Constructing ‘Suspect’ Communities and Britishness: Mapping British Press Coverage of Irish and Muslim Communities, 1974-2007

Nickels, H., Thomas, L., Hickman, M. & Silvestri, S. (2012). Constructing ‘Suspect’ Communities and Britishness: Mapping British Press Coverage of Irish and Muslim Communities, 1974-2007. European Journal of Communication, 27(2), pp. 135-151. doi: 10.1177/0267323112445604

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Abstract

There exist many parallels between the experiences of Irish communities in Britain in the past and those of Muslim communities today. However, although they have both been the subject of negative stereotyping, intelligence profiling, wrongful arrest and prejudice, little research has been carried out comparing how these communities are represented in the media. We address this gap by mapping British press coverage of events involving Irish and Muslim communities that occurred between 1974 and 2007. Our analysis shows that both sets of communities have been represented as “suspect” to different degrees, which we attribute to varying perceptions within the press as to the nature of the threat Irish and Muslim communities are though to pose to Britain. We conclude that a central concern of the press lies with defending its own constructions of Britishness against perceived extremists, and against abuses of power and authority by the state security apparatus.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright Sage 2012
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: School of Social Sciences > Department of International Politics
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/14095

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