Media Representation of Immigrants in Canada Since WWII
Canada’s public immigration discourse is usually racialized in using an ideological framework to evaluate, select and make judgements of immigrants on whether they are culturally, socially, or economically desirable to Canada. Some social and economic affairs may present a discursive context for debates over immigration and the value of immigrants to Canada. By using a critical discourse analysis of news articles on immigration in Canada’s national newspaper The Globe and Mail in four historical phases after the end of the Second World War, this study examines how the contents of “desirable immigrants” were changed throughout history. This study questions whether some social political affairs in a country or an extreme economic situation such as high unemployment can change the social boundaries of exclusion for immigrants of certain racial and ethnic backgrounds and allow more direct and exclusionary racial messages to be expressed in the discourse. The findings indicate that during economic recessions, it is more acceptable for the media and the public to express more directly racist messages about non-white immigrants, and some political factors and major social events may also influence how different ethnic groups of immigrants can be socially constructed. While a liberal democratic country like Canada may not accept overt racial discrimination, I argue that a social crisis or economic recession can change the social boundaries of exclusion for immigrants of certain racial and ethnic backgrounds and justify using more blatant racial messages in discussing immigrants.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
SupervisorLi, Peter S.
CommitteeWotherspoon, Terry; Zong, Li; Waiser, Bill; Satzewich, Vic
Copyright DateDecember 2013