Ahmad, Saleh (2020) A Critical Stylistic Analysis into the Representation of Muslims on YouTube after the Manchester Arena Bombings. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

In the West, when it comes to the representation of Muslims, it has been traditional media outlets that have had the power to dictate what representations of Muslims are broadcast to the general public. Researchers have consistently shown that the media’s representations have primarily been negative, and this has cultivated negative ideologies within the general public towards Muslims (Falah, 2005; Jacobson et al., 2012; Said, 1981; Schneider, 2011). However, since the 2010s, social media has started to draw the attention of the public away from traditional media." These rapidly growing platforms provide the user with a greater diversity of choice and a greater diversity of perspectives. It was this user autonomy that gave these platforms the potential to give Muslims a fairer representation. Using this idea as a starting point, I designed a research project that would look at how Muslims were being represented on social media and what kind of ideologies were being disseminated to the audiences. Using the Critical Stylistics framework, I analysed the representation of Muslims after a major incident, by both influential content creators and their audiences. My research was predicated on answering three key questions: 1. Was there a range of ideologies being represented on social media? My research found the answer to be in the affirmative. 2. Did social media’s representation of Muslims differ from that of traditional media? The answer was primarily, yes, but this had its positives as well as its negatives. 3. How influential were those who had the power to represent in filtering their ideologies down to an audience? My research found some associations between the content creator’s ideologies and the audiences’ ideologies, the main one being that the attitude of the audience tends to be more extreme than the content creator they watch. My research was conducted in an area where there is a dearth of research. It has uncovered more questions than it has answered, and these questions require further research so we can develop further our understanding of these critical issues.

FINAL THESIS - Ahmad, Saleh.pdf - Accepted Version
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