ECMI Working Paper #90 released

ECMI PublicationsECMI Working Paper #90 is now online. The paper by Caitlin Boulter focuses on Roma Participation in Mainstream Swedish and German Newspaper Discourse.

The paper by Caitlin Boulter focuses on Roma participation and discusses cases of Sweden and Germany. By examining the media of these two countries, this paper investigates one crucial aspect of the representation of the Roma in Western Europe, namely how often Roma are given a voice within mainstream media discourse about themselves. This paper presents the findings of an independent research project conducted in 2015 at Uppsala University, which examines the prevalence and diversity of Roma voices in mainstream newspapers in Sweden and Germany. The author has chosen the three major newspapers in each country: independent liberal Dagens Nyheter, social-democratic Aftonbladet, and independent moderate Svenska Dagbladet from Sweden, and left-leaning Süddeutsche Zeitung, populist right-wing Bild, and liberal conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in Germany. In the last part, the paper presents the results of the research project and identifies some lessons to be learned from both of the discussed cases.


This paper examines the prevalence of Roma voices in Swedish and German newspaper articles. It explores the importance of discursive self-representation for minority and marginalised groups, and evaluates the degree to which a voice is afforded to the Roma in three of the largest newspapers in each country, across a varied political spectrum. Sweden and Germany are leaders in minority protection and both profess to be seeking solutions to the widespread discrimination against Roma within their own countries and across Europe, and therefore provide interesting comparative case studies, both due to their historical relationship with Roma communities and in light of contemporary events. This paper uses quantitative analysis to determine the percentage of newspaper articles about Roma that include a Roma voice, and the findings are analysed using theories regarding European identity-building, Orientalism, and media discourse.

About the author

Caitlin Boulter is a graduate of MA Euroculture at Uppsala Universitet in Sweden and Georg-August Universität Göttingen in Germany as part of an Erasmus Mundus Masters Programme. She has a particular interest in media representation and discourse, history, and German-EU relations. In the beginning of 2015, Caitlin assisted Dr Zora Popova on the Media & Diversity Project within the internship programme at the ECMI.

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