From orphans to offenders.The framing of unaccompanied minors in Swedish media 2014-2016

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: This study tracks the use of the term “ensamkommande” (unaccompanied minors) in five major Swedish newspapers news/reportive articles over the months July 2014 to June 2016, using quantitative content analysis in order to detect shifts in the media frame preferences. The results are set in a context where examples of the recurring article frames are studied, using media framing theory, studying different categories of frames, traits, subject roles and indicators of changing sentiment. The changes are defined in phases, using Robert Downs attention issue stage scheme (1972). Furthermore, changes in public opinion towards refugee reception provide a explanatory context to the media framing shifts of unaccompanied minors surrounding the refugee crisis in Sweden 2015. The evidence gathered does not find show a general collapse in journalistic narratives supportive to unaccompanied minors, nor a drastic decrease in ethical/human righs oriented frames. What has appeared is a display of a new multi-frame narrative in Swedish media, where conflicting frames of unaccompanied minors have surfaced, with a growing number of articles where unaccompanied minors appear as threats, problems and abuse perpetrators.

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