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"Stöd människor på flykt": En semiotisk analys av hjälporganisationers reklamfilmer för flyktingar.
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
2016 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
"Supporting people on the run" : A semiotic analysis of relief organizations' ads of refugees. (English)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of the study is to examine how charities use the refugees in their commercials to solicit donors. The questions to be answered are; what strategies are used to convince? and how is the refugees presented in the commercials. The method that was used during the analysis process was a qualitative semiotic method. The analysis tool that was used from the semiotic method was signs, codes, denotation, connotation, myths, symbols and metonymy. The result of the study shows that the major part of the commercials that was analyzed combines an emotional and a rational communication by communicating with both emotional and rational messages. The majority of the films connotes in my view, serious feelings linked to suffering, fear and despair by using images of traumatized, injured, sick and crying refugees. This leads to the refugees portrayed as victims linked to the war, the dangerous escape and the urgent needs for help. They are presented as helpless and vulnerable. In summary, it is clear that there is a clear link between the strategy used to convince and how the refugees are portrayed. The results show that - the fact that the films that I examined are "advertising ", where the selection of images and text is carefully thought out to fulfill the purpose of advertising - actually affect how refugees are portrayed. The picture conveyed helps to consolidate existing negatively charged stereotypes about refugees. The result also shows why it is so important to examine aid organizations. Although the purpose of these commercials is to help the refugees it can in the same time be overshadowed by negative stereotypes that hinder rather than help.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 32 p.
Keyword [en]
refugees, signs, codes, denotation, connotation, myths, symbols
National Category
Media and Communications
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-119784OAI: diva2:923665
Educational program
Programme in Media and Communication Studies: Strategic Communication
Available from: 2016-04-27 Created: 2016-04-27 Last updated: 2016-04-27Bibliographically approved

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