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Vol.8, Issue 1, 2022, pp. 117-140 Full text

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Ebuka Elias Igwebuike

Christian-Albrecht University of Kiel, Germany
Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Nigeria

Discourses on herding have focussed on the "exact" representations of the social actions of itinerant herders who clash with farmers while grazing on supposed cattle routes. Media coverage on the herdsmen-farmers conflict has deployed ideologically laden terms to represent herding as trespassing on farmlands and herders as foreigners and trespassers. Using van Leeuwen's Representation of Social Actions and Actors model and Martin and White's Appraisal Framework, this paper examines how different trespassing-related terms (i.e. invade, attack and destroy) were deployed in the Nigerian newspaper headlines to represent herders and their activities with a view to discussing the kinds of representations that were constructed of the nomads through the texts. Findings revealed that using transactive role allocations, nominalization, descriptivation, identification, aggregation and attitudinal lexicalization, these social actors were evaluated negatively as intruders, raiders, and destroyers. The negative othering underscores the general perception and suspicious treatment of nomads in their host farming communities.

Keywords: media representation, trespassing, evaluation, newspaper headlines, Fulani herdsmen, farming-herding conflict, social actors and actions analysis, Nigeria

Article history:
Submitted: 11 January 2022
Reviewed: 10 February 2022
Accepted: 15 March 2022
Published: 30 June 2022

Citation (APA):
Igwebuike, E. E. (2022). Invaders, Attackers and Destroyers: Trespassing-related Terms and Representations in Nigerian Newspaper Headlines. English Studies at NBU, 8(1), 117-140.

Copyright © 2022 Ebuka Elias Igwebuike

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1. Reviewer's name: Undisclosed
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2. Reviewer's name: Undisclosed
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Review Verified on Publons

Handling Editor: Boris Naimushin
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