'As British as fish and chips': British newspaper representations of Mo Farah during the 2012 London Olympic Games

BLACK, Jack (2016). 'As British as fish and chips': British newspaper representations of Mo Farah during the 2012 London Olympic Games. Media, Culture & Society. (In Press)

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Official URL: http://mcs.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/03/07/01...
Link to published version:: 10.1177/0163443716635863


This article examines British newspaper representations of the ‘Team GB’ athlete Mohamed ‘Mo’ Farah during the 2012 London Olympic Games. In particular, attention is given to examining how representations of Farah were related to discourses on British multiculturalism. A brief discussion of recent rejections of multiculturalism is provided, with specific reference given to political and public calls for immigrants to assimilate with ‘British values’. By turning away from a dichotomous understanding of assimilation, this article suggests that processes of assimilation reflect a complicated coalescence of national inclusion and exclusion. That is, rather than simply highlighting how the national press serve to reproduce simple ‘us’ and ‘them’ binaries, this article draws upon Elias and Scotson’s established–outsider perspective in order to examine how the discursive construction of the ‘nation’ rests upon a dynamic process of identifying and managing ‘outsider’ individuals. As a result, while ‘outsider’ groups are frequently subjected to negative media portrayals, it is argued that Farah’s significance was underscored by discourses that sought to highlight his assimilated Britishness and through his promotion as a symbol of Britain’s achieved multiculturalism.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sport Industry Research Centre
Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Communication and Computing Research Centre
Identification Number: 10.1177/0163443716635863
Depositing User: Jack Black
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2016 15:48
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2016 21:11
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11797

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