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Public discourse on refugees in France and Canada: a comparative analysis

Palissery, Mason K. (2017) Public discourse on refugees in France and Canada: a comparative analysis. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This research is meant to provide insight into the public discourse surrounding Muslim refugees in the countries where they have been resettled. In general media, the plight of refugees is often discussed; however, very few studies have been conducted which examine the relationship between refugees and public discourse, which leads to the necessity of this study. This study follows the plight of refugees in France and Canada because of the vastly different public discourse surrounding refugees in both countries. 
For the purposes of this research, two sources of public discourse from each country were selected for analysis. One source from each country is representative of the political-left, and the other, the political-right. The analysis is supplemented by an interview with a Canadian Imam who provides additional insight into the life of the average refugee in Canada. The findings from this study show that social, interpersonal, and communication issues are more highly publicized in French than Canadian public discourse. The public discourse representative of the French political-right draws attention to issues surrounding refugees in France, likely with the intent to tarnish the reputation of the refugees themselves. However, the public discourse representative of the French political-left showed deep sympathy for the refugees in France.
Canadian public discourse primarily focused on the political effects of refugees landing in Canada, but social, interpersonal, and communication issues were largely unreported by both sides of the public-discourse. The political-left and political-right in Canada shared sympathy for Syrian refugees where French public discourse provided sympathy on the left and criticism on the right. This is problematic because important issues concerning the well-being of refugees are largely ignored by the Canadian sources of public discourse. The lack of depth within Canada’s public discourse surrounding refugees shows that there is a general lack of understanding of the plight of refugees even after they settle in Canada.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Palissery, Mason K.mkp24@pitt.edumkp24
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorMacKenzie, Michaelmmacken@pitt.edummacken
Committee MemberJimenez, Luisluis.jimenez@umb.edunone
Committee MemberHagerty, Bernardkazuo@pitt.edukazuo
Committee MemberCabot, Heathhcabot@pitt.eduhcabot
Date: 7 December 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 17 November 2017
Approval Date: 7 December 2017
Submission Date: 5 December 2017
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 49
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: University Honors College
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Political Science
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: France, Canada, Refugee, Syria, Muslim, Newspaper, Analysis, Public Discourse
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2017 20:14
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2017 20:14


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