Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Divine Mothers and Western Disbelievers: Constructions of the Self and Other in IS female-oriented propaganda discourse
Swedish National Defence College.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis explores the construction of the Self and Other in the official and semi-official female-oriented propaganda discourse of the extremist group that call itself Islamic State (IS). A deeper knowledge of the ways in which IS construct identities for women is vital to the understanding of how the group tries to control the discourse about women’s role in the so-called caliphate and uses it as a recruitment tool.

The propaganda is analysed from a discourse theoretical approach, building on the theory of Laclau and Mouffe, and is then discussed in the light of social identity theory (SIT). When examining propaganda directed to English and Arabic female target groups, eight ways in which IS has constructed the identities of women in its so-called caliphate was found. Within representations of the Self, five different identity constructions were found; The Righteous Muslim, The Wife of the Mujahid, The Divine Mother, The Noble Widow and The Part-Time Community Servant. When analysing representations of the Other, three different constructions were found; The Western Disbeliever, The Deceptive Muslim and The Jihadi Warrior. The latter is actually an in-group, since it refers to the male members of IS, but The Jihadi Warrior also function as an Other since the men of IS are everything that women are not.

The propaganda discourse of IS largely revolve around the notion of us and them, in-groups and out-groups, or as referred to in this thesis, the Self and Other. This is coherent with how SIT suggests that a shared sense of identity strengthens the bonds within a certain group at the same time as it is alienating relevant out-groups. In the female-oriented propaganda discourse of IS, the out-group Other is often used as a way of strengthening the Self. According to SIT, group members often tend to be prejudicial against the out-group and in the analysed propaganda, the out-group Other is constructed around notions of ignorance, tyranny and impurity while the Self appears as the exact opposite; righteous, pure and divine. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-6252OAI: diva2:947271
Subject / course
Statsvetenskap med inriktning mot krishantering och säkerhet (Master's programme in Politics and War)
Educational program
Master's programme in Politics and War
Available from: 2016-10-06 Created: 2016-07-07 Last updated: 2017-01-04Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

By organisation
Swedish National Defence College
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

Total: 25 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link