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Die Verwendung des Begriffes Flüchtling im innerdeutschen politischen Diskurs im Jahr 1989
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Baltic Languages, Finnish and German, German.
2012 (German)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In his diaries analysing the German language during the Nazi period, the German philologist Victor Klemperer notes how certain words are of such importance to a given historical period that they actually reflect the thinking of an era, a claim that forms the basis for this thesis. Based on a combination of Key Word Analysis and Critical Discourse Analysis, enhanced by applying Discourse Semantics and History of Concepts, the paper analyses the usage of the term Flüchtling (refugee) in German media during the autumn of 1989, how it is used during this period and how studying this usage provides the reader with access to the mentality of the German public at the time.

After describing the relevant theories and methods, the thesis describes the development of the term refugee, both semantically and in legal terms. The international conventions that form the basis for the international legal understanding of the term are presented as well as the applicable German legal framework. It is shown that the term indeed constitutes a key word, and through a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, the usage and connotational shift of refugee is presented in text and tables.

The findings are that while the general perception of the German media (and the population) during the summer were neutral to negative, the general euphoria in West Germany about the events in the GDR led to a more positive perception, that culminated in October. After the opening of the Wall in November, refugees all but disappear from the news reporting, and when they are mentioned, it is with the same negative connotation as during the summer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 96 p.
Keyword [de]
Flüchtling, DDR, Diskursanalyse, Schlüsselwortanalyse
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-72601OAI: diva2:503507
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2012-02-16 Created: 2012-02-15 Last updated: 2012-02-16Bibliographically approved

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