Toronto Metropolitan University
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Framing the Immigrant Family: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Immigrant Families and Family-Related Immigration Policies in Newsprint Media

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posted on 2023-07-13, 21:16 authored by Emma Munro

Family-related immigration and the economic, social and emotional costs of family separation, continue to be undervalued within Canadian immigration policy and public discourse. Situated in the current neoliberal context, current immigration policy is largely informed by human-capital theory which treats (im)migrants as individuals, ignoring their social, emotional, and familial ties (Gabriel, 2006). As well, Canadian policies perpetuate a narrow construction of “the family,” the nuclear or conjugal family,

which structures who can immigrate and ultimately become a citizen, leading to negative outcomes for

(im)migrant families. This work seeks to examine, through employing a critical media discourse analysis, how (im)migrant families are framed in newsprint media during a time of significant changes to family-related immigration (2011-2019). My analysis found that both which type of family is being written about as well as the framing of (im)migrant families and family-related immigration policies in newspaper articles, depended greatly upon the ideology of the newspaper and which government was in power at the time of publishing.

Key words: Immigrant family; migrant family; family reunification; Canada; nation-building





  • Master of Arts


  • Immigration and Settlement Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP

Thesis Advisor

Patrizia Albanese