probably the most affective element and discrimination is probably the most behavioural element of categorisation. Stereotyping, subsequently, constitutes a hazard as it could possibly result in discrimination and have a really actual influence on the private {and professional} lives of sure communities. 

Language is a robust social apply and has been employed often within the creation of stereotypes in movie and different media. Dragojevic et al. (2016) notes that if the media repeatedly exploit these language stereotypes and current them to viewers, the viewers could begin to imagine that these claims are true. Extra particularly, when the one expertise people have with totally different ethnic teams is thru media, there’s a increased likelihood of stereotype formation because the media are inclined to current only one model of occasions that may typically be generalized to the whole group.

5.3 Frequent MENA Stereotypes in Movie

Shaheen (1984; 2001; 2003; 2012) provide exhaustive lists of Arab depictions (re)produced by filmmakers because the manufacturing of The Sheikh in 1921. One widespread picture is that of rich sheikhs who management oil wells. In accordance with the writer, they’re typically depicted with black beards, headdresses and darkish sun shades, in pursuit of blonde Western girl, concerned in arms offers and intent on world domination. Arabs who attempt to kidnap, rape or homicide honest girls and/or enslave and abuse black Africans are widespread themes. Different productions depict: uncivilized camel-riding Bedouins; submissive, harem maidens; unidimensional girls wearing burqas; devious enchantresses; souk swindlers and begging kids. Anti-Christian Arabs and pro-Nazi Egyptians additionally seem. Lastly, there are armed terrorist and non secular fanatics. Of those many detrimental photographs, the most typical caricatures are villains, sheikhs, maidens, Egyptians and Palestinians. As well as, Shaheen (2008) discusses the degrading, cameo look of Arabs in movies which don’t have anything to do with the storyline, in addition to the immoral Arab-American. 

Semmerling (2006) argues that Arabs are devised to supply concern in an American cinematic viewers. They function the inverse of the picture of the American hero who fights for “the American manner”. Evil character and intentions are subsequently projected onto Arab peoples, landscapes, and cultures. This deliberate comparability drawn between the 2 teams casts a constructive mild on US ideology and tradition. Semmerling (2006) means that the reasoning behind this phenomenon rests within the conflicts between america and sure Center Japanese nations, significantly because the oil embargo of the Nineteen Seventies and persevering with by the Iranian hostage disaster, the primary and second Gulf Wars, and the wrestle in opposition to al-Qaeda.

5.4 MENA Stereotype Classes

Whereas the earlier descriptions present a normal thought of the forms of MENA photographs projected by Hollywood, so as to perform a quantitative evaluation, clear stereotype classes should first be established. Shaheen (2001; 2008) established the 5 most often occurring stereotypes: Villains, Sheikhs, dancing harem maidens, Egyptians, and Palestinians. Yousman (2007: 5) summarises Shaheen´s (1984; 2001; 2003) descriptions and identifies a sample of feminine Arab stereotypes portrayed nearly solely as “seductive stomach dancers, feminine terrorists, and burqa-clad props with no actual identification of their very own”.  

Primarily based on the three precept works of Shaheen and observations made throughout the viewing of the chosen movies, this researcher has chosen seven classes of MENA stereotypes that often seem in Hollywood movies (see Desk 5.1). Right here, we don’t embody Shaheen´s (2003) “Palestinian”and “Egyptian”classes for 2 causes. Firstly, so far as is feasible, we attempt to keep away from any overlap, contemplating that any picture may match into the established classes and likewise be Egyptian or Palestinian. Secondly, though they’re probably the most often occurring nationalities, that is indicative of reductionism fairly than stereotyping. 

Additional, we omit Shaheen´s (2003) “Villain”, opting as a substitute for the class Enemy. It’s because, though they’re comparable of their opposition to the protagonist, “Villain” is normally thought of to be a primary character, whereas this research finds that there are minor characters and different photographs which match into the Enemy class. Right here, we outline Enemy as a rival intent upon defeating, harming or destroying the protagonist(s). Terrorist is evidently a subcategory of Enemy, but attributable to sheer quantity of examples, shall be thought of as a separate class. Terrorist is differentiated from Enemy in being restricted to a person or group who does or intends to hold out acts of terrorism prior to now, current or future whether or not their goal be the protagonist or one other.

