Investigating the Syrian “Other” in Donald J. Trump’s Twitter Campaign Rhetoric

Kazzaz, Mourhaf (2020) Investigating the Syrian “Other” in Donald J. Trump’s Twitter Campaign Rhetoric. Open Linguistics, 6 (1). pp. 601-610. ISSN 23009969

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This study investigates the discursive techniques and processes employed by Donald J. Trump to portray Syrian refugees as a negative out-group and threat in tweets during his 2016 election campaign. The article argues that this anti-immigration argument facilitated and materialized not only as a right-wing populist discourse but also as an actual policy as evidenced by the travel ban of 2017. The data are comprised of 32 tweets from Trump’s personal Twitter account between his first available commentary tweets on the Arab Spring situation in November 2011 and his inauguration in January 2017. The article employs the Ideological Square (van Dijk 1992, van Dijk 1995, van Dijk 2013) and proximization theory (Cap
2008, Cap 2010, Cap 2013) to study how Donald J. Trump employs an ideological “othering” of Syrian refugees and constructs threatening representations of them as a political agenda to set himself apart from competitors and advance his election campaign.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Critical Discourse Analysis | Proximization | “us vs them” | Ideological Square | Twitter | Donald J. | Trump | Syrian refugees
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > International Relations
JGU School/Centre: Jindal School of International Affairs
Depositing User: Amees Mohammad
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2021 05:41
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2022 11:58
Official URL:


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