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Title: Can immigrant organisations challenge mainstream representations of migrants and refugees? : a critical discourse analysis
Author: Lamb, Eleanor Charlotte
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis examines the role immigrant organisations have played in discussions about immigration control in the UK since the nineteen sixties, by developing new research methods for critical discourse analysis. In investigating immigrant organisations as a possible source of opposition to migrants' and refugees' marginalisation, the study adds to debates over whether civil society is a place for positive social change or repression, as well as highlighting the relevance of oppositional voices to debates over immigration control. The study explores how representations in text and talk of migrants and 'the nation', and deployments of racism and antiracism, have contributed to harsh treatment of migrants and refugees in the UK. These findings are used to devise new categories for analysing social actors in text and talk about immigration legislation, building on the discourse-historical approach (Reisigl and Wodak 2099) and social actor analysis (van Leeuwen 2008). To assess immigrant organisations' potential to challenge negative constructions of migrants and refugees, the study charts their growth since 1968. It examines their ability to access genres and fields of action at all societal levels through a case study of one organisation: the Indian Workers Association (Great Britain). It provides a close analysis of text and talk from immigrant organisations in three time periods when UK immigration control was introduced: 1968, 1992 and 2009. It compares immigrant organisations' portrayals of migrants and refugees to those by speakers in parliamentary debates, national newspaper editorials, and extreme right flyers. I t is found that immigrant organisations were able to access multiple genres and fields of action in all time periods, and produced text and talk avoiding or opposing marginalising representations of migrants and refugees. The study asks why, this being the case, immigrant organisations have been unable to prevent increasingly harsh immigration legislation. It also makes recommendations for building on its new methods for diachronic analyses of fairly large corpora using critical discourse analysis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available