Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts



Collaborative Specialization

Migration and Ethnic Relations


Hopkins, Jeffrey


Demographic changes, most notably changes in ethnic composition, can have major implications for the successful functioning of a community. Brampton, Ontario, is an example of one of these changing communities. Using two media sources: one traditional—the local newspaper—and the other emergent—online news—this thesis answers several key questions: is demographic change from a predominantly European-descent population in 1991 to today’s majority ‘visible minority’ population related to changes in the manifestations of racialized incidents in Brampton as reported in The Brampton Guardian? Has the emergence of online news impacted the geographic scope and nature of racialized incidents?

Content analysis of one-hundred and twenty-two articles collected from The Brampton Guardian from 1991 to 2016 evidences substantial changes in the types of racialized incidents and the spaces in which they manifest in the community. Analysis of the top fifty comments from three distinct online news sites surrounding a viral, racialized incident in Brampton from 2017 demonstrates that online discourse is less geographically circumscribed, less censored and more politically-charged, than discourse in print media.