Shaheen (2003) affords a prolonged description of “sheikh”, but this research opts for probably the most primary definition he affords: “smart, aged particular person, head of the household”. Due to this fact, Sheikh is outlined as any male determine of authority. Shaheen (2003) additionally affords three tendencies inside his descriptions of his class “maiden”: an eroticised harem maiden or slave lady; a silent, shapeless girl wearing a burqa; a harmful and devious enchantress. This research considers these three photographs to be fairly distinct from each other; whereas “enchantress” possesses energy, the others are marked by their powerlessness. Additional, the burqa-clad feminine and the harem maiden differ from each other on the idea of sex-appeal and bodily attractiveness. This research, subsequently, divides Shaheen´s (2003) “maiden” into three: Maiden, the harem member; Enchantress, in possession of magical powers; and Oppressed, silent, relegated to the background and wearing a burqa.

The ultimate stereotype class, Subservient, is added for the needs of this research. Subservient denominates these recurring photographs that maintain a place of inferiority and encompasses two kindsof picture: people who straight serve the protagonist and people who plead for assist and should be rescued.  

Lastly, Different will likely be included as a further class, however not as a stereotype (therefore its exclusion from Desk 5.1), fairly, it consists of these photographs that don’t match into the stereotype classes established in Desk 5.1. That isn’t to say that these photographs are essentially constructive as stereotyping just isn’t the one dangerous apply employed by the media. Different consists of, however just isn’t unique to, token characters, as an illustration. While tokenism may very well be thought of the inverse of stereotyping, the end result is far the identical. Tokenism describes a misleading relationship between members of two teams: the “deviant class” (marginalised teams) and the “dominant class” (Lee 2020: 387). This relationship is supported by a set of beliefs by which deviant class members are merely servants of the dominant group and never full members of the group. The “token” is a member of the deviant class who is outwardly built-in into the dominant class. Nonetheless, this serves solely to distract from the core situation, thus prolonging the subordination of the marginalised group. In movie, this interprets to lone constructive examples of a sure group allied with the protagonist(s) in a given manufacturing.

Although there are similarities between token characters and the qualities of Subservient photographs, they differ on an necessary level: the connection with the protagonist. Consequently, they aren’t perceived by the spectator in the identical manner as Subservient photographs. On the one hand, Subservient denominates a servant or a person or group in want of help, normally poor or in a determined scenario with little to supply the protagonist(s). However, the token characters noticed possess power, valour and useful abilities. Although there’s undoubtedly an necessary component of servitude – the token all the time serves the agenda of characters consultant of the dominant class and seems to not have an agenda of their very own – there’s additionally a real bond of obvious equality and mutual respect. Within the case of the token character, it might appear, servitude is freely chosen, not born of necessity or employment as within the case of Subservient. Token characters ally themselves with the protagonist(s) for causes that are unclear and mentioned allegiance often results in them in the end perishing in service of the protagonist(s). Though the spectator could develop into keen on a token character, they’re typically the only real constructive illustration of a sure group inside a manufacturing: that is the exception, not the rule. As a consequence, their presence onscreen does nothing to decrease movies´ overarching vilification of the MENA area.

5.5 Methodology

Language is a vital element of character building. As is true of all different character elements, voice can also be a synthetic, scripted building. Movie producers are acutely aware of the truth that totally different accents carry totally different stigma and connotations, for instance, a French accent usually has romantic connotations. Mainstream US English on this case is unmarked and regarded normal. Producers are conscious of their audience(s) and use voice to both distance or align sure characters with the protagonist, thus setting up a picture and calculating viewers reception.

