Representation of the Youth's Motives in Attending Iraqi Imposed War: a Discourse Analysis of the Movie Ekhrajiha (Outcasts)



Received: 18/10/2016

Accepted: 7/01/2017

Extended Abstract

Introduction and statement of the problem: Here we consider the imposed war on Islamic Republic of Iran by the former Iraqi regime as the most important social events in the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The event has affected great number of national issues including communication and cultural issues. One of the most important issues in recent three decades is to understand, explain, and to interpret the motivation of the youth׳s attendance at eight years of the Holy Defense. “Cinema” is accounted as one of the most important areas of representing the great cultural and social event. The emphasis on representation of the youth׳s motivation in attendance at Holy Defense indicates the artists׳ views towards the fighters as well as values of the Holy Defense in different periods. The main purpose of the research is representation of motivation of the youth׳s attendance at the Holy Defense through the film of The Ekhrajiha (Outcasts).

Theoretical background: Stewart Hall refers to the concept of "Representation" as a key concept in Media studies (Ameli & Merali, 2007). Hall believes, Representation is a kind of double systems process that produces meaning. He argues: "The relation between things, concepts and symbols is the core of meaning production in language. The process which relates these triple elements together is representation" (Hall, 1997). Discourse Analysis is a method for studding the creation of meaning and message from language units in relation with intralingual and extralingual factors. Actually, Discourse Analysis is the way to discover the discursive meaning. From this type of view, Discourse Analysis is to discover the obvious and hidden meanings of discursive flows, which is appeared in different forms of language and meta-language. Then, the Discourse Analysis in the media studies is focused on how the texts are encoded and decoded (Watson & Hill, 2012). Media content is open to the multiple interpretations of audiences due to its polysemy characteristic. The Agenda Setting view is a process in which, mass media transfer the relative importance of different issues to the audience. The idea and the concept of agenda setting are resulted from the different researches about the impacts of the contents of media messages on audiences' mental imagery. Actually, with broadcasting news and information, news media set the issues and problems for people to note and think about them, from this point of view (Scheufele & Tewksbury, 2007; McCombs, 2004). The Framing Theory also has been noted as the next level of Agenda Setting. In Communication field of study, it was Gitlin (1997 & 1980) and Tuchman (1978) who firstly used the Framing concept (Ruigrok & Atteveldt, 2007). Here, framing means to highlight some aspects of an issue in different ways for changing the people's thoughts about the issue (Chong & Druckman, 2007; Entman, 1993).

Methodology: We used discourse Analysis as the selected method for reaching the research purpose. Discourse Analysis is one of the most practical methods used by researchers; however, the study has used the approach of PDAM in this. This approach has five analytical levels: 1. Surface-Surface; 2. Depth-Surface; 3. Surface-Depth; 4. Deep and 5. Deeper. The first level, "perceiving from the text", tries to discover the words and sentences with special meanings along with the research purposes within the text. The second level is "the text orientations". Here, more than considering the meanings of a sentence with studding its different words, explicit and implicit meanings, its different orientations toward the different issues related to the research purposes also being noted. Moreover, the text orientations are also being studied in this level. But in the third level, "the exploratory analyses according to the other orientations of the text", the researcher seeks the meaning related to the present context or the contexts of the text creation. The forth level also tries to bridge the text, context and the related hypertext in order to clarify the meanings imbedded within the text. Next and the last level is the deeper one in which, text, intertextuality, imbedded meanings in the text are simultaneously being considered, and the final analysis is presented.

Results and discussion: According to the Method, several tables were drawn for all four levels of the discourse analysis of the movie “Ekhrajiha” (means hired men). Focusing on the four methodological levels, the represented motivations have been extracted. According to the findings, martyrdom, status and credits, love, entertainment, ostentation, recompensing the failures, obedience, friendship and affiliation, divine inspiration and true love, wealth, doing divine duties, protecting the state and its citizens, guiding and reformation, dedication and sacrificing, and fighting against oppression and arrogance are all the motivations represented within the movie.

Conclusion: The fifteen explained motivations could be categorized within three main discourses: the values-oriented discourse, the national discourse and the selfish discourse. The values-oriented discourse is represented within two different groups in the movie: a group that has been criticized and negatively shown during the film and the other one, which has been propagandistically praised. However, about the selfish discourse, although it has not been criticized frankly, it also never has been imaged as a praiseworthy discourse within the movie.

Prominent result: The last discourse in Ekhrajiha movie, “the national discourse”, has been shown as a common and unifying principle and has been accepted by the two other discourses. In fact, the national discourse created a common context for all three discourses to interact and cordially understand each other. This discourse has propagandistically and praiseworthy been imaged in the movie and can be recognized as the dominant discourse. It is also this discourse which covers the hero character.