Discriminatory and Racist Discourse in American TV Channels: The Image of Arab Immigrants

  • Nassier A. G. Al-Zubaidi University of Baghdad, Iraq
  • Aya F. Hassan University of Baghdad, Iraq


The present study examines critically the discursive representation of Arab immigrants in selected American news channels. To achieve the aim of this study, twenty news subtitles have been exacted from ABC and NBC channels. The selected news subtitles have been analyzed within van Dijk’s (2000) critical discourse analysis framework. Ten discourse categories have been examined to uncover the image of Arab immigrants in the American news channels. The image of Arab immigrants has been examined in terms of five ideological assumptions including "us vs. them", "ingroup vs. outgroup", "victims vs. agents", "positive self-presentation vs. negative other-presentation", and "threat vs. non-threat". Analysis of data reveals that Arab immigrants are portrayed negatively in the American channels under investigation and the televised discourse is greatly loaded with racist ideologies and perceptions towards Arab immigrants reflecting the standpoint of their owners. Finally, a number of conclusions and implications are presented.