Ideologically-based Polarisation and Racism in Discourse

  • Dalia M Hamed Department of Foreign Languages (English), Faculty of Education - Tanta University
Keywords: Ideology; Racism; Polarization; Critical Discourse Analysis


“The privileged” against “the others”, “Us” against “Them”, “the Top” against “the Bottom” and “the Citizen” against “the Refugee/Immigrant”- are all ideologically-based discourses that classify human beings. The present study, being discourse analytical, aims to shed light on some discourses of polarization that are ideologically based and detect examples of such discourses in various fields as politics, science, sport and education. Methodological framework is based on Van Dijk’s models of ideological discourse analysis (2006a, 2006b &2007). Accordingly, a critical analysis of these discourses is applied in order to decode the meaning that lies deep within them, a meaning that reveals the deeply-rooted ideology that makes some believe that they deserve to be “the privileged” while other people are “the others” that are not privileged. Van Dijk’s model of ingroup-outgroup polarization (Emphasizing Our good things and Their bad things; Mitigating Our bad things and their good things) stands as a comprehensive/abstract standard that is to be detected in the data of this study. The paper concludes that the critical analysis of discourse has shown polarization/racism to be widespread in different fields of life. It calls for making changes in the way people think and conceive of “the others”- a first step towards a better socio-political atmosphere.