Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 14. Number 2 June 2023                                             Pp.221-235

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The Construction of Racism in Cartoon Films: A Critical Discourse Analysis

  Noor Audah Kadhim
Department of English, College of Education for Women
University of Baghdad, Iraq
Corresponding Author

Nawal Fadhil Abbas
Department of English, College of Education for Women
University of Baghdad, Iraq


 Received:03/12/2023         Accepted:05/24/2023                 Published:06/24/2023


Animation is an industry that is expanding more quickly than ever. Every child’s favorite activity is watching cartoons. Therefore, it is essential  to be cautious of the kinds of cartoon films children and teenagers tend. Because children and teenagers are the target audience for these films. This study aims at exposing a hidden enactment, namely racism, in a well-known cartoon film, Lion King, which has been selected accurately by the researchers because it shapes a set of ideas about black people and constructs prejudiced beliefs in their minds. This study is to answer the inquiry ‘Is the ideology of racism imposed in Lion King? And how?’ The significance of the present paper lies in highlighting the educational function of cartoon films so parents and caregivers become more aware. In addition, this study is crucial for researchers in the critical discourse analysis approach in the sense of how van Dijk’s (2000) model can be applied to children’s literature. The ideology of racism is investigated in the language of the film’s characters. The researchers have concluded that the ideology of racism is promoted in Lion King using various linguistic tools and strategies.
Keywords: Critical discourse analysis, cognition, construction, ideology, Lion King, micro and macro levels, racism

Cite as:  Kadhim, N. A., & Abbas, N.F. (2023). The Construction of Racism in Cartoon Films: A Critical Discourse Analysis. Arab World English Journal, 14 (2) 221-235.


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Received: 03/12/2023
Accepted: 05/24/2023 
Published: 06/24/2023  

Noor Audah Kadhim is an M.A. candidate in the Department of English, University of Baghdad, College of Education for Women. Her major is Linguistics,and she has an interest in several fields within linguistics, including Critical Discourse Analysis. ORCiD:

 Nawal Fadhil Abbas is a professor with a Ph.D. in English Language and Linguistics. She  teaches in the Department of English, University of Baghdad, College of Education for Women. Her research interests include Pragmatics, Stylistics, and Critical Discourse Analysis. ORCiD: