Interculturality and social representation: The Araucanía conflict in the Chilean press. Melinao and Luchsinger-Mackay cases
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Niklander Ribera, Stefanie
The purpose of this research is to reveal the differences in the treatment and informative coverage regarding the cases Luchsinger-Mackay (murder of large landowners) and Melinao (murder of Mapuche community member), events that are part of the intercultural conflict in the region of La Araucanía, Chile. A content analysis of the media coverage is carried out in two written press media with national circulation, El Mercurio and La Tercera, as well as the regional newspaper El Austral de la Araucanía. The aim is to identify which representations these newspapers -all linked to the right, but belonging to different media conglomerates- give to this problem. The methodology used to undertake the analysis is a dual approach, blending qualitative and quantitative methods. Through this study it has been possible to formulate a more precise panorama of the main social representations created by the media in question, with respect to the actors in the conflict, namely Mapuches and large landowners; especially when the role of the victim is reversed between one case and another. La Tercera proved to be the most open a plurality of information, facilitating intercultural dialogue. El Mercurio shows a clear tendency to criminalize the Mapuche people, reinforcing prejudices and stereotypes. Finally, El Austral de La Araucanía, gave representations that criminalized the Mapuche movement, establishing and reinforcing a link between ethnicity and criminal behavior.
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