This research employs an adaptation of the methodology established by Lippi-Inexperienced (1997) in her evaluation of accent in animated Disney movies produced between 1938 and 1994. This research carries out a sociolinguistic evaluation of representations (henceforth known as photographs) of the MENA area that characteristic within the 100 highest-grossing field workplace movies within the USA produced by the American movie business (Hollywood) between 2001 and 2008 (see Desk 5.2 for full listing).

First, the 100 highest-grossing field workplace movies within the USA yearly between 2001 and 2008 had been recognized (imdb.com). Plot summaries and opinions had been scrutinised, and all productions with content material which makes reference to the MENA area famous. These movies had been considered and a last choice of the movies with related content material – 29 in complete – was established. The related scenes had been then considered a number of occasions, and the 126 representations or photographs of the MENA area noticed had been recorded in tablature type (see appendix 2). You will need to observe that, for the needs of this research, a picture doesn’t essentially equate to a personality. The Persian troopers in 300 (2006), for instance, shall be thought of as one picture to keep away from duplication. Equally, the speech made in Jarhead by which Kuwait is described as a sufferer of Iraqi aggression and enlarged images of injured Kuwaiti kids are concurrently proven, can also be counted as one picture. Due to this fact, in an try to be as thorough as doable, this research consists of all MENA photographs that includes within the 100 highest-grossing movies produced between 2001 and 2008. Although primary and secondary characters have extra display time, delicate representations are additionally necessary and influential, together with silent, invisible, minor and cameo roles. In the identical manner, this research doesn’t exclude any specific style as a result of a worldwide evaluation shall be carried out.

The 126 MENA photographs had been then famous, analysed and categorised for numerous language and characterisation variables (see appendix 2). The characterisation variables thought of are stereotype, gender and motivation. The place there’s overlap of two stereotype classes, for instance, there happens a picture of a sheikh who can also be a terrorist in Syriana (2005), a call was taken primarily based upon the subjective commentary of probably the most obvious identification manifested throughout the narrative. Every characterisation variable was then analysed in relation to language selection and outcomes offered in graphs and tablature format. In some instances, the language selection is unclear, as an illustration, The Sorceress in The Scorpion King (2002) makes use of MUSE (Customary American English) however for the pronunciation of some phrases, subsequently we class this instance as MUSE.

Some variations had been made to the Lippi-Inexperienced (1997) methodology. Whereas the unique methodology considers Customary American English (henceforth, MUSE), British and overseas accents, the current investigation will think about: MUSE, different native English varieties, foreign-accented English (FA English), multilingualism (using two languages), Arabic, different overseas language and silence. Inside multilingualism, there are examples of Arabic, mock Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, different overseas languages and fictional languages. We evaluate and distinction the language varieties used with the beforehand established stereotype classes. In her research, Lippi-Inexperienced (1997) analyses animated kids´s movie, subsequently she features a class entitled “humanoid or animal” which isn’t related to this research provided that no animal photographs characteristic within the movies chosen.  

6. Evaluation  

6.1 Gender

Of the 126 MENA photographs within the 29 movies examined, 99 are male and 17 are feminine, or roughly 79% and 13% respectively; and each female and male photographs are distributed equally between main/supporting and minor function.

The overwhelming majority of MENA photographs are subsequently masculine. Determine 6.1 reveals that almost all (30%) of all male photographs fall throughout the class of Enemy, while 26% are Different. The Different class overwhelmingly consists of various ranks of armies, guards and police forces, which closely implies that male MENA photographs have robust conflictive connotations. Nonetheless, Different additionally consists of Bedouin, guide labourer, interpreter, architect, scientist, politician, president and prince photographs, though with a lot much less frequency.

If we think about solely main/supporting photographs, as proven in Determine 6.2, 54 of a complete 64 are male. We see that the principle physique of male photographs is split equally between Enemy (30%) and Terrorist (30%), while the Different class is lowered to twenty%. That is vital once we think about that main/supporting photographs are typically extra developed, consequently, these photographs have extra display time and a better influence on the spectator. If we think about Terrorist as a subcategory of Enemy, we will conclude that 60% of the foremost/supporting male photographs are antagonistic. Sheikh is the least-frequently occurring class (alongside Subservient) of all male photographs thought of on this evaluation.   

