Covert Prejudice and Discourses on Otherness During the Refugee Crisis: Α Case Study of the Greek Islands’ Press


The present paper presents a discursive analysis of the recurrent repertoires of covert prejudice in the regional press of three Greek islands (Lesvos, Chios, Samos) during the refugee crisis period. Between 2015 and 2016, these islands played a central role as first-line receiving communities for the large numbers of refugees and migrants who arrived in Europe through the Eastern Mediterranean route. This study analyzes the Northeastern Aegean regional press coverage of the refugee crisis through a synthetic and localized approach to discourse analysis, drawing on discursive psychology, critical discourse analysis, and social theories of covert prejudice and neo-racism. The regional press is a largely unstudied subgenre of media discourse that has a community-based orientation, differentiating it from the national press in terms of its localized effects and structure. The paper is emphasizing the argumentation and narrative complexity of prejudiced discourse as articulated through the idiosyncratic prism of locality, during a specifically challenging period for inter-group relations. Our methodological design drew upon the research guidelines proposed by discursive psychology and integrative approaches to discourse analysis. The study’s basic analytical unit is the concept of interpretative repertoires. Our sample consists of 339 articles from four local newspapers, from May 2015 to December 2016. We identified five recurrent repertoires: "superfluous bodies", "threats of multiculturalism", "agents of misery", "bogus refugees", and "capitalizing on the refugee crisis". Each repertoire’s most representative texts were closely analyzed for their argumentation, rhetorical specificities, and narrative variations.

Author Information
Vasiliki-Ioanna Konstantopoulou, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
Orestis Didymiotis, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
Gerasimos Kouzelis, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

Paper Information
Conference: ACSS2021
Stream: Immigration

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon