Date of Award

Summer 8-19-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Lilia Monzó

Second Advisor

Penny Bryan

Third Advisor

Peter McLaren

Fourth Advisor

Dina Eletreby


By 2019, the Syrian civil war has lasted for nearly eight years and it has created the largest humanitarian crisis since WWII (Achlume, 2015). Using the siege of Aleppo in 2016 as a case study, the author applied a Marxist-humanist theoretical framework and incorporated arts-based research methodology to examine how US news media supports capitalist social relations. The research question for this study was: how do the US media depictions of the siege of Aleppo, Syria in 2016 reflect capitalist social relations? There were three sub-questions that followed: (1) Which elements of the siege of Aleppo in 2016 get the most attention in the specific outlets examined? In what ways do these depictions support the US government and/or corporate interests? (2) What are some of the ways in which Syrian refugees are depicted in the various outlets examined? How and in what ways is US humanitarian policy reflected? How are Syrian’s racialized through these depictions? and (3) How are corporate and government interests tied to these media outlets? This study used narrative inquiry, visual analysis, and critical discourse analysis as research methods to discover five major themes found in US news media’s reporting on the siege of Aleppo in 2016. The author then examined these five main themes through a Marxist-humanist lens to discover how the US news media, the supposed “gatekeeper” for the public, establishes, maintains, and reinforces an ideology that supported hegemony for the dominant class.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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