Though far fewer in quantity, it’s essential to analyse the frequency of incidence of feminine stereotyped photographs. Determine 6.2 reveals that Subservient is the biggest stereotype class. Versus probably the most often occurring male photographs, this consequence implies that feminine MENA photographs are poor, in want and lesser than the protagonist(s). However, it should be recognised that the overwhelming majority of feminine photographs fall into the Different class, maybe indicating that there happens much less stereotyping of the feminine picture of MENA. While these male photographs that come beneath Different are largely professions, Different feminine photographs nearly totally encompass relations and lovers. The feminine picture of MENA, then, is to not be discovered within the office however fairly underpins MENA girls´s household function.

There are solely seven occurrences of main/supporting feminine photographs – in comparison with 32 occurrences of main/supporting male photographs – and it’s price noting that almost all (57%) are Maiden. These photographs are sometimes eroticised and are portrayed by a number of actresses, thereby eradicating the individuality of the MENA feminine picture. Moreover, given the connotations of slavery which are sometimes current, company can also be revoked. There’s one instance of Enchantress within the eight-year interval, implicit of a better diploma of company, nevertheless you will need to bear in mind that this instance can also be held prisoner throughout the entirety of the movie. There are not any feminine terrorists amongst feminine photographs, nor are there any occurrences of Oppressed, contradicting the findings of Shaheen (2003).

Consciously or subconsciously, movie producers divide female and male photographs into two distinct teams. On the one hand, the extra often occurring male picture of MENA is overwhelmingly one among terrorism and antagonistic violence. However, the obvious feminine picture of MENA is that of a gaggle of eroticised youths, whereas the extra delicate picture pivots on a household function.

6.2 Gender and Language Selection

Determine 6.5 reveals the language varieties spoken by male MENA photographs. The time period “multilingualism” refers particularly to using two or extra language varieties. Sheikh is the one picture to make use of multilingualism within the majority of photographs. This might maybe point out a better degree of training, which would appear logical given the connotation of wealth hooked up to this stereotype.

Shaheen (1984, 2003), describe the “sheikh” stereotype as “lecherous” and “grasping”, typically related to the kidnap and abuse of Western girl. Nonetheless, solely two extremely stereotypical examples could be noticed of a complete of ten Sheikh photographs in complete. Firstly, the character of Prince Hapi (Arnold Schwarzenegger) in Across the World in 80 Days (2004). When a gaggle of travellers arrives in Istanbul, Prince Hapi informs them that their feminine companion, Monique (Cécile de France), should stay in Istanbul to develop into “Spouse quantity seven”. Secondly, Prince Habeeboo (Rob Schneider) in Click on (2006) who asks an architectural agency to design a “bikini scorching restaurant”. This scene depicts him as a shallow, rich Arab who’s drawn to Western girls. Whereas Schwarzenegger makes use of his personal Austrian accent, Schneider imitates an Arabic accent for the function and his voice develop into high-pitched as he feigns outrage, each including a way of ridiculousness to the scenes. Voice assist to assemble these caricatures who’re to not be feared as villains, however fairly ridiculed by the viewer as comical and eccentric minor threats to the protagonist. Regardless of these two caricatures, the remaining eight Sheikh photographs that characteristic in three movies don’t have lecherous connotations; six photographs use Arabic and a wide range of English and the remaining two use Arabic solely, making them appear extra “reasonable” than the aforementioned caricatures. The Sheikh picture, then, just isn’t often occurring and has largely moved away from the stereotypical depictions described by Shaheen (1984, 2003).

 Terrorist makes use of the entire non-native language varieties and not one of the native varieties, depicting them as totally overseas. This picture makes use of most Arabic language of all of the stereotypes (not together with Different). Enemy, alternatively, makes use of no Arabic in any respect, while providing examples of three native English varieties (together with African American Vernacular English or AAVE). Additional, it makes use of the best quantity of silence, adopted by Subservient and Different at a distance. Silence is significant and communicative (Ephratt 2007). We deduce from these classes that silence has two precept meanings: firstly, within the case of Enemy, silence may indicate menace and hazard, secondly, within the case of Subservient, silence may indicate submission or respect.

