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Regular version of the site

Book chapter

Race and class in German media representations of the ‘Greek crisis’

P. 140-154.

Research has shown that the mainstream media coverage of the EU’s economic crisis has been not only offensive and prejudiced for the people of the countries most affected by it, but most crucially, utterly relying on elite understandings of the crisis, as articulated by the political and economic establishment of the EU. Indeed, the hegemonic public framing of the Eurozone crisis followed an ‘Orientalist’ approach, through spectacular narratives stressing cultural and moral failures of ‘national characters’ and exceptional national institutions that are (supposedly) fundamentally different from the ‘European’ cannon. This way, regimes of exception were able to be publicly constructed as plausible explanations for the crisis (as a ‘self-inflicted’ problem by those not following the European norm), and equivalent exceptional policies (such as austerity regimes) to be implemented in the supposedly problematic countries. Drawing on the findings of previous research, this contribution presents the class and racist dimensions of the German mainstream media’s ‘Greek-crisis’ representations, by focusing on the ‘crisis epicenter’, Greece, a country relentlessly targeted and, slandered and shamed by the German media and the German elites in particular. The chapter concludes that both in their light and in their serious versions, the German media publicly construct the so-called Greek crisis in line with the bourgeois and post-democratic principles directing the EU.