'Callous, Cold and Deliberately Duplicitous': Racialization, Immigration and the Representation of HIV Criminalization in Canadian Mainstream Newspapers

64 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2016  

Eric Mykhalovskiy

York University

Colin Hastings

York University

Chris Sanders

Lakehead University

Michelle Hayman

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Laura Bisaillon

University of Toronto

Date Written: November 22, 2016

Abstract

This report explores mainstream Canadian newspaper coverage of HIV non-disclosure criminal cases in Canada. It pays particular attention to how defendants’ race and immigration status figure into the newspaper representations of such cases. We empirically enquire into claims that African, Caribbean and Black (ACB) people living with HIV are negatively portrayed and overrepresented in Canadian newspaper stories about HIV non-disclosure cases. Our analysis is based on what, to our knowledge, is the largest data set of news coverage of the issue: a corpus of 1680 English-language Canadian newspaper articles about HIV non-disclosure criminal cases in Canada written between 1 January 1989 and 31 December 2015. Our quantitative and qualitative findings show that Canadian mainstream newspapers are a source of profoundly stigmatizing representations of ACB men living with HIV. For example, Black immigrant men living with HIV are dramatically overemphasized in Canadian mainstream newspaper stories about such cases. While these men account for only 15% of defendants charged they are the focus of 61% of newspaper coverage. Mainstream newspapers rely on forms of language that transfer a long history of exaggerated connections between criminality, race, sex, and otherness to the site of HIV. The result is that ACB men living with HIV are repeatedly represented as dangerous, hypersexual, foreigners who pose a threat to the health and safety of individuals (White women) and, more broadly, the imagined Canadian nation.

Keywords: HIV Criminalization, Media, Racialization, Canada, Newspapers, HIV non-disclosure, people living with HIV

Suggested Citation

Mykhalovskiy, Eric and Hastings, Colin and Sanders, Chris and Hayman, Michelle and Bisaillon, Laura, 'Callous, Cold and Deliberately Duplicitous': Racialization, Immigration and the Representation of HIV Criminalization in Canadian Mainstream Newspapers (November 22, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2874409 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2874409

Eric Mykhalovskiy (Contact Author)

York University ( email )

Department of Sociology
4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Colin Hastings

York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Thomas Sanders

Lakehead University ( email )

Department of Sociology
955 Oliver Road
Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 5E1
Canada
805-343-8530 (Phone)

Michelle Hayman

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada

Laura Bisaillon

University of Toronto ( email )

Anthropology Department
1265 Military Trail
Toronto, Ontario M1C 1A4
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/anthropology/laura-bisaillon

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