Within the case of the linguistic expression of feminine MENA photographs, Arabic is hardly used throughout all classes. If we evaluate Maiden with Sheikh, provided that these two photographs typically seem collectively, silence is salient in Maiden while not current in Sheikh. Once more, this kind of silence is probably going implicit of submission. 

6.3 Motivation and Language Selection

Right here we focus on the motivation and actions of a given picture in relation to these of the protagonist. Therefore, constructive motivation signifies alignment with the protagonist, detrimental motivation signifies opposition to the protagonist(s), and blended motivation signifies unclear or altering motivation and actions. The spectator is often aligned with the protagonist – who’s a white, English-speaking male in 28 of the 29 movies studied – and is subsequently led to understand characters in the identical manner because the protagonist(s).  

In Determine 6.7, on the one hand, we see probably the most frequent male stereotypes, Enemy and Terrorist, have nearly totally detrimental motivation. However, typical feminine stereotypes Maiden and Enchantress are blended. Apparently, Subservient and, to a lesser extent, Different photographs even have blended motivation, implying that whereas they don’t pose a direct menace to the protagonist(s), they’re untrustworthy. Sheikh additionally presents all three lessons of motivation, subsequently, the motivation offered by this picture is unclear, not essentially detrimental. 

General, constructive motivation is the least often occurring, implying that the majority MENA photographs have intentions that battle with these of the protagonist(s). Even blended motivation, while indirectly detrimental, tasks untrustworthiness onto the MENA picture.

Determine 6.8 reveals motivation in comparison with language selection. The findings are organised in such a manner as to point out rising divergence of language from Customary American English (MUSE) from left to proper. The findings present that MUSE or different types of native English are used little or no no matter motivation, as is the case of “different languages”. FA English and multilingualism are used most often.  

Unique use of the Arabic language (i.e. not together with another language) is most frequent in photographs with blended motivation. This means a doable hyperlink between the notion of Arabic-speakers as untrustworthy, although additional analysis is required to confirm this speculation.  

Curiously, most photographs with constructive motivation use two or extra language varieties (multilingualism). Probably the most frequent mixture is Arabic and a wide range of English, although quite a few combos are noticed. Conversely, there’s additionally a excessive frequency of multilingualism in detrimental and blended motivation, leading to a far better general complete of detrimental and blended motivation photographs that use multilingualism.

Whereas multilingualism is employed throughout all motivation varieties, the only real use of FA English is favoured for detrimental and blended motivation. Once more, additional analysis is required to clarify this phenomenon. Equally, silence is used far more often by these with detrimental motivation. As could be seen in Determine 6.5, silence is most frequent within the Enemy and Subservient stereotypes. We deduce from this that silence has two precept meanings: firstly, within the case of Enemy, silence may indicate menace and hazard, secondly, within the case of Subservient, silence may indicate submission or respect.

6.3.1 Optimistic Motivation

Determine 6.9 reveals the connection between stereotype and language in constructive motivation photographs. Right here, you will need to observe that almost all of constructive motivation photographs don’t fall into the stereotypical classes established, however fairly depend as Different photographs. Inside constructive motivation Different, native types of English are used most often, thereby decreasing the perceived distance between the American spectator and the onscreen picture. Within the three stereotypical classes to characteristic with constructive motivations, Subservient, Maiden and Sheikh, each multilingualism and silence are predominant. Right here, using silence may indicate a scarcity of significance and depth given to those photographs.

6.3.2 Unfavorable Motivation

Determine 6.10 reveals in additional element the detrimental motivation photographs by stereotype and language selection. The biggest grouping is Enemy inside which silence is used greater than another language sort, probably giving the impression of menace or a scarcity of deep thought and reflection. Native English varieties are additionally used, not like within the second largest grouping, Terrorist. Language is thus used as a overseas marker within the case of Terrorist. Considerably, no Different MENA photographs characteristic in detrimental motivation, that means that 100% of detrimental motivation photographs are stereotypes.

