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The discourse of liberalism in Saudi context: A diachronic corpus-assisted discourse study of the construction of 'alibraliah' in the Saudi press.

Alzahrani, Najwa 2018. The discourse of liberalism in Saudi context: A diachronic corpus-assisted discourse study of the construction of 'alibraliah' in the Saudi press. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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The broad aim of this study is to investigate the discourse of ‘alibrāliyah’ in the Saudi socio-political context. ‘alibrāliyah’, corresponding to liberalism in English, is a loanword to Arabic that started to be contested recently amongst opposing groups who attempt to charge it with their own ideological meaning. Due to the lack of studies that investigate the ideological battles between the groups in contesting movements in Saudi context, it is found significant to examine the recent movement of ‘alibrāliyah’ as identified by different groups, mainly conservatives and progressives, in their battle to gain or maintain hegemony. This thesis designs a framework for examining the diachronic construction of ‘alibrāliyah’ at macro and micro levels. It combines Corpus Linguistics methods with Discourse-Historical Approach (DHA) and Discourse Theory (DT). The thesis employed the developed model by examining the discourse of ‘alibrāliyah’ in a corpus of Saudi newspaper articles that discuses mainly the issue of ‘alibrāliyah’. The macro corpus analysis of 575 articles has revealed that ‘alibrāliyah’ is mainly associated with the discourse of religion and the discourse of human rights in which it shifts from being associated with the religious discourse to associating it with the discourse of freedom and human rights at the end of the period. The micro discourse analysis of a sample of texts shows in general that the construction of ‘alibrāliyah’ shifts from being secular and contradictory to Islam into being compatible to non-fundamental Islam in which ‘alibrāliyah’ can be adopted within Islam to guarantee the freedom of individuals. It is concluded that this shift in meaning represents the success of liberals to establish their identity and to have power in Saudi society. It is also concluded that the developed model for this thesis can help by intricately investigating the construction of ideological movements and the relation between the groups struggling for hegemony.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Submission
Status: Unpublished
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 1 February 2019
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2020 03:18

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