Discourses Surrounding Africans in Australian Media and Society

  • Runyararo Sihle ChivauraEmail author


In the study of discourses, particularly discourses surrounding dominant and subordinate groups, it is useful to establish how power is held and how others are made to occupy less empowered positions within this. This study seeks to investigate how African immigrants are positioned ideologically and discursively in the Australian context. The same questions that Hall was asking about 1970s England are the same questions that should be asked about the dominant institutions in Australia and their relationship with the African population. The media is the primary focus, since the media is an institution that allows the general population to have to tools to understand cultures and the cultural discourses that surround them. It is essential to analyse what discourses they use to achieve this goal. In most cases of discourses surrounding ethnic and cultural differences, theorists often note that common assumptions or stereotypes are what is represented of these groups (McIntosh in Ethnic Racial Stud 38(2):309–325, 2015; Rasinger in Media Cult Soc 32(6):1021–1030, 2010; Sohoni and Mendez in Ethn Racial Stud 37(3):496–516, 2014). Quite often, these groups do not get the chance to voice their opinions or views on their representations. In their work, O’Doherty and Lecouteur (Aust J Psychol 59(1):1–12, 2007) define this type of exclusion as ‘new racism’, Brabazon (Lumina 4:49–58, 1998, p. 53) terms this specific type of media marginalisation as ‘journalistic ventriloquism’, whereby the people involved in the discourse are denied their voices thus the media maintain their ‘coercive maintenance of power’. By employing discourse to analyse people’s lived experiences, it offers more insight and cause and effect relationships can easily be identified and rationalised. This technique presents discourse in action, rather than a stagnant analysis that does not exist in an applied context.


Reception theory Policing the crisis Visible difference Dominant institutions Discourse Stereotypes Content analysis Database Power 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Living Cultural Studies and Flinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia

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