'As parents congregated at parties': Responsibility and blame in media representations of violence and school closure in an Indigenous community
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This article considers the discourses of responsibility and blame emerging from newspaper reportage of a crisis in the remote Indigenous community of Aurukun in Northern Queensland, Australia. In doing so, it aims to contribute to the sociology of racism and add to the existing body of scholarship on the ways in which deracialised media discourse can nevertheless be racist. The month of May 2016 saw violence perpetrated by young people against the teachers and principal of the community’s only school. Teachers were evacuated to the regional city of Cairns on 10 May due to violence in the community and fears for their safety. They returned on 18 May, only to be evacuated again on 25 May. These events form the focus of the reportage analysed in this article. The way in which three primary groups of players – parents, teachers and police – are portrayed in mainstream print media is analysed in order to ascertain how responsibility and blame are apportioned in relation to these events.
Journal of Sociology
Copyright 2017 The Australian Sociological Association. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Sociology of Education