Portrayal of refugees in the Swedish newspaper media in winter 2015. A critical discourse analysis

University essay from Malmö universitet/Kultur och samhälle

Abstract: This thesis examines how refugees are portrayed in the media during November and December in 2015, the selection of material consists of Swedish newspapers’ articles. The research questions are whether refugees are portrayed as a threat, a resource or a group that need help, as well as the way in which these articles produces and reproduces the relation between Swedes and refugees. The analysis is done through a critical discourse analysis inspired by Norman Fairclough and with theoretical approaches from Karl Marx, Ulrich Beck and Stuart Hall. The result shows how refugees are portrayed primarily in the form of economic terms that may be risky or beneficial to Sweden’s economy, where risk is in the majority. It also turns out that the group is being produced as a group with legitimate rights requirements that Sweden has an obligation to help, but this is unusual. It is also found that Swedes and refugees are often portrayed with dichotomous characteristics, creating a “we and them”.

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