Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Rolf Norgaard

Second Advisor

Barbara Fox

Third Advisor

Richard Olson

Abstract

Wars deeply affect every aspect of a country: the culture, the manners, the people and the education. However, nothing is more thoroughly immersed than language, the very basis for every modern society. Language is used as a tool in order to unite people, to flare conflict and to foster peace. During times of war, language is used as an essential tool to turn events into descriptive accounts and rhetorical opportunities, which in turn, evoke a predictable response from the audience.

The use of language in times of war is fundamental, but the process of framing the language is vital. In what follows, I will investigate certain persisting discursive patterns in their relation to reenacting conflict between Israel and the Gaza Strip. I will analyze the geopolitical and socio-cultural history of these discursive patterns to illuminate how language canonizes specific, and often detrimental, beliefs and practices into a culture, or a set of interconnected cultures. In the final part of this thesis, I will theorize the required language techniques needed in order to lay a foundation for peace-building discourse and the ultimate goal of peace between these two nations. Overall, I will explore the basic structure of Israeli Gazan discourse, namely the stories they tell.