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Figures of crisis: the delineation of (un)deserving refugees in the German media

Holzberg, Billy, Kolbe, Kristina and Zaborowski, Rafal (2018) Figures of crisis: the delineation of (un)deserving refugees in the German media. Sociology. ISSN 0038-0385

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0038038518759460


This article examines how borders are discursively reproduced in representations of the ‘refugee crisis’ in the German media. Based on an extensive content and discourse analysis of German press representations in 2015 and 2016, we argue that the discourse of crisis obscures the reasons for migration and instead shifts the focus to the advantages and disadvantages that refugees are assumed to bring to their host country. More specifically, we contend that press discourses construct a figure of the (un)deserving refugee around three key themes: economic productivity; state security; and gender relations. In doing so, we illustrate how the framing of some lives as more or less deserving of protection than others directly mirrors and extends the humanitarian securitization of borders into public discourse.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 The Authors
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2018 09:57
Last Modified: 24 May 2024 18:36

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