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Newspaper discourse on French urban violence: a critical discourse analysis.

Costelloe, Laura (2012) Newspaper discourse on French urban violence: a critical discourse analysis. In: CADAAD (Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines) Conference., 4-6 July, 2012, Universidad de Minho, Braga, Portugal. (Submitted)

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Modern French society continues to struggle with the impacts of multicultural immigration, particularly from former French colonies throughout the twentieth century. November 2005 saw a significant flashpoint in the long-running history of tension between such minority groups and those in power in France. Two teenagers, allegedly while hiding from the police, were electrocuted in a Parisian electrical substation; this was the catalyst for the spread of violent riots in African and Muslim communities across banlieues or urban French districts lasting for a number of weeks.
This paper examines French newspaper representations of the banlieues, focusing on the particularly traumatic events of November 2005. Recognising the active role of the media in constituting and shaping reality, my interest lies not merely in identifying instances of prejudicial discourse in French newspaper texts, but also highlighting how largely covert structures of power and dominance can be disguised in ostensibly neutral discourse. Employing a critical discourse analytical methodology, and incorporating elements of Van Leeuwenʼs (1996) ʻSocial Actor Analysisʼ, this paper critically analyses a corpus of newspaper discourse relating to these events.
First a general characterization of the corpus is introduced, and the discourse is examined for instances of othering or ʻthemʼ versus ʻusʼ. Second, a number of articles are examined for the lexical tokens, grammatical structures, quotation patterns and use of metaphor etc. in their constructions of social actors present in the corpus.
Observations are drawn with regard to the representation of minorities in the French press in particular, but more generally the role played by the media in constituting and replicating power structures within a society.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DC France
N Fine Arts > NE Print media
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races > Immigrant Communities
Divisions: School of Business > Staff Research and Publications
Depositing User: Timothy Lawless
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2014 12:32
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2014 15:36

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