Representation of refugees and asylum seekers in UK newspapers: Towards a corpus-based analysis

Costas Gabrielatos, Paul Baker

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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Abstract

This paper reports work on an ongoing project on the representation of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK press. In recent years, the issue of refugees and asylum seekers entering the UK has has attracted intense media and political discussion. As the representation of these groups in the press can influence the way in which readers perceive them, the discourses surrounding these, and related, groups have been the focus of linguistic studies (e.g. Greenslade, 2005; ter Wal, 2002). Although the project combines approaches within critical discourse analysis and corpus linguistics, the aim of this paper is to exemplify how corpus-based techniques can contribute to CDA (cf. Hardt-Mautner, 1995; Orpin, 2005; Sotillo & Wang-Gempp, 2004; Wilson, 1993). The study uses a corpus of 150 million words, comprising articles relevant to refugees and asylum seekers from 12 national and 3 local UK newspapers, spanning the last ten years. Following Baker & McEnery (2005), the paper analyses collocational networks surrounding the terms refugee(s) and asylum seeker(s), that is, the linguistic units which tend to co-occur statistically significantly with these terms in the corpus. The study also makes use of the notions of semantic prosody: the "consistent aura of meaning with which a form is imbued by its collocates" (Louw, 1993: 157), and, more significantly, Stubbs' expanded notion of discourse prosody: âa feature which extends over more than one unit in a linear string. ⦠[P]rosodies often express the speakerâs reason for making the utterance, and therefore identify functional discourse unitsâ (2001: 111-112). Through the examination of frequent collocates for patterns and systematic associations, elements of the underlying discourses related to, and, arguably, constructing the identities of, the two groups can be revealed. The paper will also compare the corresponding discourses in broadsheets and tabloids.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sep 2006
EventJoint Annual Meeting of the British Association for Applied Linguistics and the Irish Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL/IRAAL 2006) - University College, Cork, Ireland
Duration: 7 Sep 20069 Sep 2006

Other

OtherJoint Annual Meeting of the British Association for Applied Linguistics and the Irish Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL/IRAAL 2006)
CountryIreland
CityCork
Period7/09/069/09/06

Fingerprint

asylum seeker
refugee
newspaper
discourse
linguistics
Group
discourse analysis
semantics
examination

Keywords

  • corpora
  • corpus-based research
  • discourse analysis
  • critical discourse analysis
  • collocation
  • consistent collocates
  • intercollocation
  • collocational networks
  • semantic prosody
  • semantic preference
  • topoi

Cite this

Gabrielatos, C., & Baker, P. (2006). Representation of refugees and asylum seekers in UK newspapers: Towards a corpus-based analysis. Paper presented at Joint Annual Meeting of the British Association for Applied Linguistics and the Irish Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL/IRAAL 2006), Cork, Ireland.
Gabrielatos, Costas ; Baker, Paul. / Representation of refugees and asylum seekers in UK newspapers: Towards a corpus-based analysis. Paper presented at Joint Annual Meeting of the British Association for Applied Linguistics and the Irish Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL/IRAAL 2006), Cork, Ireland.34 p.
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author = "Costas Gabrielatos and Paul Baker",
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Gabrielatos, C & Baker, P 2006, 'Representation of refugees and asylum seekers in UK newspapers: Towards a corpus-based analysis' Paper presented at Joint Annual Meeting of the British Association for Applied Linguistics and the Irish Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL/IRAAL 2006), Cork, Ireland, 7/09/06 - 9/09/06, .

Representation of refugees and asylum seekers in UK newspapers: Towards a corpus-based analysis. / Gabrielatos, Costas; Baker, Paul.

2006. Paper presented at Joint Annual Meeting of the British Association for Applied Linguistics and the Irish Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL/IRAAL 2006), Cork, Ireland.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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T1 - Representation of refugees and asylum seekers in UK newspapers: Towards a corpus-based analysis

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AU - Baker, Paul

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N2 - This paper reports work on an ongoing project on the representation of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK press. In recent years, the issue of refugees and asylum seekers entering the UK has has attracted intense media and political discussion. As the representation of these groups in the press can influence the way in which readers perceive them, the discourses surrounding these, and related, groups have been the focus of linguistic studies (e.g. Greenslade, 2005; ter Wal, 2002). Although the project combines approaches within critical discourse analysis and corpus linguistics, the aim of this paper is to exemplify how corpus-based techniques can contribute to CDA (cf. Hardt-Mautner, 1995; Orpin, 2005; Sotillo & Wang-Gempp, 2004; Wilson, 1993). The study uses a corpus of 150 million words, comprising articles relevant to refugees and asylum seekers from 12 national and 3 local UK newspapers, spanning the last ten years. Following Baker & McEnery (2005), the paper analyses collocational networks surrounding the terms refugee(s) and asylum seeker(s), that is, the linguistic units which tend to co-occur statistically significantly with these terms in the corpus. The study also makes use of the notions of semantic prosody: the "consistent aura of meaning with which a form is imbued by its collocates" (Louw, 1993: 157), and, more significantly, Stubbs' expanded notion of discourse prosody: âa feature which extends over more than one unit in a linear string. ⦠[P]rosodies often express the speakerâs reason for making the utterance, and therefore identify functional discourse unitsâ (2001: 111-112). Through the examination of frequent collocates for patterns and systematic associations, elements of the underlying discourses related to, and, arguably, constructing the identities of, the two groups can be revealed. The paper will also compare the corresponding discourses in broadsheets and tabloids.

AB - This paper reports work on an ongoing project on the representation of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK press. In recent years, the issue of refugees and asylum seekers entering the UK has has attracted intense media and political discussion. As the representation of these groups in the press can influence the way in which readers perceive them, the discourses surrounding these, and related, groups have been the focus of linguistic studies (e.g. Greenslade, 2005; ter Wal, 2002). Although the project combines approaches within critical discourse analysis and corpus linguistics, the aim of this paper is to exemplify how corpus-based techniques can contribute to CDA (cf. Hardt-Mautner, 1995; Orpin, 2005; Sotillo & Wang-Gempp, 2004; Wilson, 1993). The study uses a corpus of 150 million words, comprising articles relevant to refugees and asylum seekers from 12 national and 3 local UK newspapers, spanning the last ten years. Following Baker & McEnery (2005), the paper analyses collocational networks surrounding the terms refugee(s) and asylum seeker(s), that is, the linguistic units which tend to co-occur statistically significantly with these terms in the corpus. The study also makes use of the notions of semantic prosody: the "consistent aura of meaning with which a form is imbued by its collocates" (Louw, 1993: 157), and, more significantly, Stubbs' expanded notion of discourse prosody: âa feature which extends over more than one unit in a linear string. ⦠[P]rosodies often express the speakerâs reason for making the utterance, and therefore identify functional discourse unitsâ (2001: 111-112). Through the examination of frequent collocates for patterns and systematic associations, elements of the underlying discourses related to, and, arguably, constructing the identities of, the two groups can be revealed. The paper will also compare the corresponding discourses in broadsheets and tabloids.

KW - corpora

KW - corpus-based research

KW - discourse analysis

KW - critical discourse analysis

KW - collocation

KW - consistent collocates

KW - intercollocation

KW - collocational networks

KW - semantic prosody

KW - semantic preference

KW - topoi

M3 - Paper

ER -

Gabrielatos C, Baker P. Representation of refugees and asylum seekers in UK newspapers: Towards a corpus-based analysis. 2006. Paper presented at Joint Annual Meeting of the British Association for Applied Linguistics and the Irish Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL/IRAAL 2006), Cork, Ireland.