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The social construction of Muslim minority groups in Canada

Date

2018-01-11

Journal Title

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Type

Thesis

Degree Level

Doctoral

Abstract

This dissertation explores Canadian mainstream print media's discourse on Muslim minority groups in Canada in the pre- and post-9/11 timeframe. By using critical discourse analysis (CDA) of three Canadian English newspapers as well as focus group discussions, and individual interviews, this study explores the issues of racialization, Islamophobia, and the role of Canadian mainstream print media in the construction of stereotypical images of the Muslim minority groups in Canada. The data reveal the frequent usage of stereotypical racialized terms in three Canadian newspapers (two national and one local) directed toward Muslims in the post-9/11 period cultivated moral panics in Canadian society. Although Muslim were negatively portrayed in these newspapers before 9/11, the situation escalated in the post-9/11 era. Participants in the focus group discussion and individual interviews also stated that the post-9/11 moral panics augmented and perpetuated the negative feelings towards Muslims. An increased trend in racial and religious discrimination against Muslims was observed throughout Canada after the 9/11 incident in New York. The negative portrayal of Muslims stemmed from a lack of understanding of Muslim minority groups, their culture and/or international distortion of Muslims by media personnel, who did not differentiate between the small number of Muslims who engaged in or support terrorist acts, and the majority of Muslims who do not. By neglecting to recognize this conflation of the different perspectives of Muslims on these matters, the selected newspapers contributed to the escalation of moral panics in Canadian society, which resulted in increased negative attitudes towards Muslims.

Description

Keywords

Social construction, Muslims, Muslim minority groups, racialization, stereotyping, racism, race and ethnic relations, media representation, critical discourse analysis, media discourse, Canadian newspapers

Citation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Department

Sociology

Program

Sociology

Citation

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