MAKING SENSE OF LANGUAGE OF PEACE: THE CASE OF IRAQI POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS’ NARRATIVES

Ali Salah, Minah Harun

Abstract


This paper discusses the language of peace by making sense of the Iraqi students’ narratives on their experience in their country. It explores how the people who experience war situations talk about their desires of having peace. The paper argues that positive discourse can be strategically engineered to empower people to use language that promotes peace and harmony in daily communication in particular when conflict situations exist. By listening to the laymen discourse, we can observe how language users construct peace through their selection of language. For this purpose, eight Iraqi students from a public university in Malaysia participated in the study based on a purposive sampling. The following criteria were employed: (i) They have experienced war situations in Iraq; (ii) They come from various regions; and (iii) They are able to articulate their experience freely given the maturity of their age. Data were collected through the pilot study comprising focus group discussion and in-depth interviews, and analysed using the thematic content approach. The results reveal the varied ways the participants’ use language to frame their feelings and perspectives of the notion of peace and factors that hinder peace situations. The paper also provides several implications and recommendations for future studies on peace language.

 

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language of peace, narratives, discourse, focus group discussion, in-depth interviews, Iraq

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References


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