The Image of Islam and Muslim in the Swedish Evangelical Press

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The Image of Islam and Muslim in the Swedish Evangelical Press

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Publication BookChapter
Title The Image of Islam and Muslim in the Swedish Evangelical Press
Author(s) Steiner, Kristian
Date 2013
Editor(s) Svartvik, Jesper; Wirén, Jakob
English abstract
Currently, there are two Christian newspapers on the Swedish media market. One is Dagen (The Day), founded in 1945 as Pentecostal newspaper. The other is Världen idag (The World Today), founded in 2001 and officially independent and non-denominational. In this study, the representation of Muslims and Islam in these two Swedish Evangelical newspapers will be analysed. The analysis will deal with editorials from 2006 and 2007. More specifically, the aim is to reveal the differences and similarities on 1) how Muslims and Islam are described, what value judgements are made; and 2) what linguistic strategies that are undertaken to construct the image in question. Analyses on discourses have become mainstream in social science. The correlation between knowledge and power is widely accepted. So is the argument that control over public discourse is a power position and that knowledge is political. In this study it is assumed that discourse plays a role in (re)producing dominance and that discourse limits the freedom of action of others. Therefore it is important to reveal “the discourse dimensions of power abuse and the injustice and inequality that result from it”. Discourse tends to influence, even distort, the way we under¬stand and interpret social reality. In particular media discourse affects an audience in those contexts where it has no personal experience, particularly if said media confirm or allude to prejudiced beliefs. As Swedish Evangelicals in general probably have limited personal contact with Muslims, there is a risk that Christian media “helps shape the ideas that the general public held about Islam and Muslims”. This means that racist discourse “counts more than as ‘just talk’ and becomes powerful as a form of social action in its own right” and sustains oppressive power relations.
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Host/Issue Religious stereotyping and interreligious relations
ISBN 9781137344601
Pages 97-114
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Muslim
Swedish Evangelical Press
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
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