Find an article in which the word ‘refugee’ is mentioned – make notes about how refugees, migrants, asylum seekers, etc are talked about. Chose: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/lebanon-stems-influx-refugees-minister-claims-countrys-internal-security-risk-1470743
- Referred to in terms of numbers (large numbers)
- Range of words indicating a ‘problem’ to be solved, stemmed, halted, stop them infiltrating, as a danger, etc.
- Refugees = a destabilising influence
- Humanitarian refugees (criteria unknown) only allowed.
- ¼ people in Lebanon = refugees, highest number in the world = straining infrastructure and driving down wages.
- Need ££ to deal with “influx”.
Oh, maybe it was supposed to be a British newspaper – ah well, pretty familiar!
Video 1: Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the UK Press
Methodologically – need large amounts of data, frequency data, hunt for co-occurrences, annotation/grouping, quantification and statistical significance.
Merits – helps us get ‘the big picture’, identify the ‘aboutness’/areas of interest that can be interrogated – can work qualitatively/quantitatively and check on ‘gut instinct’
Core terms – keywords, cluster, collocation, semantic prosody, discourse prosody.
Video 2: Building the Corpus and Initial Analysis
In UK universities is access to many newspapers, but need to define the keywords [x OR x OR x AND NOT x]
How derive a query? Collected a quick corpus of texts from a pilot study, then compared to ‘general English’ to define the ‘aboutness’, then used keywords/intuitions/concordancing to include/exclude from collection. Data was split into ‘tabloids’ and ‘broadsheets’ (interesting distinction). More data in the broadsheets, but articles in broadsheets = longer (so they are not ‘more obsessed’ about them.
Finding ‘topoi’ = finding key ‘theme’ in the data. How do ‘collocates’ (associated words) help construct that theme?
Statistical significance important. Red = tabloids; blue = broadsheets.
- Generally about entry (mode, place, legality) – discourse largely established by the TABLOIDS
- Number, Abuse, Numbers, Finance (cost/abuse), threat – also tabloids (except large numbers)
- Residence, legality, issues with system, unwelcome (authentic and legitimacy only mentioned by broadsheets).
- PLIGHT – much larger in the broadsheets (so more sympathetic?)
VIDEO 3: Tabloids, Broadsheets and Key Clusters
High probability for collocates. Red = tabloids, blue = tabloids; black = equal.
Related to numbers/quantity – different ways of doing it, but both speak in quantity metaphors, and also in the idea of ‘plight’ (based on number of collocates).
To look with the word ‘illegal’ – manually checked it, then right-sorted to see what followed the word illegal. Identifying origin, ethnicity, religion, age, type of work, etc.
Number of clusters – some are more ‘emblematic’ of tabloids…
Equivalence is being ‘forced’ – terrorism, crime, fraud, etc. all being brought together in the discourse, rather than representing ‘reality’.
How many occurrences per million ‘normalised’ amongst words? Expect to see more in the tabloids than the broadsheets.
VIDEO 4: IN FOCUS. The expression ‘pose as’.
Who uses the term ‘Pose As’ in relation to RASIM? Tabloids use it 8 x times more than broadsheets…
Beggars, crooks, etc. are identified as ‘posing as RASIM’ = taken ‘as fact’, and therefore positive stance towards ‘tougher measures’ – this is particularly in the tabloids. It’s there in the broadsheets too, but the opposite view is presented (if with less words).
Identifying problems in the asylum system by police/reporters ‘posing as’ RASIM.
The tabloids focus particularly upon asylum seekers ‘posing’ as nurses, etc…
Criminals may pose as RASIM to harm RASIM – also in tabloids, but very low numbers…
VIDEO 5: Summing Up
Focus upon words ‘suffocated’ and ‘drowned’ – focus upon whether they were represented as ‘illegal’ – directly (illegal immigrants) or indirectly (sneaking)?
Dictionary may have a range of different meanings, but the press gives a range of terms that ‘mean similar’ … used in a particular way continuously.
Remember that there are distinctions within newspapers, rather than labelling ‘tabloids’. Question how helpful your distinctions are.
Move between largescale analysis, and closer/more-detailed readings of the text.