Successful collaboration begins with a shared language, hence the need for a glossary. This joint effort of contributors from several teams ensures, on the one hand, terminological and conceptual coherence across not only our theoretical approaches, but also the qualitative case studies and quantitative research conducted in OPPORTUNITIES. On the other hand, our glossary facilitates communication between the academic side of the project and the fieldwork conducted by NGOs, uniting our teams working from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ghana, Italy, Mauritania, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and Senegal.

For more information about the Structure and Objectives of the Glossary, click here...)

All   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Fair dialogue

A fair dialogue is a conversation or discourse in which the perspectives of all participants affected by the subject matter are equally respected and valued. In John Dewey’s (1988) sense, fair dialogue exists within communities if all members jointly explore social and democratic conditions of coexistence and develop from there a shared vision of what political aims and objectives deserve to be desired and pursued. In order to achieve this, participants have to agree, either explicitly (if controversies are to be expected) or implicitly (if all participants share the same basic assumptions) on a set of premises, principles, and procedures to establish common ground, or, in a wider context, a Level Telling Field.

⇢ see also Cross Talk, Level Telling Field, recognition

References and further reading:

Dewey, John. 1988. “Creative Democracy: The Task Before Us.” In: The Later Works of John Dewey, Volume 14: 1939–1941 – Essays, Reviews, and Miscellany, edited by Jo Ann Boydston, with an Introduction by R. W. Sleeper, 225-227. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois Press. 

Zimmermann, Bénédicte. 2006. “Pragmatism and the Capability Approach.” European Journal of Social Theory 9.4: 467–484.

Category: B

Work Package: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

[CG / MD / RS]

Family reunification

Family reunification is a procedure allowing for the durable settlement of family members (spouse and child) who have come to join a third country whose nationality they do not possess. For example, the first migrations of Senegalese women to France, Spain, and Italy were strongly marked by family reunification.

⇢ see also migration References and further reading: Tandian, Aly. 2008. “Les migrants sénégalais en Italie. Entre regrets et resignation.” In Le Sénégal des migrations : mobilités, identités et sociétés, edited by MomarCoumba Diop, 368–389. Paris: Editions Khartala.

Category: A

Work Package: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8


Fictions of migration

In The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere (2021 [1989/1962]), arguably – in the second half of the twentieth century – the most influential sociological account of the “bourgeois” public sphere, Jürgen Habermas emphasizes the literary character of his liberal model of civil society. The relevance of the writer as a public intellectual in Noam Chomsky’s (2017) sense is particularly obvious in conversations on racism, diversity, and migration. As Roy Sommer (2001) has argued, fictions of migration therefore occupy a special place among narratives of migration, exploiting, and relying on what British-Turkish novelist Elif Shafak (2020) has recently called “the transformative power of stories to bring people together, expand our cognitive horizons, and gently unlock our true potential for empathy and wisdom” (88). Fictions of migration can take many forms, including autobiographical novels, coming-of-age stories, the classical bildungsroman, revisionist historical fiction, and transcultural novels which challenge essentialist notions of race, culture, and gender.

⇢ see also figure of the migrant, migrant, representations of migrReferences and further reading:

  • Chomsky, Noam. 2017. Who Rules the World? London: Penguin.
  • Habermas, Jürgen. 2021 [1989/1962]. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Shafak, Elif. 2020. How to Stay Sane in an Age of Division. London: Profile Books.
  • Sommer, Roy. 2001. Fictions of Migration: Ein Beitrag zur Theorie und Gattungstypologie des zeitgenössischen interkulturellen Romans in Großbritannien. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier.

Category: B

Work Package: 2, 5


Figure of the migrant

Unlike the term migrant, the term figure of the migrant refers not to individuals, but to narrative representations of migrants in fictional and nonfictional discourses. Since the 1950s and 1960s, when several European countries first signed bilateral labour migration agreements, migration to Europe has changed significantly with respect to countries of origin and migrants’ motivations (for a comprehensive overview of the history of European migration since the midtwentieth century, see Bade 2003, Ch. 4–5; De Haas 2018, 5–12; Van Mol and De Valk 2016). These changes are also reflected in narrative representations of the figure of the migrant, with themes of fictions of migration ranging from earlier fictions of assimilation such as Joan Riley’s The Unbelonging (1985) to more recent works like Dina Nayeri’s The Ungrateful Refugee (2019).

⇢ see also fictions of migration, migrant, representation of migration

References and further reading:

  • Bade, Klaus J. 2003. Migration in European History, translated by Allison Brown. Malden, MA et al.: Blackwell Publishing. De Haas, Hein. 2018. European Migrations: Dynamics, Drivers, and the Role of Policies. EUR 29060 EN, Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. URL: Date of access: August 24 2021.
  • Fassmann, Heinz. 2009. “European Migration: Historical Overview and Statistical Problems.” In Statistics and Reality: Concepts and Measurements of Migration in Europe, edited by Heinz Fassmann, Ursula Reeger, and Wiebke Sievers, 21–44. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
  • Van Mol, Christof, and Helga de Valk. 2016. Migration and Immigrants in Europe: A Historical and Demographic Perspective. In Integration Processes and Policies in Europe: Contexts, Levels and Actors, edited by Blanca Garcés-Mascareñas and Rinus Penninx, 31–55. Cham: Springer. DOI: 4_3. Date of access: August 24, 2021.

