Morehead State University

Poster Title

Vegetarians Kill Christian Missionaries: A Fram Analysis of 19th Century Coverage

Institution

Morehead State University

Abstract

This research examines the Kucheng Massacre as it was known in the United States, or the Wasang Massacre as it was known in Australia. This event happened in the Fujian Province of southern China on August 1, 1895. Nine British missionaries representing the Anglican Church Missionary Society were killed by members of a Chinese vegetarian sect, along with the fiveyear old son and baby daughter of one of the couples. This was one of the largest massacres of foreigners prior to the Boxer Rebellion of 1900. Fisher’s narrative paradigm and Goffman’s theory of framing are used to analyze the accounts of this incident printed in the New York Times. These texts include news summaries, news stories, and letters to the editors. Walter Fisher’s narrative paradigm is used to label the primary players in the texts. The players fall into four categories—missionary, vegetarian sect member, British government official, and Chinese government official. In addition, the narrative paradigm is used to explore the interaction between these players. Erving Goffman’s theory of framing is based on the idea that humans constantly change and shift their perspective of events to make sense of what occurs. Despite being trained to be objective, journalists use frames to describe incidents and tell their stories. Using textual analysis, this study identifies and analyzes the frames reporters used when writing their stories and readers used when responding with letters to the editor. Frames are identified for each of the four players in the narrative.

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Vegetarians Kill Christian Missionaries: A Fram Analysis of 19th Century Coverage

This research examines the Kucheng Massacre as it was known in the United States, or the Wasang Massacre as it was known in Australia. This event happened in the Fujian Province of southern China on August 1, 1895. Nine British missionaries representing the Anglican Church Missionary Society were killed by members of a Chinese vegetarian sect, along with the fiveyear old son and baby daughter of one of the couples. This was one of the largest massacres of foreigners prior to the Boxer Rebellion of 1900. Fisher’s narrative paradigm and Goffman’s theory of framing are used to analyze the accounts of this incident printed in the New York Times. These texts include news summaries, news stories, and letters to the editors. Walter Fisher’s narrative paradigm is used to label the primary players in the texts. The players fall into four categories—missionary, vegetarian sect member, British government official, and Chinese government official. In addition, the narrative paradigm is used to explore the interaction between these players. Erving Goffman’s theory of framing is based on the idea that humans constantly change and shift their perspective of events to make sense of what occurs. Despite being trained to be objective, journalists use frames to describe incidents and tell their stories. Using textual analysis, this study identifies and analyzes the frames reporters used when writing their stories and readers used when responding with letters to the editor. Frames are identified for each of the four players in the narrative.