Arabism and Anti-Persian Sentiments on Participatory Web Platforms: A Social Media Critical Discourse Study

Majid KhosraviNik, Nadia Sarkhoh


The contention over the name Persian Gulf has created a rich discursive site to investigate the discursive construction of Persian national and Arabic supranational identities at the heart of the Middle East. Away from the common concentration of critical discourse studies on institutionally produced texts/content (e.g., mass media), the current critical discourse analysis study investigates bottom-up discursive practices on social media—namely, user-generated content on YouTube pages and commentaries on online news articles—to explore the construction of an imagined pan-Arabic identity versus its regional rival, the Persian identity. We argue that by emphasizing fault lines of language and religion, Arabism discourse substantially draws on historical regional power struggles within a contemporary frame of a political standoff between a Shiite Iran and a Sunni “Arab world.”




social media critical discourse studies, digital discourse, national identity, CDA, the Middle East, Arabism, Persian Gulf, Arabian Gulf

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