A corpus-based approach to discourses of refugees and asylum seekers in UN and newspaper texts
Authors: Baker, Paul; McEnery, Tony
Source: Journal of Language and Politics, Volume 4, Number 2, 2005 , pp. 197-226(30)
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing Company
Abstract:A corpus-based analysis of discourses of refugees and asylum seekers was carried out on data taken from a range of British newspapers and texts from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees website, both published in 2003. Concordances of the terms refugee(s) and asylum seeker(s) were examined and grouped along patterns which revealed linguistic traces of discourses. Discourses which framed refugees as packages, invaders, pests or water were found in newspaper texts, although there were also cases of negative discourses found in the UNHCR texts, revealing how difficult it is to disregard dominant discourses. Lexical choice was found to be an essential aspect of maintaining discourses of asylum seekers — collocational analyses of terms like failed vs. rejected revealed the underlying attitudes of the writers towards the subject.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Dept. of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University
Publication date: January 1, 2005