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'Contesting the Narrative of Rootless Others' by Elida Høeg

'Contesting the Narrative of Rootless Others' by Elida Høeg

This chapter is written by Elida Høeg, former Master in International Studies on Media, Power and Difference student (2017), included in the book The Routledge Companion to Media and Poverty (edited by Sandra L. Borden). 

18.06.2021

 

Abstract

This essay seeks to reflect upon media representations of climate refugees and how they relate to portrayals of poverty. It is informed by a study of the coverage of environmental migration in two global media outlets, The BBC and Al Jazeera, which found that climate refugees are framed in four ways: as victims, security threats, activists and abstractions. In both media outlets, climate refugees were aggregated, collectivized and made generic — and their situation was deagentilized. This essay discusses how these tendencies compare to representations of poverty in general and more specifically to poverty in the Global South. It finds that both climate refugees and people affected by poverty are subjected to othering in international media, although in different ways. It also concludes that the historical reasons for climate migration and global poverty are often left out of coverage, rendering these challenges rootless.

 

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