A Critical Analysis of the Dialectic Science-Religion Relationship in Popular Science Show Discourse

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In light of the advancing digital environment and the interest in boosting scientific content published on digital platforms, this paper seeks to define and critically analyze the discourse of popular science shows (henceforth, “PSS”). Considering the fact that religion serves as a major foundational component in the Arab social and cultural context, the research focuses on the dialectic issues between science and religion with a view to determining indicators of influential and ideological hegemonic practices by PSS content creators toward viewers. Analysis is applied against the lines of Fairclough’s Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) theory. Accordingly, this paper analyzes the three discourse dimensions adopted by the program Addaheeh (The Nerd) PSS episodes that addressed scientific issues with religious-scientific dialectics. Addaheeh is selected for being the YouTube PSS with the highest viewership and strongest influence (BBC 2019). The findings affirm that Addaheeh uses a language and discourse strategies that exercise epistemic authority on viewers; impose ideologies as manifested by several inferences, lines of reasoning and tendencies adopted by the content creator; and inculcate viewers with ideological line of Addaheeh. As per the findings, Addaheeh proceeds with a biased approach, adopting a given perspective toward religiously controversial and scientifically unsettled issues.

Original languageEnglish
JournalArab Media and Society
Issue number28
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • pop science
  • YouTube
  • critical discourse analysis
  • religion
  • science media
  • science show
  • science content
  • science journalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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