Print media attitudes towards minoritized communities in Northern Ireland during the Troubles

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This paper explores minoritized communities who were Othered throughout the Troubles (1969-1998) in Northern Ireland (NI). In addressing the narrative and discursive templates which allowed communities to be constructed and translated into roles of Self and Other by local print media, this paper argues that Othering during the conflict was subject to temporospatial shifts in dynamic and context-specific scenarios. This paper thus focusses on Othering of ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ communities and women, extending long established binaries of Otherness as between Catholics and Protestants in NI. Considering in particular the effects Othering has on LGBTQ+ communities and on women, media discourse has influenced perceptions of and attitudes towards these groups, which has longstanding effects on these communities, creating what Pierson labels a ‘morally conservative society’ in NI (2018, 52). Similarly, racial discourse in the region has allowed the continual ostracization of ethnic minorities, with NI gaining the title of ‘The Race Hate Capital of Europe’ (Knox 2011). While these groups have undoubtedly experienced Othering throughout and after the conflict, academic and media attention has been directed more towards the ethno-religious conflict between Unionism and Nationalism. This paper highlights that ‘common ground’ was found by Catholic and Protestant communities through Othering minoritized groups, fuelled by religious and moral anxieties. Focusing on local print media such as the Belfast Telegraph and the Ulster Herald, this study uses a mixture of Critical Discourse Analysis and Narrative Analysis in what Souto-Manning (2014) describes as ‘Critical Narrative Analysis’ in order to examine ‘macro-level power inequities and micro-level interactional positionings’ (Souto-Manning 2014, 159). This paper contributes to the debates on how different discursive domains are engaged in sites of continuous power struggles, specifically addressing how these communities are translated into stereotypical and harmful identity tropes.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2022
Event34th Conference of the Canadian Association for Translation Studies - University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Duration: 16 May 202219 May 2022


Conference34th Conference of the Canadian Association for Translation Studies
Abbreviated titleCATS


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