"Disease breeders among us" Canadian press coverage of immigrant tuberculosis : a critical discourse analysis

Reitmanova, Sylvia (2010) "Disease breeders among us" Canadian press coverage of immigrant tuberculosis : a critical discourse analysis. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Since 1987 the highest proportion of tuberculosis (TB) in Canada is associated with immigrants. This high burden is typically linked in the public health literature to country of birth, low education, and various barriers to primary care. The role of poverty and material deprivation in the etiology of immigrant TB is understated. Racializing TB and its carriers highlights the dual focus of TB control: guarding the health of the nation at the borders by excluding the sick and by monitoring of those immigrants already in the country. By neglecting social determinants of immigrant TB and reasons for their unequal distribution, the current TB control policies perpetuate the high burden of TB in the immigrant population. -- The racializing character of these policies is grounded in discourse about "inherently inferior and diseased" immigrants' bodies, which was central to the development of TB control in Canada at the beginning of twentieth century. In this work I critically examine the discourses about immigrant TB that were (re)produced by the Canadian press. I look at the relationship between the (re)produced discourses and the current TB control policies, and also at the historical, political and socio-cultural context in which particular newspaper discourses were rooted and reproduced. In this work, I demonstrate that the racializing discourse continues to be (re)produced by the Canadian press. In this way, the Canadian press reinforces the racializing character of current immigrant TB control. In this work, I call for the implementation of TB control policies which would address social determinants of immigrant TB and for fair and balanced reporting on immigrants' health affairs.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9126
Item ID: 9126
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 202-232).
Department(s): Medicine, Faculty of
Date: 2010
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Emigration and immigration--Health aspects--Canada; Emigration and immigration--Press coverage--Canada; Immigrants in mass media; Immigrants--Health and hygiene--Canada; Tuberculosis--Canada
Medical Subject Heading: Emigrants and Immigrants--Canada; Health Status--Canada; Mass Media--Canada; Tuberculosis

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