The Chantelles of Benefits Britain: Collective representations of the clients of the welfare state in conservative British press (2008-2012)

Małgorzata Paprota


This paper outlines the representation of Claimants, a key social actor relevant to the welfare state, as groups in two conservative British newspapers, the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph. With recourse to critical discourse analysis, in particular van Leeuwen’s 2008 work on the representation of social actors, as well as to corpus methods, the paper shows how the representation of this social actor in collective terms helps entrench the discourse of (mainly class-based) prejudice, thus working to delegitimise the welfare state.


social actors; welfare state; Daily Mail; Daily Telegraph

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Corpus articles quoted

Anderson, B. (2010): Only Cameron Has the Guts to Tackle the Welfare Aristocrats. Sunday Telegraph, 11 April.

Ellicott, C. (2011): Benefit Cheat UK. Daily Mail, 5 March.

Glover, D. (2008): New Labour’s Graveyard? Daily Mail, 23 July.

Heathcoat, E. (2008): Reality behind ‘Radical’ Reforms. Daily Mail, 11 December.

Lefort, R. (2010): Benefits Bill Soars. Sunday Telegraph: 3 January.

Martin, D. (2012): The 190 Families with Ten Children Who Get £60k Benefits a Year. Daily Mail, 9 January.

Peev, G. (2011): Now a Retreat on Benefits. Daily Mail, 13 June.

Platell, A. (2008): Shannon's Mother and Seven Babies by Six Men. Daily Mail, 6 December.

Phillips, M. (2009): Alfie, Chantelle and the Sheer Madness of Sex Education That Teaches Nothing about Morality. Daily Mail, 16 February.

Phillips, M. (2010): The Surprising Lessons I Learned on a Journey to the Heart of Feckless Britain. Daily Mail: 4 January.

Oborne, P. (2009): Where’s Maggie When We Need Her? Daily Mail, 2 May.

Wilson, A.N. (2011): Death of the Working Class. Daily Mail, 19 November.

Data publikacji: 2016-03-31 09:33:50
Data złożenia artykułu: 2016-03-30 13:06:15


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