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Ageist Language in German Newspapers: Media Images of the Youth Climate Movement and Greta Thunberg

Bergmann, Zoe Viola (2019) Ageist Language in German Newspapers: Media Images of the Youth Climate Movement and Greta Thunberg.

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Abstract:This bachelor thesis aims to uncover the representation of the youth climate movement, which developed after Greta Thunberg, by German newspapers in terms of the use of ageist language, which potentially contributes and maintains exclusive hegemony over the movement. By means of Critical Discourse analysis, the theoretical expectation of the use of ageist language in the newspaper discourse and an exclusive hegemonic setting of the youth climate movement is examined. Also, it includes the theoretical notion of a media trend that iconises and heroises young female activists in regard to Greta Thunberg as a role model of climate activism. These theoretical expectations are corroborated in the discourse from the German newspapers, FAZ and taz. The representations of the youth climate movement including the ‘young hero’ Greta Thunberg as ‘pupils’, ‘absentees’, and ‘dreamers’ were most conspicuous in the articles. It was found that the newspapers discourse emphasises the activists’ role as young people, who are obliged by law to go to school. Also, it was retrieved from the narratives that the authenticity and factuality of the youth climate movement are doubted. Based on these findings, it is suggested adopting measures that enlighten journalists and society on ageist expressions on young people.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration, 89 political science
Programme:Management Society and Technology BSc (56654)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/78812
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