These discourses are interesting because they involve public figures, including the Prime Minister. Racism in the media plays a role in maintaining racist discourses, and the portrayal of such prominent figures reactions to raism could be a norm-setting discourse.
The Discourse In an interview with the Prime Minister John Key concerning the election of the next Governor General on the Breakfast show: Paul: um its almost time isnt it for you to choose a governor general? John: yeah getting it is what it is we have to choose. because the current governor general sir anand satyanand is his term finishing middle of next year Paul: is he even a new zealander? John: ah yes he's a new zealander Paul: are you gonna choose a New Zealander who looks and sounds like a new zealander this time? John: in fact. well in fact every new ah every governor general since Porritt has been a New Zealand born New Zealander. so which one Paul: yeah so are we gonna go for someone who's more like a New Zealander this time though? See the video at: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/video.cfm?c_id=1&gal_objectid=10678271&gallery_id=114287
Bowe and Martin (2007:87-88) identify the following concepts of stereotyping:
The dominant group imposes its ideology on other groups
This creates stereotypes of what the dominant group is like (superior), and what other groups are like (inferior)
Discourse about the group stereotypes maintains those stereotypes
Negative stereotyping = classifying others as the out-group, those who are not part of the in-group. Including other people/groups in an out-group based a few similar characteristics and assuming that they then have all or most of the charactersitics of the assigned out-group is called the 'lumping fallacy'
Positive stereotyping = classifying others as in the same group as yourself. Including other people/groups in your own group based on only a few similar characteristics and assuming that they must have all or most of the characteristics of your group is called the 'solidarity fallacy'.
Placing others in the out-group involves otherisation. Otherisation occurs between individuals and those 'others' who are seen as culturally different. We create our own identity in contrast to cultural differences that we see in them. This leads us to beleive that we are a different kind of person form those 'others'.
Paul Henry does not build on the immigrant stereotype, he instead utilises it to otherise Sir Anand. He trys to label Sir Anand as a non-New Zealander, and then as someone who doesn't look or sound like a New Zelander. The only evidence that is presented for this is Sir Anand's name. Paul Henry commits the 'lumping fallacy', he assume that since Sir Anand has a foreign name he must be an immigrant. Even in the face of evidence of the contrary – John Key says that he was born in New Zealand - he still pursues this hypothesis. Sir Anand looks like an immigrant, so he must have the same stereotypical characteristics. He implies hat Sir Anand does not deserve to belong to the in-group because he is like an immigrant.
The in-group is constructed in the context of the interview: New Zealand professional, high-profile public figures. Eg. TV presenter, Prime Minister, Governor General.
Non-New Zealanders and non-New Zealand looking and sounding people. Immigrants, foreign people. Have different sounding names. Don't belong in positions of power. Immigrants are here only because we have allowed them to come here – they have only what 'real' New Zealanders have given them.
Paul Henry, as a TV show host, has control of what is dicussed, what questions he asks, and what information is presented to the public. Paul Henry presents Sir Anand as immigrant-like based on his foreign name and no evidence to the contrary is available to the viewer.
Rod Emerson, http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10678236 Paul Henry's appology footage One or more news articles and/or public opinions about Paul Henry's comments http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/video.cfm?c_id=1&gal_objectid=10678236&gallery_id=114300
References Bowe, H. & Martin, K. (2007). Communication across cultures: Mutual understanding in a global world (pp. 87-88). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Chilton, P., & Shaffner, C. (1997). Discourse and politics. In T. v. Dijk (Ed.), Discourse as social interaction (pp 212-3). London: Sage. Wetherell, M. (2001). Themes in discourse research: The case of Diana. In M. Wetherell, S. Taylor & S. Yates (Eds.) Discourse theory and practice: A reader (pp. 16-16). London: Harvestor Wheatsheaf. Interview of John Key by Paul Henry (2010). Breakfast. Retrieved 6 October 2010 from http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/video.cfm?c_id=1&gal_gid=114300&gallery_id=114287