The Impact of Today's Media Coverage of Muslims and Islam on the Hiring Process on the Danish Labour Market

Halima H. Jongo

Student thesis: Master thesis


The purpose of this thesis is to analyse what impact the media coverage of Muslims and Islam has on the hiring process of veiled Muslim female teachers on the Danish labour market. The study strives to answer its presented research question by applying different theoretical concepts in order to first and foremost establish what the current media coverage of Muslims and Islam can be characterized as and ultimately how it impacts the hiring process of veiled Muslim female teachers both from the applicants and employers point of view. The main research approach to this thesis, namely a qualitative data approach, is based on a hermeneutic and social construction approach which has been utilized in the investigation and establishment of the current media discourse of Muslims and Islam, the Muslim female teachers and the Danish public’s school respective cultures and in the hiring process in general. Via both primary and secondary data it has been possible to provide a profound insight to the thesis’ aim of answering the presented research question.
The findings show that the hiring process of veiled Muslim female teachers in Denmark is impacted both negatively and positively by the current media discourse. The veiled Muslim female teachers carry presumptions and prejudices about how they might be perceived, due to their cultural backgrounds and the fact that they wear the Muslim headscarf, by a potential employer in a Danish Public school which they relate to the way Muslims and Islam are portrayed in the Media. The interviewed school principals have on the other hand utilized the media discourse as motivation to contribute to a successful integration in the country and to oppose the negative depiction of Muslims and Islam. Affirmative action such as to ensure to invite potential candidates with non-ethnical Danish backgrounds to a job interview, increased inclusiveness, a focus on respect and dialogue among non-ethnic Danish employees, pupils and parents are all factors that the employers highly consider in this regard. Additionally, this study has revealed that the hiring process of veiled Muslim female teachers is not solely impacted by the media discourse on Muslims and Islam but other crucial factors such as cultural differences, parent-teacher relationship and geographical location and pupil clientele also play an important role. Finally, this study contributes to general existing research on integration in terms of the labour market and adds a further aspect of the hiring process in the teaching industry in Denmark.

EducationsCand.ling.merc Erhvervssprog og International Erhvervskommunikation (Multikulturel Kommunikation i Organisationer), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages189