11 March 2019

Migration and Media: Discourses about identities in crisis

This month Migration and Media: Discourses about identities in crisis, a book by Dr Lorella Viola (Cultural History), was published by John Benjamins.

Dr. Lorella Viola
Dr Lorella Viola

Migrants are often depicted in the media as a burden to the host societies, or blamed for complex socio-economic problems, but what the analysis of media discourse in this volume reveals is that host societies are seen more and more as being threatened in their core existence by “migrants”, “asylum seekers”, and “refugees”. These categories often blend into each other to form one threatening entity.

media representation

Understanding how migrants are represented in the media is therefore key to understand the growing sense of crisis in both personal and collective identities that dominates the socio-discursive landscape of migration. And this is precisely the focus of this volume.

discourse analysis approach

Through the exploration of the fourteen case studies in the book, which are concerned with different European countries and the US, similar patterns seem to emerge ubiquitously and simultaneously. This is rather alarming especially in the context of news globalisation in which anything can become viral very quickly and have big resonance in parts of the world very distant from the starting places. Throughout the four parts, the fourteen chapters of this book offer a multi-layered discourse analysis approach which encompass several methods, varying sets of data, and different discourse scenarios in a range of languages.

'identity-in-crisis' scenarios

This volume thus provides an empirical, broad, and in-depth understanding of the linguistic means and communicative strategies used to construct ‘identity-in-crisis’ scenarios. Present-day mass migration patterns challenge the identity-construction and -performance for all communities; our volume aims to contribute to overcoming such challenges for self- and other-understanding.

table of contents

More information, including a table of contents, is available here.