Racism and Discourse

Racism and Discourse

The project on Racism and Discourse is an ongoing, long-term project that has been active since 1981, when I started to investigate the role of the Dutch media in the reproduction of racism.

Since then, many other sub-projects have been carried out, for instance on everyday conversations and storytelling about immigrants (in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and San Diego, California), the representation of immigrants and Third World peoples in (Dutch) social science textbooks, the discourses of politicians, both in Europe and the USA, on immigration (a project carried out by a team led by Ruth Wodak and myself), as well as the discourses of business managers.

Racism and the media has been a permanent concern of this project.

One of the major findings of these projects was about the prominent role of the «symbolic elites» in the (pre) formulation of racism in society.

The last years the project has focused on the same topics in Spain and Latin America.

Results of all these projects have been published in a large number of books and articles (see below).

It is also this project that has ongoingly been the inspiration for my more general motivation to engage in Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) – which I now prefer to call CDS – as well as my study of ideology and related topics.

Since 2016, a new aspect of this project has been the study of the history of anti-racist discourse in Europe, the USA and Brazil, including a study of the history of Jewish resistance discourse against antisemitism.

The books on the history of antiracist discourse, defined in terms of antiracism as a global social movement, are already written as part of the new project on social movement discourse (see under that project).


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Books on Racism and Discourse

Minderheden in de media

(Minorities in the media).
Amsterdam: SUA, 1983.

Prejudice in discourse

Amsterdam: Benjamins, 1984.

Communicating Racism

Ethnic Prejudice in Thought and Talk.
Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1987.

Schoolvoorbeelden van racisme

De reproduktie van racisme in maatschappijleerboeken (Textbook examples of racism. The reproduction of racism in social science textbooks).
Amsterdam: Socialistische Uitgeverij Amsterdam, 1987.

Discourse, racism and ideology

Special issue of TEXT, 8(1),
1988. (With R. Wodak).

Discourse and Discrimination

Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press (with Geneva Smitherman-Donaldson, Eds.).

Racism and the Press

London: Routledge, 1991.

Elite discourse and racism

Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1993.

Il discurso razzista

La riproduzione del pregiudizio nei discorso quotidiani. Presentazione di Laura Balbo. Messina (Italy): Rubbettino, 1994.

Power and the News Media» and «Elites, Racism and the Press

Spanish translation

Prensa, racismo y poder

México: Universidad IberoAmericana, 1995.

Discourse, racism and ideology

La Laguna (Spain): RCEI Ediciones, 1996.

Racismo y análisis crítico de los medios

Barcelona: Paidos, 1997

Racism at the Top. Parliamentary Discourses on Ethnic Issues in Six European Countries

Klagenfurt: Drava Verlag, 2000. (con Ruth Wodak, Eds.)

Dominación étnica y racismo discursivo en España y América Latina

Barcelona: Gedisa, 2003.

Discourse and racism in Spain and Latin America

Benjamins, Amsterdam, 2005. (Extended English version Dominación étnica…).

Racismo y discurso en América Latina

Barcelona: Gedisa, 2007

Antiracist Discourse in Brazil. From Abolition to Affirmative Action

Lexington Books: Lanham: MD, 2020

Antiracist Discourse. Theory and History of a Macromovement

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021

Articles on Racism and Discourse

Minderheden in de media (Minorities in the media

In: J. Onstenk, (Ed.) Etniese minderheden in Nederland
(Ethnic minorities in the netherlands).
University of Delft: Studium Generale, 1982, 59-78.

Psychologie en racisme-onderzoek (Psychology and racism research).

University of Amsterdam,
Laboratory of Psychology: Spiegeloog , 11, 1984, 3-4.

When majorities talk about minorities.

Notes on ethnic prejudice in cognition and discourse.
In M. McLaughlin (Ed.), Communication Yearbook 9 (1985).
(pp. 57-82).
Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

When majorities talk about minorities.

Notes on ethnic prejudice in cognition and discourse.
In M. McLaughlin (Ed.), Communication Yearbook 9 (1985).
(pp. 57-82).
Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

French translation (partial)

Discours de l’élite et racisme

Cahiers de praxématique 17, 1991, 49-71.

Spanish translation of French translation

El racismo de la elite

Archipielago 14 (1993), 106-111.

Mediating racism

The role of the media in the reproduction of racism.
Short version In R. Wodak (Ed.), Language, Power and Ideology,
pp. 199-226. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 1987.

Discourse and the reproduction of racism.

Paper World Congress of Sociology. Delhi, Summer 1986.
CRES Publication Series. Working paper No 6.
Center for Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES),
University of Amsterdam, 1987.

How ‘They’ Hit the Headlines. Ethnic Minorities in the Press

In Geneva Smitherman-Donaldson & Teun A. van Dijk (Eds.),
Discourse and Discrimination . (C.6). pp. 221-262.
Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 1988.

