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Discourse on Immigration in Swedish Mass Media
Linköping University, Department of Management and Economics.
2005 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister), 20 points / 30 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Mass movement of people over national borders constitutes the major feature of the today's world. Immigration and its implications are widely debated, whereby the term 'immigration', whenever appeared in a text, hardly ever refers to some unambigously defined concept. To deal with the question of immigration is, therefore, to be faced with a variety of definitions and connotations. The thesis constitutes an attempt to understand how the phenomenon of immigration is conceptualized in Swedish mass media debate, and explore the dynamics of the discourse over the last decade. To do so, the study develops a theoretical framework that takes a form of classification of different approaches to immigration, as formulated by major paradigms of international relations (liberal communitarianism, realism, idealism) and as developed within modern economic and cultural studies. Social construction of immigration and its implications for the nation-states serves as the organizing principle for the emerging classification, as social constructivism is adopted as the ontological standpoint of the thesis. The thesis then analyzes over 180 articles that deal with immigration and are published in the major Swedish daily newspapers, Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet in the years 1993 and 2002. The aim is to discover common patterns of the debate and link them to the concepts constituting the theoretical framework. The analysis shows that almost all concepts described in the theoretical section can be identified in the mass media discourse, which allows to conclude that the developed classification has proved appropriate for the analysis of the empirical material. The research concludes that, while concepts pointing towards self-interests as determining factors for formulating immigration policies are present in the studied mass media discourse, which is especially clear in 1993, the debate in general is strongly influenced by adherence to international solidarity and humanistic values as the basis for Swedish traditional foreign policy. Additionally, the study highlights the essential changes occured within the debate over the last decade, among which a shift from connecting immigration exclusively to refugee policies towards a more braod understanding of immigration as a consequence of globalization and as a realization of individual right to free movement can be considered the most central.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Ekonomiska institutionen , 2005. , 76 p.
Keyword [en]
immigration, discourse, mass media, Sweden, social constructivism
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-376ISRN: LIU-EKI/INT-D--05/019--SEOAI: diva2:20444
Available from: 2005-10-18 Created: 2005-10-18

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