Power and Ideology in Reality TV: A Critical Contrastive Approach to English Cooking Competition TV Programs and their Arabic Replications


This case study is a cross-cultural qualitative investigation of the oral discourse of conflict scenes in two English cooking-competition TV programs and two of their Arabic replications broadcast between 2014-2015 in order to highlight the differences and similarities in the dynamics of power and the targeted ideologies for homogenization. Drawing from the field of critical discourse analysis, the analytical framework integrates the social theory of discourse with speech acts and face theories. Results show that the cross-cultural similarity is in promoting the capitalist dominant discourse and the ideology of competitiveness while the difference is in empowering the powerless, which is the primary ideological role of discourse in the Arabic replications. The results generate two hypotheses: first, the representations of power and ideologies transmitted through the replicated programs differ from those transmitted by the origin programs; second, the ideologies of the Arabic replications mirror the conditions and the demands of their societies at a specific point in the history of the region when these replications were broadcast. Empirical research is needed to explore the nature and measure the size of the ideological impact of these programs and the audience awareness of the transmitted ideologies.


Maha SalahEldien Mohamed Hamed


cooking programs, critical discourse analysis, ideology- power