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Jamie Baker



B.A. (B.Comm - Co-op), Memorial University of Newfoundland
M.A. (Political Science), Memorial University of Newfoundland

Supervisory Committee

Dr. Stephen Riggins (Supervisor)

Dr. Mark Stoddart

Dr. Arthur Sullivan (Philosophy)


Thesis Title

Defending the Indefensible? The Use of Bias, Legitimation, and Othering in Debates on Refugees in the Canadian House of Commons, 2010-2012


My thesis provides a comparative evaluation of refugee policy as debated in the Canadian House of Commons in 2010 and 2012. Focusing on the works of Douglas Walton, Teun van Dijk, Norman Fairclough, and Theo van Leeuwen, I assess how elite parliamentarians use bias, legitimation, and othering strategies to frame debate on refugees in Canada. My research has found that while elite parliamentarian speeches are biased to some degree, it is Conservative speech that is most biased; that elite parliamentarians use legitimation strategies in different ways to achieve the same goal; and that Conservative speech is most likely to use othering strategies as a means to defend their position.

Selected Publications

Baker, James. 2013. Just Kids? Peer Racism in a Predominately White City Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees 29(1): forthcoming.

Baker, James. 2012 As loved our fathers: The strength of patriotism among young Newfoundlanders. National Identities 14(4): 367-386.

Teaching Areas

SOCI 2240 – Canadian Society and Culture

POSC 1000 – Introduction to Politics and Government

POSC 2800 – Introduction to Canadian Politics and Government

Research Interests






Discourse Analysis