Bringing in New Voices: Non-English Linguistic Corpora and Critical Terrorism Studies

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This chapter explores the value of non-English corpora for Critical Terrorism Studies (CTS), focusing on France. It first considers the importance of language in CTS. Using examples from the French authorities’ terrorism and anti-terrorism discourse as well as media representations of French jihadis, it will illustrate how language is never neutral but serves to construct a specific reality made to look obvious when it is contingent and ideological. It then analyses the importance and pitfalls of including non-English corpora, using four linguistic frames drawn from the French context. By exploring the difficulties in translating them, it demonstrates how context dependency is crucial in the production of the terrorism discourse and how scrutinising where it comes from is key to understanding the meanings attached to terrorism. This chapter concludes with a discussion on the positionality of CTS researchers studying non-English corpora. It explores the insider versus outsider status debate in cross-cultural research and discusses the advantages and pitfalls researchers face when studying their native context while living in and being influenced by a different cultural context.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethodologies in Critical Terrorism Studies
Subtitle of host publicationGaps and Interdisciplinary Perspectives
EditorsAlice E. Finden, Carlos Yebra López, Tarela Ike, Ugo Gaudino, Samwel Oando
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781003383963
ISBN (Print)9781032469560, 9781032469561
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2024

Publication series

NameRoutledge Critical Terrorism Studies

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