Visual ’othering’ of immigrants in Canadian and Finnish online newspapers from 2016

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Title: Visual ’othering’ of immigrants in Canadian and Finnish online newspapers from 2016
Author: Sahamies, Liisa Jasmine
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta, Sosiaalitieteiden laitos
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Research
Helsingfors universitet, Statsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för socialvetenskaper
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2017
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Viestintä
Media and Communication Studies
Medier och kommunikation
Abstract: This thesis aims to investigate and compare how immigrants in Canada and Finland are visually ‘othered’ in media. Critical events in 2016 heightened the discussion of immigration, further emphasizing media’s importance of representing this population to the public. Visual representations of the ‘other’ can come in subtle forms yet perpetuate imagined communities of ‘we’ and ‘they’ in major ways. It is therefore becoming more imperative to conduct research on processes of ‘othering.’ This thesis uses visual framing analysis (VFA) on leading newspapers in Canada and Finland, a combined total of 271 images were collected for analysis from Canada’s Toronto Star and Finland’s Helsingin Sanomat. These images were examined for visual frames of the ‘other’ by measuring communication with the viewer, spatial proximity, depiction with others or as individuals, social interaction and vertical and horizontal points of views. The results revealed clear distinctions of framing immigrants as the ‘other’ in both newspapers. Canadian media ‘othered’ immigrants half the amount as Finnish media, which ‘othered’ immigrants in nearly all codes examined. The findings of this research suggests how a further understanding of complex identities and visual literacy is key to understanding diversity and culture and disintegrating a sense of the ‘other.’
Subject: other

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