Symbolic Boundaries and Ideology in the Norwegian Multicultural Society: A Longitudinal Study of Public Discourse
Article first published online: 23 OCT 2011
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology
Volume 22, Issue 3, pages 187–205, May/June 2012
How to Cite
Phelps, J. M., Blakar, R. M., Carlquist, E., Nafstad, H. E. and Rand-Hendriksen, K. (2012), Symbolic Boundaries and Ideology in the Norwegian Multicultural Society: A Longitudinal Study of Public Discourse. J. Community. Appl. Soc. Psychol., 22: 187–205. doi: 10.1002/casp.1126
- Issue published online: 13 MAR 2012
- Article first published online: 23 OCT 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 17 SEP 2011
- symbolic boundaries;
- intergroup relations;
- cultural diversity
Group boundaries between immigrant minority and majority members are currently undergoing considerable and complex changes in European multicultural societies due to migration. In this paper, we present a descriptive, longitudinal investigation of the usage of linguistic expressions in Norwegian media discourse that describe symbolic boundary developments between immigrant minority and majority members, and their multicultural context. Seventy-two expressions are analyzed, and three temporal usage patterns are described (increasing, decreasing, and ‘mountain’) as central to understanding current symbolic boundaries and how they may both frame and be shaped by ideologies. Expressions describing immigrant minorities have increasingly focused on their establishment in the Norwegian multicultural society and have also shifted from general boundaries of outsiderness to increasingly specified boundaries of origins, visibility, and immigrant otherness. Norwegian majority expressions have mostly shifted toward a focus on origins. Our analysis suggests that symbolic boundaries in the Norwegian multicultural society have been changing rapidly. They seem to be shaped by complex ideological patterns constructing both similarities and differences, and which simultaneously seem to promote both inclusion and exclusion for certain immigrant minorities. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.