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Mellan empati och rädsla: Betydelser av kroppslighet i nyhetsinslag om migration och flykt
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2015 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study explores the articulation of the “migratory body” in Swedish news broadcasting during the early fall of 2015, a period of time characterised by an extensive focus on migration issues and the situation for refugees. Specifically, this study focuses on how corporeality is portrayed in news reports on migration. The analysis draws on the theoretical foundation of Laclau and Mouffe’s discourse theory and illustrates that, on the one hand, a moral discourse and, on the other, a security discourse were central to the hegemonic struggle of defining the meaning of bodies crossing borders. The publication and dissemination of the tragic images of 3-year-old boy Alan Kurdi, who drowned during his family’s flight from Syria, is analysed as a dislocatory event that gave rise to a symbolic re-negotiation of the migratory body’s meaning. The security discourse could not integrate the emotionally intense images of the dead child and was therefore challenged. Instead, the moral discourse assumed a more dominant position. The two hegemonic discourses activate social imaginaries of risk or moral agency in relation to the migratory body, rearticulates social identities based on the imagined community of the nation and the EU and contributes to the symbolic construction of European identity as threatened by, or as a saviour of, the Other. Furthermore, I argue that articulating the migratory body in emotional terms is central to the process of defining the meaning of corporeality, suggesting that discourse analysis would benefit from further investigation of the significance of emotion for social and political change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 41 p.
Keyword [en]
migration; corporeality; discourse theory; news media; representation; hegemony; dislocation; security discourse; moral discourse
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-121120OAI: diva2:931097
Available from: 2016-06-16 Created: 2016-05-26 Last updated: 2016-06-16Bibliographically approved

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