‘TOO MUCH SALT’: CZECH SWEDES, JOURNALISM AND (ANTI)XENOPHOBIC DISCOURSE
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According to the Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX), Sweden is at the top of world ranking when it comes to successful integration of immigrants and refugees. However, during the last few years, there have been xenophobic discursive attacks on Sweden, in which it is commonly claimed that Sweden is ‘failing’ when it comes to immigrant integration. Such was the case of Kateřina Janouchová, a Czech-born journalist from Sweden, who was recently in the media spotlight after producing xenophobic rhetoric. Her discourse was countered by Hynek Pallas, another Czech-born Swedish journalist, as the debate (and surrounding textual and video production) spread from Sweden to the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom. This article approaches both the xenophobic and anti-xenophobic discourse of Janouchová and Pallas from a discourse analytical perspective. Even though it can be said with certainty that accepting large amounts of immigrants and refugees (such as Sweden have done) can be somewhat problematic on the political, societal and economic levels, the xenophobic discourse about Sweden tends to be exaggerated, which will be shown in Janouchova’s rhetoric. On the other hand, the liberal media has a tendency to ‘soften’ the debate, which was seen in the rhetoric of Pallas. In summary, Janouch’s rhetoric focused on two instances: one was worded as ‘concern’ for the future of Swedish society, through which refugees were presented as a danger to Sweden; the other concentrated on ‘potential’ danger, when real troublesome issues were not found. Pallas’ discourse drew directly on the spoken and textual production of Janouch. Nevertheless, his rhetoric was different, wherein he drew upon ideologies such as cosmopolitanism, through which a humane approach is not reserved for a single people/nation, but for anyone.
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