• ISSN: 2010-3646
    • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Social. Scienc. Humanit.
    • Frequency: Bimonthly (2011-2014); Monthly (2015-2018); Quarterly (Since 2019)
    • DOI: 10.18178/IJSSH
    • Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Aurica Briscaru
    • Executive Editor: Mr. Ron C. Wu
    • Abstracting/ Indexing: Google Scholar, Index Copernicus, Crossref, Electronic Journals Library
    • E-mail: ijssh@ejournal.net
IJSSH 2019 Vol.9(4): 118-125 ISSN: 2010-3646
doi: 10.18178/ijssh.2019.V9.1002

The 2017 Rohingya Crisis: A Corpus-Assisted Discourse Analysis of Representation in The Daily Star

Sharufatun Nahar
Abstract—There is a noteworthy lack of research on media coverage of refugees and other minority groups in South Asia. In comparison, research on Western media coverage is more common and well established. This imbalance can lead to our understanding of news media representation of these groups to be incomplete and limited. The aim of this study is to examine the in The Daily Star, a popular Bangladeshi news media. The corpus contains 406 online articles reporting the Rohingya issue, published on The Daily Star’s website from August 2017 to August 2018. Multidisciplinary Corpus-assisted Discourse Analysis (CADS), a mixed method combining quantitative and qualitative techniques from Corpus Linguistics and Discourse Analysis, is utilized to analyze the data, informed by Mutua’s (2001) work in critical human rights theory. Using the corpus analysis software AntConc 3.5.7 and Van Leeuwen’s (1996, 2008) socio-semantic network model, collocations and concordances of key terms are explored in order to identify categories of representation and related discourses. Findings suggest that The Daily Star employs the savage-victim-savior (SVS) framework, typically found in dominant human rights literature, in constructing the main social actors of the crisis, namely the Rohingya, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. The Rohingya crisis is seen to be constructed as a humanitarian issue wherein the plight of the Rohingya is highlighted to construct them as victims. Bangladesh is constructed positively in processes of sheltering the Rohingya, while Myanmar is constructed negatively in processes of abusing the Rohingya. At the same time, the Rohingyas’ repatriation is a salient topic of discussion. This work is intended to enrich studies on refugee and migration issues, besides adding to existing literature on the Rohingya.

Index Terms—Discourse analysis, news media, refugee, rohingya crisis, social actor.

Sharufatun Nahar is with the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, University of Malaya, Jalan Universiti, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (e-mail: sharufanahar@gmail.com).


Cite: Sharufatun Nahar, "The 2017 Rohingya Crisis: A Corpus-Assisted Discourse Analysis of Representation in The Daily Star," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 118-125, 2019.

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