Media language representations of xenophobic attitudes in university settings : a critical discourse analysis of Western Cape campus newspapers

Wessels, Morne (2012-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study focuses on aspects of linguistic communication, specifically in campus media discourse, where portrayals of minority groups, such as African foreigners, affect the attitudes of readers and shape public ideology regarding these minority groups. The research examines published items in two Western Cape campus newspapers that topicalise Africa or African foreigners in South Africa. These items, which were published over a three year period from 2007 to 2009, are critically analysed, in order to evaluate the way in which Africa and Africans, specifically Africans in South Africa, are represented, to determine whether such representations make use of xenophobic language, and to gauge the potential effects on the attitudes of student readers with regards to foreign Africans living and studying in South Africa. The aim of this thesis is to examine the possible (re)enforcement of xenophobic attitudes in the campus news media by analysing how Africa/foreign Africans are portrayed in South Africa's campus press against the background of the current xenophobic situation in South Africa. This is accomplished by making use of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), specifically the theoretical frameworks of van Dijk (1991) and Fairclough (1995; 1998), which allow for critical analysis on multiple levels of discourse. While the results of the media analysis illustrate a difference in coverage between the two campus newspapers, the overall impression is that campus press does indeed influence the attitudes of readers, more often than not, to the detriment of oppressed minority groups. Coverage of Africa/Africans in South Africa in the two campus publications indicated a slight growth in empathy towards the plight of Africa/African foreigners over the three year study period.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie fokus op aspekte van kommunikasie, veral binne kampusmedia-diskoers, waar die uitbeelding van minderheidsgroepe, soos buitelanders vanuit Afrika, 'n invloed uitoefen op die houdings van lesers en die vorming van openbare ideologieë ten opsigte van hierdie minderheidsgroepe. Dié navorsing ondersoek gepubliseerde items in twee Wes-Kaapse kampuskoerante wat handel oor Afrika of buitelanders vanuit Afrika wat in Suid-Afrika woon. Hierdie items, wat oor 'n tydperk van drie jaar (2007-2009) gepubliseer is, is krities ontleed ten einde te evalueer hoe Afrika en Afrikane, veral buitelanders in Suid-Afrika, uitgebeeld word, om te bepaal of sodanige uitbeeldings gebruik maak van xenofobiese taal en om die moontlike gevolge hiervan op die houdings van die studentelesers met betrekking tot buitelandse Afrikane wat in Suid-Afrika woon, te bestudeer en te meet. Die doel van hierdie tesis is om die moontlike afdwinging van xenofobiese houdings in die kampus-nuusmedia/kampusnuusmedia te ondersoek deur die ontleding van hoe Afrika / buitelandse Afrikane in Suid-Afrika se kampuspers uitgebeeld word teen die agtergrond van die huidige xenofobiese situasie in Suid-Afrika. Dit word bereik deur gebruik te maak van Kritiese Diskoersanalise ("Critical Discourse Analysis"; CDA), spesifiek die teoretiese raamwerke van van Dijk (1991) en Fairclough (1995, 1998), wat ruimte laat vir 'n kritiese analise op verskeie vlakke van diskoers. Terwyl die resultate van die media-analise 'n verskil in dekking tussen die twee kampuskoerante illustreer, is die algehele indruk dat die kampuspers wel die houdings van die lesers beïnvloed, en in die reël tot nadeel van onderdrukte minderheidsgroepe. Mediadekking van Afrika / Afrikane in Suid-Afrika in die twee kampuspublikasies toon 'n effense groei in empatie teenoor die lot van Afrika / buitelandse Afrikane oor die drie jaar studietydperk.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/71897
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