Meanings of integration in the Australian press coverage of Muslims: Implications for social inclusion and exclusion
This article uses a framing perspective to analyse the Australian press coverage of Muslim Australians concerning the issue of their integration into Australian society. Taking a qualitative approach, this study is based on analysis of articles published in The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and The Courier-Mail in alternate years from 2002 to 2010. Of particular focus are the themes and definitions associated with integration that arise in the context of the coverage. The study finds the coverage of Muslim integration to contain both favourable and pejorative representations of Muslims. However, the coverage tends to focus on certain themes that represent only a minority of Muslims, such as radicalisation and terrorism. Muslim integration also features as central to debates concerning multiculturalism, Australian values and the citizenship test. The coverage uses narrow definitions of integration mainly based on cultural indicators rather than other definitions prevalent in the scholarly literature on integration such as economic, political and broader social indicators. Overall, the article suggests that these limitations to the coverage have the potential to impact on public perceptions of social inclusion and exclusion in relation to Muslim Australians.
Media International Australia
Multicultural, Intercultural and Cross-cultural Studies