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Disempowerment and inspiration : a multimodal discourse analysis of immigrant women in the Spanish and Australian online press

By Maria Martinez Lirola and Katina (R8893) Zammit


The media frequently portray immigrants who arrive illegally in relation to political agendas, either supporting the dominant government discourse or a humanitarian discourse. African and Arabic immigrants who have arrived by boat in Spain and Australia are represented as being illegal, a threat (both potential and real), in need of assistance (medical and/or refuge), unhealthy, and culturally very different. The inclusion of images of African and Arabic female immigrants, are very limited in the media and include both hegemonic representations but also portrayals of them engaged in work. This article intends to be a contribution to the representation of immigrant women in the media drawing on a sample of texts from the Spanish and Australian press, online editions. Drawing upon critical discourse analysis and social semiotics to closely analyse four texts, we focus on the interpretation of visual representations in the images of these articles. The results show a similarity between the media in both countries to represent arriving female migrants using hegemonic discourses of illegality, unhealthiness and in need of medical assistance, a threat and danger which contributes to maintain the dichotomy of we-they, us-them. A second representation of working female migrants demonstrates a difference between the media in the two countries. The Spanish media present them in low paid, stereotypical and exploitative occupations in comparison to the Australian media where they are presented as inspirational and successful

Topics: XXXXXX - Unknown, women immigrants, political refugees, press
Publisher: U.K., Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines
Year: 2017
OAI identifier: oai:nuws:uws_42767
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