Epistemic and effective stance of presenting home in newspaper migration discourse: Ukrainian versus European perspectives

Epistemic and effective stance of presenting home in newspaper migration discourse: Ukrainian versus European perspectives

Recent research of media coverage of the refugee crisis has proved that European press played a central role in framing refugees’ and migrants’ arrival to Europe as a crisis and that refugees are often seen either as vulnerable outsiders or dangerous outsiders (Georgiou, Zaborowski 2017).

The research is aimed at 1) revealing the differences in language, manifesting the authors’ epistemic and effective stance of presenting the concept of home in newspaper migration discourse; 2) the hidden ideologies, embodied by modal linguistic means, and home image constructed in the articles by Ukrainian and European authors.

The study takes Marín Arrese’s epistemic and effective stance theoretical framework (2021a, 2021b) along with traditional methods of discourse analysis (van Dijk 1991; Fairclough 1995 et al.), comparing 10 analytical articles from “Український тиждень” and “The Guardian”  (5 samples each) from the perspectives of epistemic and effective modality, representing the stance of the authors towards the concept of home in migration discourse. Both qualitative and quantitative methods are adopted in the analysis to compare the opinion articles, written by Ukrainian and European authors. Searches were conducted on the newspaper websites for articles including the search terms “refugee”, “migrants”, “population migration”, “replacement”, “home” and “asylum”. A total of 10 samples are included in the study with 584 cases of using epistemic and effective stance.

The comparative analysis has revealed that the modal stance of Ukrainian authors is characterized by higher degree of certainty, covering the meanings by which the author is emphasizing that position is true, or possibly true. The prevalence of neutral support, realizing the modal stance of European authors, points to the balance that is neither positive nor negative. A special focus is laid on the attitudes to Ukrainian refugees, embracing such factors as orientation towards self or others, degree of control on the realization of the event.



Dijk T. A. van. 1998. Ideology. London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi: SAGE Publications.

Fairclough, N. 1992. Discourse and social change. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Georgiou M., Zaborowski R. 2017. Media coverage of the “refugee crisis”:  A cross-European perspective. Council of Europe report DG1(2017)03

Marín-Arrese, J. I. (2021a). Stance, emotion and persuasion: Terrorism and the Press. Journal of Pragmatics, 177, 135–148.

Marín-Arrese, J. I. (2021b). Winds of War: Epistemic and effective control in political discourse. Cultura, Lenguaje y Representación, 26, 289-307.

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