A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Images of Iranians in Western Movies: The Case of Iranium

Mohammad Reza Amirian, Ali Rahimi, Gholamreza Sami


The significant role of the media, in general, and the movies, in particular, in disseminating information and creating images of the real life by use of the language as a powerful social tool is totally irrefutable. Although critical analysis of the movie discourse is a fashionable trend among the critical discourse analysts, there is a paucity of research on movie discourse in Iran. Besides, the increasing number of the anti-Iranian movies produced in the last decade and the growing tendency among the English students to watch American movies, have established the need for conducting a research to investigate the images of Iranians represented in the Western movies. Thus, in this article an anti-Iranian movie called Iranium, allegedly labeled as documentary, has been critically analyzed using Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). For this purpose, Van Dijk’s framework (2004) has been utilized to uncover the ideological manipulations and misrepresentations of this movie. The analysis revealed that the dichotomy of in-group favoritism vs. out-group derogation is a very effective discursive strategy at the disposal of the movie makers who have used language as a weapon to attack Iran by representing a distorted and unrealistic image of the Iranians’ history, culture and ideologies. The findings of the present study imply that adopting a critical discourse analysis perspective in the EFL classes is a necessity which needs the development of the required materials, by the curriculum developers, that raise the students’ critical awareness as well as their language skills and proficiency.



Critical Discourse Analysis, Discursive Structures, Derogation, Euphemization, Hegemony, Ideology, Manipulation, Power

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/ijalel.v.1n.5p.1


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