Piercing the Veil of Reality Production : Examining the Impact of Discursive Practices within the Media with the Example of the German Hijab Debate.

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Religionssociologi

Abstract: While reality is something experienced as an a priori condition, it is in fact constructed by many interlinked parameters of existence. This analysis aims to dissect the reality parameters determined by the media, examined with the example of the German hijab debate. Conducting a critical discourse analysis of twenty newspaper articles concerning four systematically chosen key events, published by five leading German print media outlets in 2019 and 2020, this paper establishes three defining elements that limit the perception of reality and solidify the protracted state of the hijab debate: a lack of demonstrated ambiguity tolerance, a claim to the prerogative of interpretation and a self-reinforcing feedback loop between media reporting and perceivable social reality. The occurrence, impact and possible dismantling of these elements will be analysed within a methodological and theoretical framework inspired by Norman Fairclough, Michel Foucault, and social constructionism.

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