• Nadia Ellegaard Deisting
4. term, Sociology, Master (Master Programme)
The aim of this master thesis is to examine how the articulation of ethnic minorities in the Danish media affects ethnic minorities understanding of identity. In order to investigate this, I study three different aspects of this choice: First, I examine the objective realities of the discursive representations of ethnic minorities; second I examine which understandings of identity the discursive representations construct, and finally I study the consequences of the discursive identity construction for the identity- and self-understanding of ethnic minorities. I am using a top-down perspective, where I first study the structural conditions of discursive identity through a discourse analysis, after which I examine its impact on the individual’s perception of identity in an analysis with interviews from three informants. Thus the master thesis contains a two-part analysis.

The theoretical expectations that guide my empirical analysis are, on the one hand, that certain articulations affect a certain understanding of the articulated. Therefore, I have an expectation that the way the media portrays ethnic minorities to have an impact on the understanding of ethnic minorities in Denmark. On the other hand the thesis is based on an understanding that identity is formed and understood in the social practice and therefore ethnic minorities create and understand their identity with the understanding others have of them. These perceptions expressed in the discursive representations expected to be used in the ethnic minorities' own understanding and narrative about themselves. Therefore, it is expected from discourse theory of Ernestso Laclau and Chantal Mouffe and theory of social and ethnic identity of Richard Jenkins that there empirically exists an influence of ethnic minorities identity understanding from the immigrant discourse.

I use the qualitative method with both on a discourse analysis and an interview analysis. I have collected 45 articles from Danish newspapers as Ekstra Bladet, Jyllands-Posten and Politiken, which I use in a discourse analysis of the articulations of ethnic minorities in the Danish public on the basis of articles following the attack by Krudttønden in Copenhagen February the 14th 2015. In order to analyse what implications the discursive representations of ethnic minorities can have, three informants, who are characterized as ethnic minorities, are interviewed and the interviews are used in an analysis based on the theoretical framework of the master thesis.

The results of the discourse analysis show that there are three ideological representations of ethnic minorities from the ideologies: religion-ideology, work-ideology and national-ideology. The presentations are all based on a dysfunctional perspective of the ethnic minority in relation to being “Danish”. The informants are using the ideologies and the discursive representations either by articulate themselves with or against the positions’ in order to their self-understanding and identity. This is found to have an impact on the informants’ understanding of themselves in relation to the dichotomy between ‘us’ and ‘them’, where the informant finds is difficult just to speak from the position ‘us’ as natives Danes because the discursive understanding of ethic minorities is found to be the identification of ‘the others’.

Furthermore, the analysis shows that the problematization of an understanding of identity which think the ethnic minority in a ‘them’ category from categorization as an immigrant is found to be consistent with the informant’s own attribution of ethnic identity. The informants who attribute himself an ethnic identity and/or further has a sense of belonging to another country than Denmark is less affected by the dysfunctional represent and identity opportunities that the discourse makes available to ethnic minorities. This I claim to be, because of the sense of belongings opportunity to influence on an inner group identity. However, a dysfunctional impact on the identity understanding is found, where the positions of different identities is in conflict and the discourse representations are the solution to a hegemonic identity understanding from a categorization as an immigrant.
Publication date6 Aug 2015
Number of pages108
ID: 217022725