Category: A

Work Package: 2, 5, 8


Filter bubble

Stefan Mertens, Leen d’Haenens and Rozane De Cock (2019, 142-143) observed that “[p]roponents of the filter bubble theory stress that within non-diverse, closed online groups where there is no room for alternative voices, opinions tend to ‘echo’, which locks users into their own – possibly false, but certainly limited – beliefs.” Eli Pariser (2011) similarly warns against the rise of online ‘micro-universes’ of personalized information – bubbles that filter out any contradicting information, letting in only what we want to hear. The term filter bubble is most notoriously used by Pariser (2011) but other terms referring to the same phenomenon circulate as well such as “echo chambers” (Garrett 2009) or “partial information blindness” (Haim et al. 2018). Mertens, d’Haenens and De Cock (2019) found that attitudes about immigration tend to be either far more positive or far more negative among frequent consumers of online news when they arcompared with people who mostly get their news from legacy media (see also the entry on “legacy media”)

⇢ see also attitudes, beliefs, and values, legacy media

References and further reading:

  • Garrett, R. Kelly. 2009. “Echo Chambers Online? Politically Motivated, Selective Exposure among Internet News Users.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 14.2: 265–285.
  • Haim, Mario, Andreas Graefe, and Hans-Bernd Brosius. 2018. “Burst of the Filter Bubble?” Digital Journalism 6.3: 330–343.
  • Mertens, Stefan, Leen d’Haenens, and Rozane De Cock. 2019. “Online News Consumption and Public Sentiment towards Refugees: Is there a Filter Bubble at Play? Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Sweden: A Comparison.” In Images of Immigrants and Refugees in Western Europe: Media Representations, Public Opinion and Refugees’ Experiences, edited by Leen d’Haenens, Willem Joris and François Heinderyckx, 141–157. Leuven: Leuven University Press. URL: Date of access: August 24, 2021.
  • Pariser, Eli. 2011. The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You. London: Penguin.

Category: A

Work Package: 4, 5

[DC / LH / SM]

Focus group

In the context of OPPORTUNITIES, the term focus group refers to the participants in Cross Talk events. The project conceives of focus groups as experimental research communities.

⇢ see also Cross Talk

Category: E

Work Package: 3, 6, 7


Forced migration or displacement

The term forced migration – or forced displacement – refers to those who had to leave their place of usual residence under duress of war, conflict, natural or environmental disasters. For more details, see the entry on the term in the Migration Data Portal.

⇢ see also asylum; asylum seeker, migrant, migration

References and further reading: The International Organization for Migration. 2021. “Forced Migration or Displacement.” Migration Data Portal. URL: Date of access: August 24, 2021.

Category: D

Work Package: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8


Frame analysis (aka framing analysis)

Kirk Hallahan (1999) points out that the origins of the use of the concept of framing can be traced to the early seventies, with the seminal contributions by Gregory Bateson (1972) and Erving Goffman (1974). These scholars already acknowledged that reality as such is too overwhelming and that people need shortcuts to make sense of this reality, hence the need for so-called frames. The most frequently quoted definition of “framing” in media and communication studies, however, was provided by Robert Entman. He suggested that frames “select some aspects of a perceived reality and make them more salient in a communicating text, in such a way as to promote a particular problem definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation, and/or treatment recommendation for the item described” (Entman 1993, 53) Sunday Olasunkanmi Arowolo aptly describes what the application of the framing cocontemporary media and communication studies means: “Framing theory suggests that how something is presented to the audience (called “the frame”) influences the choices people make about how to process that information. Frames are abstractions that work to organize or structure message meaning. The most common use of frames is in terms of the frame the news or media place on the information they convey. Framing theory explains that the media create this frame by introducing news items with predefined and narrow contextualisation. Frames can be designed to enhance understanding or are used as cognitive shortcuts to link stories to the bigger picture.” (Arowolo 2017, 1)

⇢ see also filter bubble, gatekeeper

References and further reading:

  • Arowolo, Sunday Olasunkanmi. 2017. Understanding Framing Theory. Lagos: State University of Lagos Press.
  • Bateson, Gregory. 1972. Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution, and Epistemology. Northvale, NJ and London: Jason Aronson Inc.
  • Goffman, Erving. 1974. Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Entman, Robert. 1993. “Framing: Toward Clarification of a Fractured Paradigm.” Journal of Communication 43.4: 51–58.
  • Hallahan, Kirk. 1999. “Seven Models of Framing: Implications for Public Relations.” Journal of Public Relations Research 11.3: 205–242.

Category: A

Work Package: 2, 4, 5

[DC / LH / SM]

Freedom of movement

 In international migration literature, freedom of movement refers to an individual’s right to freely leave (and return to) a country and enter another country under some kind of bilateral or multilateral agreement (as in the ECOWAS or the EU). According to Article 2(5) of the Schengen Borders Code, EU citizens and legally resident third-country nationals – i.e. nationals of a country which is not a member state of the EU (see the EMN Glossary; entry on “third country”) – enjoy the right to move freely across boundaries of European Member States and to reside in other EU Member States than their home country or country of legal residence (see also the EMN Glossary; entry on “right to free movement”). In the framework of the ECOWAS Protocol, freedom of movement refers to a person’s ability to move within a specific territory as he or she has the right to leave a country while maintaining the right to return to this country. Senegalese migrants, for example, often travel to Libya via Niger, an ECOWAS member country, hoping to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Italy.

⇢ see also migration, mobility

References and further reading:

Category: D

Work Package: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

[AT / MM]