Masters Thesis

A critical discourse analysis of the articulation of white terrorism

White terrorism is a phenomenon that is underexamined within the scholarship. This study is designed to add to the limited body of research on white terrorism by using Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to examine two white men who have authored massacres. The articles from mainstream media reports are being examined through the lens of van Dijk’s CDA theoretical approach. Mainstream media reporting supports a narrative that promotes white men as an unexamined and benign character within the discipline of journalism. These acts disempower minoritized people, as they are penalized and overpoliced within quotidian lived experiences. Although journalism is not the only institution that protects white males, the corporate unit is the most visible to the public. The benign tropes allocated to white people should be available to all; however, this is not the case for terrorism. This level of institutional unfairness creates a system in news reporting that confirms the modus operandi of whiteness and white supremacy in journalism. To abate racism, the scholarship as an institution must examine, interrogate, expose, and name white men as terrorists.

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