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Framing Darfur: Representations of conflict, people, and place in ''The New York Times'' and ''The Washington Post'', 2004.

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In this thesis, I examine how The New York Times and The Washington Post newspapers represented the violence in Darfur, Sudan during 2004---the first year that the crisis in Darfur gained the attention of both papers. Using a content analysis method called framing, I particularly focus on how these papers represented Darfur's violence, the people connected to it, and Darfu In this thesis, I examine how The New York Times and The Washington Post newspapers represented the violence in Darfur, Sudan during 2004---the first year that the crisis in Darfur gained the attention of both papers. Using a content analysis method called framing, I particularly focus on how these papers represented Darfur's violence, the people connected to it, and Darfur as a place. I argue that both papers offer two dominant representations---encapsulated in information-ordering devices called 'frames'---of Darfur's violence: (1) the violence stems from a chain of political issues and factors; and (2) the violence revolves around socio-cultural differences and concomitant tensions between 'Africans' and 'Arabs.' The thesis's focus is on showing how the latter 'frame' manifests itself in representations of alleged local-level social dynamics in Darfur that have played a role in fomenting the violence. Specifically, the violence is depicted as a tribal or ethnic war between Darfur-based 'Africans' and 'Arabs.' I show how people in Darfur were represented as 'Arab' or 'African,' and how sharp distinctions between them were produced in various ways. I contest these depictions of people in Darfur as 'Arabs' and 'Africans,' and representations of the violence as a tribal/ethnic conflict between them. I also reflect on the kinds of understandings of Darfur as a place that emerge from both papers' representations of violence and people involved in it. This thesis contributes to work in cultural geography informed by postmodern and postcolonial theories that has interrogated Western representations of places and peoples in the former colonized world.


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In this thesis, I examine how The New York Times and The Washington Post newspapers represented the violence in Darfur, Sudan during 2004---the first year that the crisis in Darfur gained the attention of both papers. Using a content analysis method called framing, I particularly focus on how these papers represented Darfur's violence, the people connected to it, and Darfu In this thesis, I examine how The New York Times and The Washington Post newspapers represented the violence in Darfur, Sudan during 2004---the first year that the crisis in Darfur gained the attention of both papers. Using a content analysis method called framing, I particularly focus on how these papers represented Darfur's violence, the people connected to it, and Darfur as a place. I argue that both papers offer two dominant representations---encapsulated in information-ordering devices called 'frames'---of Darfur's violence: (1) the violence stems from a chain of political issues and factors; and (2) the violence revolves around socio-cultural differences and concomitant tensions between 'Africans' and 'Arabs.' The thesis's focus is on showing how the latter 'frame' manifests itself in representations of alleged local-level social dynamics in Darfur that have played a role in fomenting the violence. Specifically, the violence is depicted as a tribal or ethnic war between Darfur-based 'Africans' and 'Arabs.' I show how people in Darfur were represented as 'Arab' or 'African,' and how sharp distinctions between them were produced in various ways. I contest these depictions of people in Darfur as 'Arabs' and 'Africans,' and representations of the violence as a tribal/ethnic conflict between them. I also reflect on the kinds of understandings of Darfur as a place that emerge from both papers' representations of violence and people involved in it. This thesis contributes to work in cultural geography informed by postmodern and postcolonial theories that has interrogated Western representations of places and peoples in the former colonized world.

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