We are influenced daily by information from different media. Through different media information of various kinds is conveyed with the purpose, for example, to enlighten, influence, raise interest or create disgust. Something that is certain is that the media affects us, but more than controlling what people should have for specific opinions, the media can control what people should have opinions about.
Media’s power and media discourse
How the media then choose to systematically rewrite a topic is called media discourse. Discourse interacts with ideologies and power that, in turn, influences power structures in society which can legitimize, influence, consolidate and change how we look at things. It can also benefit or disadvantage power structures through values, norms or power interests the text tries to mirror.
Young immigrants and the media
The discourse about young immigrants in Swedish media is often described as victims or villains. That is, media discourse presents young immigrants either as a victim / refugee or as villains looking for trouble. This discourse has become increasingly established after a long period of presenting young immigrants as a homogeneous group. In this way the media consolidates the image of young people based on the discourse used. Discourse on young immigrants is detrimental to their own self-image, and benefits among other things right-wing extremists by strengthening stereotypical images about immigration.
From this perspective a division takes place in the form of a “we” and “them”, where the two generalized groups are described as incompatible and many times as opposed to each other. We can recognize this as they prejudge stereotyped images and generalizations expressed against an individual or group based on, for example, appearance, origin or religion.
With this background, the project Alla Röster aims to encourage young immigrants to take power over their own words. Through Alla Röster young immigrants create their own stories about everything from realities to dreams and fantasies.