Race and (Re)Presentation

  • Runyararo Sihle ChivauraEmail author


The next stage in this study is to evaluate how race is ascribed meaning in Australian media. I will chiefly be using Stuart Hall’s theorisations of how language is used as a representational system (Hall, 1997a, c; Jhally & Hall, 1997) as well as criteria of how moral panics are created in society (Goode and Ben-Yehuda 1994). In any discursive study, it is essential to study the use of language in a text, a text in this instance is taken to mean written and spoken language as well as images. Hall (1990, 1997a, c, 2000) highlight that the study of language is important in Cultural Studies as it creates and frames meaning. I have coined the term symbolic violence to mean discourse or deeds that villainise or demonise particular groups in society, through the way that they are presented in discourse. It is particularly important to consider how language plays a role in fueling moral panics and stigma of particular persons and groups. I will be drawing form articles that I collected from the media content analysis study initially and broadly then discussing specific articles in depth. Discourse analysis and Cultural Studies align as their chief focus is establishing how power is maintained and demonstrated through language analysis. The interrogation of texts and images is seen as a way of revealing how dominant institutions want to shape society’s understanding of specific groups and themes. When certain images are repeatedly presented time and time again, they start to become familiar. These items and symbols aid in building a common-sense understanding of a group. Thus, in the reader’s interrogation of the texts, common-sense identifiers and comprehension of certain groups is easily achieved. Common sense is a term that has been heavily contested because it does not specify to whom the sense is common to.


Moral panic Discourse analysis Race African male African female Violence Refugee Common sense Content analysis 


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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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