• Magdalena Stern
4. term, Global Refugee Studies, Master (Master Programme)
The present qualitative study set out to analyse changes in the political discourse of the Austrian conservative party (ÖVP) on the issue of migration alongside the following research question: How and why did the linguistic negotiation of migration change in the election programmes of the ÖVP between 1990 and 2017? and the two sub-questions: What are the prevalent topics in conjunction with migration? and which collective symbols, if any, are employed when negotiating migration?

The research question was answered through applying the discourse analytical approach of the Duisburg School and Van Dijk’s concept for the analysis of political discourses, reading into relevant studies connected to the research interest, and an analysis of the historical context and of the election programmes of the ÖVP between 1990 to 2017 of the ÖVP. This study contributed to a deeper understanding of the subtle rather than direct and outspoken form in which the realm of the sayable is altered in a political discourse. Without explicitly calling migrants ‘dangerous’, which would be at odds with the self-description as a party of the moderate political center, the usage of natural symbolisms such as ‘earthquakes’ in connection with migrants nonetheless conveys a similar message. The alteration of the discourse of the ÖVP, which could be traced in the election programmes between 1990 and 2017 is first and foremost, comprised of subtle changes of this kind.
Publication date1 Feb 2019
ID: 294826733