6.3.3 Blended Motivation

Probably the most frequent picture offered with blended motivation is Subservient. Right here silence is used as an indicator of decrease standing, however there are additionally a variety of sorts from MUSE to Arabic. The Different class additionally carries weight in blended motivation, drawing the spectator´s consideration away from the virtually totally detrimental most often occurring stereotyped photographs. 

In abstract, constructive motivation photographs are principally Different, as are a big a part of blended motivation. Different don’t make use of silence, fairly are assigned a variety of language varieties. These outcomes point out that as we transfer away from stereotyping, that’s to say, diversify MENA picture varieties, motivation turns into drastically extra constructive. That is important to notice as motivation straight impacts the viewers’ notion of a picture.   

6.4 Multilingualism

In accordance with Determine 6.12, general, the most typical language mixture is FA English and Arabic. That is unsurprising as Arabic is an official language of nearly all of MENA nations with notable exceptions equivalent to Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Turkey. 

Virtually all photographs use foreign-accented English together with one other language, although Sheikh consists of examples of RP (the number of English historically related to villains) and 10% of Terrorist use MUSE. Using MUSE English is maybe an outline of Arab-Individuals, a delicate manner by which to vilify them in the identical manner because the overseas MENA picture. Terrorist is probably the most various class by way of language combos. 5 languages are utilized in mixture with English and there are additionally occurrences of codeswitching between Urdu and Arabic. “Terrorist”, then, serves as a generic label relevant to a variety of MENA language communities.

By way of Enemy, the overseas language most often utilized in mixture with English is fictional (i.e. invented for the needs of the movie). This means inventive license; ergo non-terrorist enemy depictions are usually not thought of as “actual” as Terrorist photographs. In an analogous vein, a big share of Maiden additionally use a fictional language. Maiden represent extra legendary or historic photographs, not the terrorists and businessmen (oil Arabs) that seem within the information media.

Apparently, in Subservient, solely two combos are noticed, FA English with Arabic and with Farsi (official language of Iran and Afghanistan). Of those, FA English with Farsi is probably the most often occurring mixture. This reveals {that a} minimal distinction is drawn between Iran and the Arabic nations of the MENA area, they aren’t offered as one homogeneous entity. Conversely, Different presents itself as nearly solely hooked up to FA English and Arabic, indicating maybe that Arabic audio system have extra company than Farsi audio system in Hollywood movie.

7. Conclusion

This analysis aimed to disclose the connection between linguistic expression and MENA stereotypes in Hollywood cinematic productions between 2001 and 2008 primarily based on a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of MENA representations that characteristic within the 100 highest-grossing movies launched within the US annually.  

It may be concluded that stereotyped photographs of the MENA area are often (re)produced all through the eight-year interval studied right here. The overwhelming majority of the 126 photographs fall into the stereotype class Enemy and subcategory Terrorist. These photographs are nearly solely male, and are in opposition to the protagonist and, by extension, the spectator. The outcomes point out that foreign-accented English and multilingualism had been used most often by photographs with detrimental motivation, adopted by silence. On the one hand, Terrorist photographs use voice as a overseas marker: FA English, a number of overseas languages, and, sometimes, MUSE together with one other language. However, Enemy makes use of a wider vary of language varieties, together with fictional languages, thereby providing a much less reasonable depiction of the area. Moreover, Enemy makes use of a big diploma of silence to indicate menace and render these photographs much less “human”, permitting for much less depth of character and subsequently emotional reference to the spectator. This means a pattern in Hollywood movies produced throughout the chosen timeframe to distance the spectator from male MENA photographs with foreign-accented English and those that use two languages.

