Publication type: Conference other
Type of review: Peer review (abstract)
Title: Evaluations of the Quran in right-wing populist media : metapragmatic sequence analyses with topic modeling
Authors: Dreesen, Philipp
Krasselt, Julia
et. al: No
Conference details: Digital Practices. Reading, Writing and Evaluation on the Web, Basel, 23.–25. November 2020
Issue Date: 25-Nov-2020
Language: English
Subjects: Islamophobia; Evaluation; Discourse analysis; Topic modeling
Subject (DDC): 200: Religion
401.4: Terminology, discourse analysis, pragmatics
Abstract: Ideological positions in political discourse are manifested in language use and evaluative and hermeneutical practices such as interpreting or explaining. One example are evaluative speech acts of both non-linguistic and linguistic objects. While participants of rational discourse can be assumed to make knowledge-based argumentative evaluations (Habermas 1981) – e.g. in the form of primary texts or commenting secondary texts (Bayard 2008) –, populist discourse is characterized by evaluations not grounded in knowledge. Particularly the Quran is used to articulate reasons for the fundamental otherness of people or terrorist acts. In the execution of evaluative and hermeneutical practices as well as in the meta-pragmatic discussion of them (Silverstein 1976), language ideological positions (Kroskrity 2006) become manifest, which in turn shape ideas about the ‘Arabic’ and also fake news. For policy making and the scientific study of islamophobia, it is essential to know the textual forms of these evaluations: How and where are Quran references used? What is quoted? Here, we present a topic modeling approach for the analysis of such evaluative speech acts by using data from right-wing populist online-magazines (PI News and Compact). In the Digital Humanities, topic modeling is a standard tool for quantitative analyses. In contrast to typical application scenarios, shorter textual units are chosen to perform topic analyses at sentence and paragraph level. This allows for a sequential analysis of topic “pathways” in texts in order to examine argumentative structures and their interconnection. We show that texts with “Quran”-topics have a very small spectrum of further topics (with a potentially larger range of topics occurring in the overall corpus), referring in particular to descriptions of violent scenarios initiated by Muslims. Quran references are thus used to discredit the scenarios of violence as following an ‘internal Islamic logic’. The Quran is used to articulate reasons for the fundamental otherness of people or terrorist acts in these contexts.
URI: https://digitalcollection.zhaw.ch/handle/11475/20932
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): Licence according to publishing contract
Departement: Applied Linguistics
Organisational Unit: Institute of Language Competence (ILC)
Appears in collections:Publikationen Angewandte Linguistik

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