Refugees and National Identity in Letters to the Editor

Kate Dunsmore, Andrea Hickerson


Construction of refugees in news has been extensively researched. Less researched is the link between refugees and the construction of the receiving country’s national identity. This discourse analysis of letters to the editor in Australia, Canada, and the United States found wide variance in the way refugees and refugee policy were linked to the construction of national identity. Letters were selected if they referred to refugees and fell within a few news cycles of the respective national holidays. These tight criteria yielded a sample manifesting multiple discourses including the nation as protector, the nation as normative leader, the nation among nations, and the nation as a site of individual identity construction.


refugee, immigration, framing, discourse, letters to the editor, Canada, Australia, United States

Full Text: