Between Traditionalism, Fundamentalism, and Populism: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Media Coverage of the Migration Crisis in Poland
This chapter discusses the role of religion in the construction of public and political responses to the refugee crisis by taking a closer look at the migration discourse in Polish weekly magazines credited with a major role in shaping public opinion. Presenting a critical discourse analysis based on material published since 2015, Joanna Krotofil and Dominika Motak compare discursive practices in three leading weekly magazines associated with both the “left” and the “right” ends of the political spectrum: a conservative Catholic-oriented magazine and two explicitly Catholic periodicals. They argue that religion plays a crucial role in the public discourse on migrants. While the official standpoint of the Catholic Church in Poland stresses the duty of every Christian to shelter and support refugees, the right-wing political milieu (including the ruling national-conservative party) presents the refugees as a threat to the national identity of Poland. Their construction of Polish identity is inextricably intertwined with Catholicism as it revives the historical concept of Poland as the rampart of Christianity. This rhetoric, Krotofil and Motak conclude, displays a semantic continuity with traditional folk religiosity, but at the same time has some features characteristic of the fundamentalist polarization of the social world into in-group and out-group.