“DELIVER AMAZING”: Qatar as a branded architectural discourse in World Cup 2022
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Qatar brands itself as a projected-in-the-future proud cosmopolitan and progressive country ready to host World Cup 2022. The branding practices, whereby this projection takes place, are the focus of Irene Theodoropoulou’s chapter, “‘Deliver amazing’: Qatar as a branded architectural discourse in World Cup 2022.” A corpus consisting of linguistic and semiotic data drawn from the Qatar-based Supreme Committee (SC) for Delivery and Legacy website, coupled with SC spokespersons’ comments, English-written newspaper, and journal arti- cles, as well as YouTube videos presenting these stadiums, are analyzed. A multi- modal discourse analysis of the architecture of its eight football stadiums, which are planned to host all matches (Al Rayyan stadium, Al Thumama stadium, Al Janoub stadium, Education City stadium, Khalifa International stadium, Lusail stadium, Ras Abu Aboud stadium, and Al Bayt stadium), shows that the stadiums’ architecture and discourses that have been shaped around them in mainstream and social media index both hathari (urban) and bedouin (nomadic) cultures, which in unison make up Qatari national identity. As such, they are argued to be branded as a symbol of national pride indexing values, such as perseverance, excellence, teamwork, and tradition. Such a symbolic activity is argued to mediate further and contribute to the construction of a positive international image for the country at the local, regional, and international levels. At the same time, such merging of sports and culture can be seen as positioning the fans and tourists that will arrive at Doha in 2022 as members of a “retro-elite,” namely as members of a cultured class that respects tradition. Through this discursive architecture, Qatar is argued to create new positive associations to improve its image at the world stage, which has been damaged through the unflattering portrayal of the country in (primarily the US and UK-based) media. At the same time, in the current context of its blockade from its neighboring countries, it also uses this World Cup 2022-related branded architectural culture to instill into its nationals a sense of pride and distinction from other Gulf-based nationals especially in the context of the ongoing blockade that has been imposed on Qatar by its neighboring countries.
- English Literature & Linguistics [82 items ]
- World Cup 2022 Research [102 items ]