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Finnish and Swedish Newspaper Representations of Immigrants: A Comparison of Helsingin Sanomat and Dagens Nyheter January 2011
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to examine how immigration and persons who immigrate are represented in the largest morning papers of Finland and Sweden, the Finnish Helsingin Sanomat (HS) and the Swedish Dagens Nyheter (DN). The focus is on representations of immigration and those who immigrate based on positive or negative evaluations: who are regarded as belonging or beneficial and who are considered unbelonging or detrimental. Also the categories that the newspapers use are of interest. In addition, the intersectional use and construction of social divisions are studied. The newspapers are compared with regard to similarities and differences in their representation of the subject.

For the thesis, the period of January 2011 was chosen, and the articles that mentioned or discussed immigration or persons who are moving or have moved to Finland, Sweden, or the EU were selected for the analysis. Although the focus is on qualitative analysis of the material, discourse analysis being the main method, the articles were also analyzed quantitatively in order to provide systematically comparable data on the two newspapers.

The results show that in general there were more positive representations in DN than in HS during the studied period and more negative representations in HS than in DN. However, immigration and people are depicted both as belonging or beneficial and unbelonging or detrimental in both newspapers, often based on assumed similarities and differences with the receiving countries. Positive representations are often about particular persons or groups. In the studied HS articles, positive representations are relatively often tied to education, whereas in DN the Christian religion is reported comparatively often in positive ways. In HS, Islam was commonly conflated with immigration and depicted as a threat. Concerning decisions on residence permit and asylum, DN articles are more critical towards governmental authorities than HS articles, although often ambiguously, and dominant control relations are reflected in both newspapers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 86 p.
Keyword [en]
Media, immigration, representation, intersectionality, cross-national research
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-175125OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-175125DiVA: diva2:530332
Educational program
Master Programme in Social Sciences
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2012-06-11 Created: 2012-06-01 Last updated: 2012-06-11Bibliographically approved

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