Proposal Title

#refugeesnotwelcome: The Online Discourse of the European Refugee Crisis on Twitter

Affiliation

University of South Florida

Department or Program

Department of World Languages

Start Date

15-4-2017 2:10 PM

End Date

15-4-2017 2:40 PM

Presentation Keywords/Areas

Multimodality

Additional Presentation Keywords/Areas

Humanities and Language(s)

Abstract

Europe is currently experiencing the rise of populist right-wing groups, partially caused by the actions of European national governments during the refugee crisis. Xenophobic and racist tendencies are also present in online discourse, for example, on the micro-blogging platform, Twitter. For this study, 100 anti-refugee tweets were collected in September 2015 after the closure of some European borders and analyzed using a Critical Discourse Analysis approach (van Dijk, 2009; Wodak, 2015). Data analysis focuses on how Twitter users employ semiotic resources, intertextuality, multimodality, and addressivity to express negative feelings, beliefs, and ideologies toward refugees in Europe. The discursive strategies that are used by Twitter users to construct negative other-presentations of refugees include negative characterization, reference to so-called facts and right-wing media sources, and visual intensifications. At the same time, the data analysis revealed the construction of a national or European identity that highlights white supremacy. These tendencies align with the current rise of xenophobic, national-conservative groups and the acceptance of a discourse of racism.

Presentation Type and Comments

20-minute paper presentation

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Apr 15th, 2:10 PM Apr 15th, 2:40 PM

#refugeesnotwelcome: The Online Discourse of the European Refugee Crisis on Twitter

Europe is currently experiencing the rise of populist right-wing groups, partially caused by the actions of European national governments during the refugee crisis. Xenophobic and racist tendencies are also present in online discourse, for example, on the micro-blogging platform, Twitter. For this study, 100 anti-refugee tweets were collected in September 2015 after the closure of some European borders and analyzed using a Critical Discourse Analysis approach (van Dijk, 2009; Wodak, 2015). Data analysis focuses on how Twitter users employ semiotic resources, intertextuality, multimodality, and addressivity to express negative feelings, beliefs, and ideologies toward refugees in Europe. The discursive strategies that are used by Twitter users to construct negative other-presentations of refugees include negative characterization, reference to so-called facts and right-wing media sources, and visual intensifications. At the same time, the data analysis revealed the construction of a national or European identity that highlights white supremacy. These tendencies align with the current rise of xenophobic, national-conservative groups and the acceptance of a discourse of racism.