Structures and strategies of discourse and prejudice. Social psychological and methodological perspectives.

Paper Int. Conference ‘Ethnic Minorities in Social Psychological Perspective. Leiden, October 30, 1987. In J.P. van Oudenhoven & T.M.
Willemsen (Eds.), Ethnic minorities. Social psychological perspectives.
Amsterdam/Lisse: Swets & Zeitlinger, 1989, pp. 115-138.

Spanish translation

Psicología social de la comunicación

in Yolanda Pastor Ruiz (Ed.), Aspectos básicos y aplicados. (pp. 101-118). Madrid: Ediciones Pirámide.

Racism and argumentation: «Race Riot» Rhetoric in Tabloid Editorials.

In F. H. van Eemeren, et al. (Eds.) Argumentation illuminated.
Dordrecht: Foris, 1992, pp. 242-259.

Elite discourse and the reproduction of racism.

In R. K. Slayden & D. Slayden (Eds.) Hate Speech. (pp. 1-27).
Newbury Park: Sage, 1995.

Portuguese translation

Discurso de elite e reproducão do racismo

Delta (SÆo Paulo), 8, 1992, 1-36.

Stories and Racism.

In D. Mumby (Ed.). Narrative and social control.
(Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1993, 121-142.

Discourse and the denial of racism

Paper Int. Congress «The decolonization of imagination»,
Amsterdam, May 3-5, 1991.
Discourse & Society, 3 (1992), 87-118.

Text, talk, elites and racism

Discours Social/Social Discourse (Montreal), 4 (1/2), 1992, 37-62.

Spanish translation

Prensa, racismo y poder

translation in Teun A. van Dijk, Mexico: Universidad Ibero-Americana, 1995.

Portuguese translation

O poder e a Mídia Jornalística

Palavra [Rio de Janeiro] 4(1997), 167-187.

Elites, Racism and the Press

Zeitschrift fuer Literaturwissenschaft
und Linguistik, 97 (1995), 86-115.

Spanish translation

Prensa, racismo y poder

translation in Teun A. van Dijk,. México: Universidad Iberoamericana, 1995..

Racism, elites and conversation

Atlantis (Revista de la Asociacion espa¤ola de estudios anglo-norteamericanos).
14 (1/2), 1992, 201-257.

Analyzing racism through discourse analysis. Some methodological reflections

In J. Stanfield (Ed.), Race and ethnicity in Research Methods.
(pp. 92-134).
Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1993.

Theses on the Rise of European Racism, and How to Combat it

Socialist Studies Bulletin , 30, 1992, 17-23.

Political discourse and racism. Describing Others in Western Parliaments.

In S. H. Riggins (Ed.), The Language and Politics of Exclusion.
Others in Discourse. (pp. 31-64).
Thousand Oaks, CA: -Sage, 1997.

Denying Racism: Elite discourse and racism

In J. Solomos & J. Wrench (Eds.).
Racism and Migration in Western Europe. (pp. 179-193).
Oxford: Berg, 1993. (Short version of 154).

Racism, monitoring and the media

In Kaarle Nordenstreng & Michael Griffin (Eds.),
International Media Monitoring.
(pp. 307-316). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 1999.

New(s) Racism. A discourse analytical approach

In: Simon Cottle (Ed.), Ethnic Minorities and the Media.
(pp. 33-49).
Milton Keynes, UK: Open University Press, 2000.

Spanish version

Nuevo racismo y noticias. Un enfoque discursivo

in Mary Nash, Rosa Tello, & Núria Benach (Eds.), Inmigración, género y espacios urbanos.
Los retos de la diversidad. (pp. 33-55). Barcelona, Edicions Bellaterra, 2005.

Ideologies, racism, discourse: Debates on immigration and ethnic issues.

In Jessika ter Wal & Maykel Verkuyten (Eds.),
Comparative perspectives on racism.
(pp. 91-116). Aldershot etc.: Ashgate, 2000.

On the analysis of parliamentary debates on immigration.

In M. Reisigl & R. Wodak (Eds.), The semiotics of racism. Approaches to critical discourse analysis.
(pp. 85-103). Vienna: Passagen Verlag, 2000.

Sinterklaas en Zwarte Piet: Is het racism of is ‘t het niet?

In L. Helder & S. Gravenbergh (Eds.), Sinterklaasje, kom maar binnen
met je knecht, (pp: 118-135). Berchem: Epo.

Discourse and racism

In David Goldberg & John Solomos (Eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Racial and Ethnic Studies.
(pp. 145-159). Oxford: Blackwell.

Spanish version


in Persona y Sociedad (Santiago, Chile), 16(3), 2002, 191-205.

