Glossary

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...)

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

Perspective taking

Perspective taking is the ability to understand another person by putting oneself in their shoes. There are two kinds of perspective taking: the imagine-self perspective and the imagine-other perspective. While the imagine-self perspective tends to induce egocentric behaviour, the imagine-other perspective can foster altruistic and selfless behaviour (cf. Nünning 2014, 237). Migrant stories may stimulate their readers and listeners to try on the perspective of migrants and refugees, thus encouraging them to empathize with migrant and refugee experiences.

⇢ see also empathy, multiperspectivity, migrant narrative, polyphony

References and further reading:

Nünning, Vera. 2014. Reading Fictions, Changing Minds: The Cognitive Value of Fiction. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter.

Category: B

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

[CG]

Political listening

The concept of political listening as proposed by Susan Bickford (1996) moves beyond notions of listening as a “caring or amicable practice” (3), acknowledging the conflictual and contentious character of politics (cf. 2). Such listening creates a riskiness, a riskiness that “comes partly from the possibility that what we hear will require change from us” (Bickford 1996, 149). Political listening accepts this risk and the vulnerability that both speakers and listeners incur when “narratives of difference” are shared. Such a listening stance is not merely empathetic or tolerant, but it is also oriented towards taking action. When we listen in this sense, we recognize the other as a peer, as someone who has aspirations and ideas about a good life and well-being. We are open to hearing their story, arguments, and thoughts, and open to confronting these with our own story, thoughts, and arguments. Listening doesn’t erase differences in thoughts and views but involves a willingness to consider someone else’s ideas. This willingness is a starting point for political action.

⇢ see also ‘ability to not understand,’ ethics of listening, multiperspectivity, perspective taking, recognition, polyphony

References and further reading:

Bickford, Susan. 1996. The Dissonance of Democracy: Listening, Conflict, and Citizenship. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Category: A, B

Work Package: 3, 6, 7

[MD]

Polyphony

Polyphony is a musical metaphor which emphasizes similar, but not identical aspects of diversity as multiperspectivity. The Cross Talk events of the OPPORTUNITIES project seek to introduce polyphony to discourses on migration by making sure that not only narratives on migration (i.e. accounts by politicians or other public figures), but also narratives of migration (i.e. testimonials and life stories of migrants and refugees) are heard in debates on immigration and integration.

⇢ see also agency, diversity, multiperspectivity

Category: A, C

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

[CG / RS]

Poverty

According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, poverty refers to “[t]he state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions. Poverty is said to exist when people lack the means to satisfy their basic needs. In this context, the identification of poor people first requires a determination of what constitutes basic needs. These may be defined as narrowly as ‘those necessary for survival’ [this is considered a state of absolute poverty] or as broadly as ‘those reflecting the prevailing standard of living in the community [this is considered a state of relative poverty].’” OECD countries and many high-income countries use a concept of relative poverty to define who a poor household or person is. If a household’s income is less than half the median income a country, it is considered to be relatively poor.

⇢ see also vulnerability

References and further reading:

Category: A

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

[MM]

Quantitative media studies

Complementary to the qualitative analysis of narratives in the OPPORTUNITIES project, there will be four strands of quantitative analysis. The first instance of quantitative analysis is a secondary study of data gathered in the European Social Survey. This secondary analysis uses the landmark ESS survey data to trace the evolution of immigration attitudes across different subgroups of the European population. The second one is a survey analysis (see also “Survey analysis”), where the immigration attitudes of the population in four European countries will be studied (Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Italy). Complementary insights will be gained by data in the Horizon 2020 project HumMingBird (see https://hummingbirdh2020.eu/). For both projects, the same questionnaire is used. Data have been gathered mid2021 in the four OPPORTUNITIES countries and additionally in Belgium, Spain, and Sweden. A third application of a quantitative method is the corpus analytical study of tweets by politicians. The words used in tweets by politicians in the four countries will be compared, searching for news frames (see “News frames”). The fourth application of quantitative analysis will be a social network analysis (see “Social network analysis”). Whereas a corpus analysis provides insights into the word usage of politicians (see “Content analysis and corpus linguistics”), the social network analysis provides insights into who follows whom, and who retweets messages from whom. Next to the focus on content (in the corpus analytical research), there will be a focus on the interaction structures among tweets by politicians.

