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‘Oh you don’t want asylum seekers, oh you’re just racist’: a discursive analysis of discussions about whether it’s racist to oppose asylum seeking

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journal contribution
posted on 19.12.2014, 11:36 by Simon Goodman, Shani Burke
ABSTRACT In this article, we explore how speakers discuss whether or not it is racist to oppose asylum seekers. A discourse analysis is conducted on the parts of a corpus of data collected from focus groups with undergraduate students talking about asylum seeking in which they were asked if it is racist to oppose asylum. It is shown that speakers use the word ‘just’ as part of a contrast structure which is used to present a topic as self-evidently unreasonable. While some participants orient to the taboo against prejudice, it is shown that there is also an orientation to the idea that accusations of racism are unreasonable and that opposition to asylum is usually based on practical and economic reasons rather than racism. These findings are discussed in light of the growing literature surrounding the changing nature of race talk and new taboos on accusations of racism.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Published in

Discourse and Society: an international journal for the study of discourse and communication in their social, political and cultural contexts

Volume

21

Issue

3

Pages

325 - 340 (15)

Citation

GOODMAN, S. and BURKE, S., 2010. ‘Oh you don’t want asylum seekers, oh you’re just racist’: a discursive analysis of discussions about whether it’s racist to oppose asylum seeking. Discourse and Society, 21 (3), pp. 325 - 340.

Publisher

Sage Publications / © The Author(s)

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2010

Notes

This article was published in the journal Discourse and Society [Sage Publications / © The Author(s)]. The definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0957926509360743

ISSN

0957-9265

Language

en

Location

United Kingdom

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