AN AMAZON FOR KOBANE? A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE MEDIA DISCOURSE ON REHANA, A FEMALE FIGHTER AGAINST THE ISLAMIC STATE
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This paper analyzes the online media representation of Rehana, a female fighter against the Islamic State. By using different theoretical lenses, such as critical discourse analysis and semiotic analysis, Rehana‘s portrayal in 28 online articles is deconstructed. Romanticized myths of female fighters have many times been a feature of (media) narratives on war. However, scholars argue that female fighters have continuously been framed in narratives which conform to gender stereotypes instead of challenging those. The same can be observed in this discourse: Rehana is described as an angel and a glorified counter-player to ruthless Islamic State fighters. Rehana herself however has no voice in this discourse and her individual story and agency is undermined.
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