⇢ see also content analysis and corpus linguistics, news frames, social network analysis, survey analysis

Category: A

Work Package: 4, 5

[DC / LH / SM

Re-enactment

In the OPPORTUNITIES project, re-enactment refers to the process of retelling migrant narratives. During Cross Talk events, NGOs and citizens re-tell testimonials of migrants and refugees to establish a connection between in-groups and out-groups. Re-enactment requires both empathy, i.e. each participant’s willingness to listen to the others’ stories and to take their perspectives; and political listening to understand the other’s situation (e.g. an individual’s motivation and reasons for migration). It is through such means of recognition that the process of re-enactment enables migrants and refugees to assume agency in the public sphere.

⇢ see also agency, Cross Talk, empathy, empowerment, narrative agency, recognition

Category: C

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

[CG / MD]

Recognition

Recognition is an act of appreciation; in contact zones, where asymmetrical relationships dominate, the principle of recognition calls for affirmative action and empowerment. Advocating recognition and an ethics of listening is the starting point for a new narrative on migration, one which transforms the debate on migration into a conversation with migrants and refugees.

⇢ see also agency, fair dialogue, ethics of listening, multiperspectivity, polyphony

Category: B

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

[CG / RS]

Refugee

For legal definitions of the term refugee, see the respective entry in the European Migration Network (EMN) Glossary provided by the European Commission. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) broadly defines refugees as “people who have fled war, violence, conflict or persecution and have crossed an international border to find safety in another country” (2021b, n. p.). Such forcefully displaced migrants “are defined and protected in international law and must not be expelled or returned to situations where their life and freedom are at risk” (UNHCR 2021a, n. p.). Refugees do not leave their home country of their own accord but because they have no other choice.

⇢ see also asylum; asylum seeker, expatriate, forced migration or displacement, migrant, economic migrant, labour migrant

References and further reading:

European Commission. 2020. European Migration Network (EMN) Glossary. URL: https://ec.europa.eu/homeaffairs/what-we-do/networks/european_migration_network/glossary_en. Date of access: August 24, 2021.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). 2021a. “Refugees.” UNHCR: The UN Refugee Agency. URL: https://www.unhcr.org/refugees.html. Date of access: August 24, 2021.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). 2021b. “What Is a Refugee?” UNHCR: The UN Refugee Agency. URL: https://www.unhcr.org/uk/what-is-a-refugee.html. Date of access: August 24, 2021.

Category: D, E

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

[CG]

Remittance

Remittance is any good or money that a migrant sends back to his or her family or friends back in their home country or place of origin. For further details on the amount and importance of remittance, see Ratha 2005 as well as the explications and discussions provided on the Migration Data Portal and the World Bank website.

References and further reading:

Category: A

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

[MM]

Representation of migration

Representations of migration and mobility or migrants and other mobile individuals (see “Figure of the migrant”) can be found in a wide range of discourses, media, and genres. These include literary texts (e.g. novels, short stories, plays; see also “Fictions of migration”), non-fiction books, newspaper articles, policy narratives and political speeches, as well as feature films and TV series. Discourses of migration frequently draw on narrative as a dominant mode of representation. The main reason for this is probably that narrative may appeal to audiences differently than other modes of representation (e.g., argument, description, or explanation). Psychologists and media theorists have repeatedly argued that “stories have the power to influence minds and motivate action” (Bech Sillesen et al. 2015, n. p.), as they evoke empathy by causing their audiences to become emotionally involved with the characters presented in these stories (see Green and Brock 2000). This ‘strategy of affect’ is particularly effective in stories presenting vulnerable, marginalized, or even stigmatized groups such as migrants, refugees, or asylum seekers (see Oliver et al. 2012).

⇢ see also empathy, fictions of migration, figure of the migrant, narrative, narratives of migration, narratives on migration

References and further reading:

  • Bech Sillesen, Lene, Chris Up, and David Uberti. 2015. “Journalism and the Power of Emotions.” CJR: Columbia Journalism Review May/June 2015. URL: https://www.cjr.org/analysis/journalism_and_the_power_of_emotions.php. Date of access: August 24, 2021.
  • Green, Melanie C., and Timothy C. Brock. 2000. “The Role of Transportation in the Persuasiveness of Public Narratives.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 79.5: 701–721.
  • Juvonen, Annimari, and Verena Lindemann Lino, eds. 2021. Negotiations of Migration: Reexamining the Past and Present in Contemporary Europe. Berlin and Boston, MA: De Gruyter.
  • Oliver, Mary Beth, James Price Dillard, Keunmin Bae, and Daniel J. Tamul. 2012. “The Effect of Narrative News Format on Empathy for Stigmatized Groups.” Journalism & Mass Communication Quaterly 89.2: 205–224.

Category: A

Work Package: 2, 4, 5, 8

[CG]