International Journal of

Arts , Humanities & Social Science

ISSN 2693-2547 (Print) , ISSN 2693-2555 (Online)
Identity stereotypes (on Islam and Muslims) in French media discourse: Between reality and illusion

Abstract

 

In a climate marked by economic insecurity, health emergencies, identity crisis, wars of all kinds, the relationship to the other in the media discourse has never been so fragile. A lot of stereotypes arise from this.

Long before the Crusades, it acquired a new meaning and a new name each time. Words, like loaded guns" and their uses, contribute to a reading beyond information as such. "To name things baldly is to bring more misfortune of the world" (Albert Camus). This way, wordplay can be judgmental rather than neutral in the political discourse conveyed by the media on a daily basis. According to Charaudeau (2013): "Any given Muslim has become the new scapegoat of populist discourse. Moreover, a headline in 'Le Monde' emphasizes that "Le musulman a remplacé l'immigré dans le discours de Marine Le Pen" (The Muslim has replaced the immigrant in Marine Le Pen's discourse).

It is in this context that this article proposes a descriptive and semiotic analysis of the identity stereotypes relayed by the French media, based on a corpus drawn from French press titles. However, stereotypes in political discourse lead us to shed light on language issues - here, we are interested in the antagonisms to the connotations and denotations of Islam and Muslims, as reported by the media, within a debate on the construction of a pictorial identity, which places it in a diachronic rather than a synchronic framework. At the end of this analysis, the results will be discussed.