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Ideology as Narrative

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The Mythic Discourse of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghrib

image of Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication

This article examines a corpus of extremist Islamist texts for the period from 2007 to 2012, including transcripts of audio and videos produced by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghrib (AQIM). Utilizing narrative analysis, we examine the way AQIM used mythic discourse to disseminate its ideology to audiences and to defend its actions and focus on the deployment of longstanding culturally-embedded ‘master narratives’ in fragmentary forms as sense-making devices. In the process, we argue that narrative analysis can provide insights into ideologies and organizations in the Middle East and North African region that may elude other analytical methods.

Affiliations: 1: Coastal Carolina University, SC, USA ; 2: George Mason University, VA, USA


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