Reception of Racist-Discriminatory Media Discourse
Racist/discriminatory discourse put into circulation via the mass media revolves around the definition of the Other on the basis of stereotypes and the presentation of gender, race and ethnicity representations within a similar framework. Furthermore, the regeneration and dissemination of racism are also mediated by the media suppressing and marginalising the alternatives that work against it, and thereby exert a similar influence on other social groups and social beliefs. In spite of this, a receiver of media messages cannot be said to accept all messages as they are, or to limit themselves to the “dominant reading”. Therefore, it is of great importance to research how ideological representations presented through the media are perceived, interpreted, recreated and used by individuals in daily life. The manner in which racist discourse or racism presented within media texts discusses, generates and generalises racism and how these texts are read by the audience have emerged as a significant societal problem in Turkey. To this end, this study will perform a reception analysis for the purpose of revealing the forms of “reading” racist media content used by university students as a sample for the “interpretative community”. The texts to be used as intermediaries within the reception study are to be selected from media in general and from television texts in particular. This dissertation study aims to establish the relationship between the meaning generated by the media texts mediating verbal, audio and visual coding in the generation and generalisation of racist/discriminatory opinions and judgments in Turkey, and the meaning regenerated by the audience. The basic research questions of this dissertation study are as follows: 1. What is the role of media texts in the expression of racist opinions and judgments? 2. What are the discourse strategies used in media texts to generate and generalise racist opinions and judgments? 3. Which socio-cognitive strategies are used to legitimise/justify the racist judgments in media texts? 4. What are the ways in which the media audience reads and attributes meaning to racist media content? How is racist discourse perceived from the perspective of the audience? 5. Which cognitive strategies are used to attribute meaning to racist media content? What are the discursive preferences and justifications of the audience?