n Communicare : Journal for Communication Sciences in Southern Africa - Bush versus Bin Laden in : reflections on the binary opposition(s) : research article

Volume 22, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-0069



This article is based on qualitative research, which structurally analyses commentary on the September 11 (2001) attacks on America and the divide between the American administration and the Al-Qaeda network (personified respectively by President George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden) in Africa editions of <I>Time</I> magazine for a period of six months following the September 11 (2001) carnage in the United States. The structural analysis focuses on the identification of the binary oppositions at play, uncovering the cultural code predominant at <I>Time</I> through its viewpoint and essay columns. It was found that the cultural code translates into : the United States and the Western World are the beacons of democracy and freedom, while Islam (more specifically Muslim fundamentalists) represents authoritarianism, repression and bondage. It appears that Time in its commentary role in the aftermath of the attacks was an able and willing partner of the United States administration in predominantly naming the world along American lines, and attempting through words to impose the named world on adversaries.

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