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Papers in Communication Studies

Mass Communication

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Full-Text Articles in Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication

Refugees As People: The Portrayal Of Refugees In American Human Interest Stories, Sarah Steimel Jan 2010

Refugees As People: The Portrayal Of Refugees In American Human Interest Stories, Sarah Steimel

Papers in Communication Studies

This study combines discourse analysis and narrative analysis (Yin 2007) to examine top US newspapers’ coverage of refugees in American human interest stories. I find that the refugees are presented (a) as prior victims; (b) as in search of the American Dream; and (c) as unable to achieve the American Dream. As human-interest features, the stories provide a largely positive portrayal of individual refugees and their families. However, the human interest stories also depict refugees as current victims of the American economic crisis; deeply frustrated by their inability to achieve the American Dream. Together these discourses represent a narrative of ...


Refugees In The News: A Representative Anecdote Of Identification/Division In Refugee Media Coverage, Sarah Steimel Jan 2009

Refugees In The News: A Representative Anecdote Of Identification/Division In Refugee Media Coverage, Sarah Steimel

Papers in Communication Studies

A refugee worker conflict at the JBS Swift plant in Grand Island, Nebraska serves as a representative anecdote of the dominant media discourses about refugees in the United States. This study adopts a critical cultural perspective and applies Burke’s (1969) concepts of identification and division to the ways in which refugees are described in comparison to other immigrants in the media coverage of the conflict. These identifications and divisions generate ideologically powerful official roles for refugees in American society. This study finds that refugees, especially refugees who are also Muslim, are defined in the media coverage of the Grand ...