The Reality of Racism. On analyzing parliamentary debates on immigration

In Guido Zurstiege (Hrsg.), Festschrift. Für die Wirklichkeit (=Festschrift for Siegfried Schmidt).
(pp. 211-226). Wiesbaden: Westdeutscher Verlag, 2000.

Racist Discourse

In Ellis Cashmore (Ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Race and Ethnic Studies.
(pp. 351-355). London: Routledge, 2004.

Discourse and racism in Spain

Lecture APAC-ELT, Barcelona 27 de febrero de 2004.
Apac 53 (2005), 19-25.

Racism, discourse and textbooks.

Paper for a symposium on Human Rights in Textbooks, organized by the History Foundation, Istanbul, April 2004. 

Spanish version

Racismo, discurso y libros de texto

Published electronically in Spanish as «Racismo, discurso y libros de texto. La cobertura de la inmigración en los libros españoles,» Potlatch 2(2) (Buenos Aires), Verano 2005 (

Elite discourse and institutional racism

To be published in Cameron McCarthy & Cathryn Teasley (Eds.),
Redirecting Cultural Studies. Transnational perspective on popular culture and public policy in neoliberal times.

Swedish version

Racismo, discurso y libros de texto

published in Paulina de los Reyes & Masoud Kamali (Eds.), Bortom Vi och Dom. Teoretiska reflektioner om makt, integration och strukturell diskriminering. (pp. 113-137). Stockholm: Statens Offentliga Utrednigar, 2005.

Reproducing Racism

The Role of the Press. Inaugural lecture IX Congress on Inmigration,
Almería 21-23 April, 2005.

Racism and the Press in Spain

Published in a book edited by José Blas Arroyo.

Spanish version

Discurso periodístico y procesos migratorios

in a Antonio Bañón Hernández (Ed.), Donostia: Gakoa Liburuak, 2007.

Racism and the European Press

Statement for the meeting of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), November 16, 2006.

Racismo, Prensa e Islam

Derechos Humanos. Revista semestral de Derechos Humanos. Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucía (APDHA),
Sevilla. Número 5, Nueva edición, Mayo 2008, 17-20.

Racismo y política en España

In S.O.S. Racismo. (2008). Informe anual 2008. Sobre el racismo en el Estado español. (pp. 151-156). Barcelona: Icaria.

Discourse Analysis of Racism

In John Stanfield (Ed.), Rethinking Race and Ethnicity in Research Methods. (pp. 43-66). Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, 2011.

Discourse and Racism

Some Conclusions of 30 year of research. Paper 17th International Workshop of Critical Discourse Analysis. Madrid, 24-25 March, 2011.
In: Marianella Ledesma Narváez (Ed.),

Spanish version

Justicia, derecho, sociedad

Debates interdisciplinares para el análisis de la justicia en el Perú. (pp. 185-203). Lima: Centro de Estudios Constitucionales, Tribunal Constitucional del Peru, 2015. Short version in Alessandro Capone & Jacob L. Mey (Eds.), Interdisciplinary Studies in Pragmatics, Culture and Society. (pp. 285-295). Heidelberg: Springer, 2016.

Racismo cotidiano y política intercultural

In Ricard Zapata & Gemma Pinyol (Eds), Manual para el diseño de políticas interculturales, (pp. 114-120). Barcelona, UPF. GRITIM.


In: Marta Araújo & Silvia R. Maeso (Eds.). Anti-Dictionary Against Racism. Coimbra (Portugal): Center for Social Studies.

Racism in the Press

In Nancy Bonvillain (Ed.), Handbook of Linguistic Anthropology. (pp. 384-392). London: Routledge, 2015.

Discourse and Migration

In: Evren Yalaz and Ricard Zapata-Barrero (Eds.), Handbook of Qualitative Research in European Migration Studies. (pp. 227-245).

Berlin: Springer, 2018.

Spanish Discourse on Refugees.

In Antonio M. Bañón y Bernard McGuirk (Eds.), Refugees in Conflict and Post-Conflict. Media, Artistic and Political Representations.
Studies in Post-Conflict. Volume 12 London: Critical, Cultural and Communication Press, 2021.

Spanish version

El Discurso Español sobre las Personas Refugiadas

of this paper “is to be published in Antonio Bañón & Josep Solves (Eds.).Discurso lingüístico y migraciones. Madrid Arco/Libros, 2021.

Portuguese version

Discursos espanhois sobre refugiados

Revista da Abralin, 20(3), 2021.

(with Pierre Monforte). “Ordinary people like myself”:

Character work and modesty in the Refugees Welcome movement Journal of Civil Society, 2022.

The Discourse of the Unified Black Movememt in Brazil

Portuguese Translation in Viviane Resender (Ed). VIII Colóquio e III
Instituto da ALED. 2021.

(Anti) Racist Discourse.

In Paul Gee & Michael Handford (Eds.), Handbook of Discourse Analysis. London: Routledge. (2nd edition). 2022.