Orienting terrorism: representations of terrorism in 'the West'

Thumbnail Image
Mulvenna, Charles
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Since the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, a vast discourse on contemporary terrorism has emerged within 'Western' media. This thesis analyzes the discourse of contemporary terrorism, and highlights how the postcolonialist critique of Orientalism pioneered by Edward Said is still relevant within the discourse. This is accomplished by analyzing books that have been published post-9/11 and which have been reviewed in the journal Foreign Affairs. A primary goal of this thesis is to facilitate the de-reification of the socially constructed concepts of both 'the East' and 'the West' which currently dominate representations within the discourse, as well as to highlight some of the key features of the discursive field on contemporary terrorism. The binary representation and stereotyping within the contemporary discourse provides a one-dimensional representation of the issue of terrorism, and by questioning the conformity of these representations we can critically examine one of the most important social issues within our society.
terrorism, sociology, media, discourse analysis, orientalism, neo-orientalism, the west, the east, discursive field, discourse, representations, terrorists