Conversely, feminine photographs are far fewer and are depicted nearly solely as eroticised youths, lovers and moms. These photographs are assigned a better diploma of silence, much less overseas languages and, when multilingualism is employed, the photographs swap between a wide range of English and a fictional language. Right here, feminine photographs don’t pose a menace as is the case of their male counterparts, fairly silence reinforces the connotation of subordination and fictional language alludes to fantasy and eroticism.

Relating to motivation, the entire detrimental motivation photographs are stereotypes, not one is assessed as Different. These stereotyped MENA photographs, then, are predominantly against the protagonist and, by extension, the spectator. On this manner, the spectator is constantly positioned as a morally superior rival to the MENA picture. It’s important to notice that almost all of constructive motivation photographs are usually not stereotypes, fairly are categorised as Different. Different can also be probably the most linguistically various of all classes. This discovering implies that non-stereotyped MENA photographs provide a extra constructive and various portrayal of the area.

Provided that the subject of MENA stereotypes in media has been addressed on quite a few events utilizing crucial discourse evaluation on small choices of movies, the researcher selected this method to determine tendencies and correlation between linguistic expression and MENA picture classes on a macroscale so as to give a whole overview of linguistic-stereotype relationship throughout the 2001-2008 interval. Lippi-Inexperienced´s (1997) methodology proved efficient in its potential to focus on a number of tendencies from one set of knowledge. This research additionally revealed an sudden perception into the shift within the frequency and traits of stereotypical photographs, concluding that Shaheen´s (2003) “sheikh” stereotype has developed significantly, and “burqa-clad prop” and “enchantress” (Yousman 2007) have all however disappeared. 

This analysis clearly illustrates the generalised relationship between language selection, motivation and stereotype, but in addition raises the query of the quite a few photographs that fall into the Different class. Additional analysis is required to find out to what extent different discriminatory practices, equivalent to tokenism, are employed and the way voice is used to contribute to their building. Moreover, additional analysis into the doable exportation and propagation of stereotyped photographs by the interpretation of the linguistic options hooked up to those photographs (each subtitles and dubbing) is required.

Figures and Tables

Desk 5.1 MENA Stereotypes

Desk 5.2 Listing of Movies Chosen, Yr Launched and Rating

Yr Launched Title Rank Yr Launched Title Rank
2001 The Mummy Returns 6 2006 300 6
2001 Black Hawk Down 18 2006 Click on 14
2002 The Scorpion King 29 2006 Borat 17
2004 Hidalgo 41 2006 World Commerce Heart 37
2004 The Manchurian Candidate 44 2006 Babel 91
2004 Chronicles of Riddick 54 2006 United 93 94
2004 Alexander 80 2007 Charlie Wilson´s Struggle 40
2004 Group America 83 2007 The Kingdom 58
2004 Across the World in 80 Days 94 2007 Shooter 59
2005 Jarhead 40 2008 Iron Man 2
2005 Syriana 55 2008 You Don´t Mess with The Zohan 30
2005 Munich 61 2008 Vantage Level 44
2005 The Kingdom of Heaven 62 2008 Physique of Lies 72
2006 The Da Vinci Code 5 2008 Meet The Spartans 74
      2008 Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay 75
Data supply: https://www.imdb.com/

Determine 6.1 Male Pictures by Stereotype

Determine 6.2 Main/Supporting Male Pictures by Stereotype

Determine 6.3 Feminine Pictures by Stereotype

Determine 6.4 Main/Supporting Feminine Pictures by Stereotype

Determine 6.5 Male Pictures by Stereotype and Language Selection

Determine 6.6 Feminine Pictures by Stereotype and Language Selection

Determine 6.7 Pictures by Motivation and Stereotype

Determine 6.8 Pictures by Motivation and Language Selection 

Determine 6.9 Optimistic Motivation Pictures by Stereotype and Language Selection

Determine 6.10 Unfavorable Motivation Pictures by Stereotype and Language Selection

Determine 6.11 Blended Motivation Pictures by Stereotype and Language Selection

Determine 6.12 Pictures That Use Multilingualism by Language Mixtures (%)


Appendices (download here, pdf)


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