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The European refugee : A critical discourse analysis of Swedish newspapers and their portrayal of Ukrainian refugees

  • Fekre, Ipek
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2023
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
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The study aims to analyze the two largest daily newspapers in Sweden, Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet, and their portrayal of Ukrainian refugees. A critical discourse analysis analyzes 184 articles published between March 16 - April 24, 2022, and July 16 - September 30, 2022. A quantitative content analysis complements the analysis, where specific recurring characteristics and themes in the articles are quantified. Theories of social representation, social constructionism, Orientalism, and news value criteria form the theoretical framework of the study. The study results show that the media describes Ukrainian refugees in terms of their geographical and cultural proximity to Sweden. The media values the Ukrainian refugees as an asset, emphasizing the ideological similarities between the countries and why the refugees deserve to come to and remain in Sweden. Other common descriptions underlining the helplessness and vulnerability of the refugees often involve critiques directed toward the Swedish government and authorities. The results are interesting because they contrast with previous research and correlate strongly with the theoretical frameworks regarding media discourse on refugees. It is also interesting from a power perspective, where media representations and language use can affect the legal and moral obligations receiving states and societies feel toward refugees. 

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