Who are these 'refugees'?


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Publication 1-year master student thesis
Title Who are these 'refugees'?
Author thor Straten, Jonas Emil
Date 2016
English abstract
Abstract This study aims at investigating how refugees are discursively represented in twelve articles written by the Danish online newspaper 'Den Korte Avis'. The main question aimed at answering being “Which power relations are established discursively by how refugees are positioned, represented and potentially subjected to stereotypical representations through discourses in the articles and what are the potential consequences of these representations?” The research applies a social constructivist approach to answer the main question and the research questions. The study has been conducted using Norman Fairclough's three-dimensional framework for critical discourse analysis (CDA), which has provided theory and methods for critically analysing media texts. Beyond that, Stuart Hall’s perception of representation has been used to provide the research with a clear theoretical background for understanding how representations work, both in production and consumption. Moreover, Hall’s paper “The Spectacle of ‘the other’” has been used to dig deeper into the representation of other cultures or minority groups of society. Within this, Hall's notions on stereotyping through representations have been used in analysis of the news articles. The research found four predominant discourses about refugees, which all exclusively represented them negatively. In the articles, refugees are represented as a cultural or terror threat, an economic burden and as migrants. Within these discourses, refugees are often subjected to stereotypical representations. Similar for all four discourses was the fact that they drew on an understanding of Denmark being under threat from the refugees and the asylum influx, and that border control would be a way of countering this threat. It is, thereof, concluded that 'Den Korte Avis' carry a nationalist bias in their articles. It is, moreover, concluded that 'Den Korte Avis', in their coverage of refugees, reproduce unequal power relations between the Danes and the refugees, as a clear scenario of 'us versus them' is established frequently, wherein refugees are positioned as not being able to fit into Danish society because they are 'too different'. Thereby, a cultural hegemony is also established in the articles. It is argued in this thesis that the mainly negative representations of refugees in the news media, could have consequences both culturally/societally and politically, some of which we may be seeing already.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Kultur och samhälle
Pages 52
Language eng (iso)
Subject refugees
asylum seekers
media analysis
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/21561 Permalink to this page

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