Date of Award

Spring 5-4-2018

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


English, Linguistics, and Communication

Department Chair or Program Director

Richards, Gary

First Advisor

Rao, Anand

Major or Concentration

Communication and Digital Studies


This paper analyzes digital forms of rhetoric used in framing refugees throughout the Syrian Refugee Crisis as part of a communications seminar (COMM 460: Seminar in Digital Rhetoric). Sponsored by Professor Anand Rao, From Battlegrounds to Phone Screens: The Use of Images During the Syrian Refugee Crisis analyzes media images’ central role in shaping public perceptions of the refugees. It is the goal of this paper to highlight some of these perceptions. My primary research question is as follows: How do images of Syrian refugees affect public perceptions of the Syrian refugee crisis? There are stark differences between images posted on social media by news outlets and those posted by the refugees themselves. Photojournalistic images often dehumanize the refugees by portraying them as a faceless crowd of individuals invading a foreign land. In response, migrants took to social media to document their personal stories and share them on the global stage.

Included in

Communication Commons