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...)

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Narrative integrity

The focus of narrative integrity “is on the inherent unity of living and narrating a life” (Freeman and Brockmeier 2001, 82). Hence, narrative integrity “emerges in line with specific social, historical and discursive conditions regarding the importance of the individual as well as the importance of accounting for the life one has led in line with an overarching cultural system of ethical and moral values” (Freeman and Brockmeier 2002, 83). Furthermore, narrative integrity is the right of a contributor to his or her own story without distortion, meaning that a third person cannot change the story in a manner deviating from its original meaning or the original intent of the contributor behind the story without the contributor’s consent.

⇢ see also story 

References and further reading:

Freeman, Mark, and Jens Brockmeier. 2001. “Autobiographical Identity and the Meaning of the ‘Good Life.’” In Narrative and Identity: Studies in Autobiography, Self and Culture, edited by Jens Brockmeier and Donal Carbaugh, 75–99. Amsterdam and Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Category: C

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

[BBK / CS / FK]

Narrative market

The economic metaphor of the narrative market focuses on the competition between top-down narratives in the public sphere. It pays attention to the emergence of new competitors, i.e. new narratives on migration and integration. It explores national narrative dynamics in different EU member states and relates them to transnational debates. The metaphor of the narrative market is the conceptual foundation for the analogy between the level playing field (economics) and the level telling field (discourse).

⇢ see also Level Telling Field, narrative ecology

Category: B

Work Package: 2, 5, 8

[RS]

Narrative technique

A narrative technique is a particular way of telling a story. For instance, sociolinguist William Labov (1972) uses the word coda to refer to the final section of an oral narrative, in which the narrative’s “point” and relevance to the speaker and interlocutors are made explicit. Including such a coda is an example of narrative technique. Flashbacks and flashforwards, a relatively common device in literary and film narratives, are also narrative techniques. Importantly, a technique is not merely a device for conveying a pre-existing narrative meaning, but a form that actively influences meaning construction on the part of both the storytellers and their audience. In other words, narrative techniques are never ‘neutral’ but always echo a certain ideological or evaluative position expressed by the story, even if this position is never made explicit.

⇢ see also narrative, narrative analysis, metaphor, multiperspectivity, perspective, polyphony

References and further reading: Labov, William. 1972. Language in the Inner City: Studies in the Black English Vernacular. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Category: A

Work Package: 2, 5

[MC]

Narratives of migration

 Narratives of migration are oral, visual or verbal accounts of migrants’ experiences, told by themselves or observers close to them, from an inside (“emic”) perspective. Such life stories, which take the form of conversational storytelling, life writing, or narrative fiction, aim at sharing experiences and fostering empathy, but may also serve to claim human rights, justice and solidarity, or to challenge existing stereotypes and clichés. Within a broader framework of narrative ecology, narratives of migration can be classified as bottom-up narratives or storytelling from below, as opposed to top-down narratives on migration.

⇢ see also narrative dynamics, life story, migrant narrative, narratives on migration

Category: C

Work Package: 2, 3, 5, 8

[RS]

Narratives on migration

Narratives on migration emerge through the strategic framing of migration, usually in terms of humanitarian principles, moral obligations, crises, security threats or, from a right-wing perspective, assaults on national sovereignty and cultural identity. Such top-down narratives adopt an outside (“etic”) perspective on migration, focusing on political, economic, legal, social and cultural issues rather than lived experience. They compete to win broad support, influence public opinion or to gain votes in elections. Digital media facilitate the emergence of new forms of hate speech, the rise of conspiracy theories and the circulation of fake news. They challenge the hegemony of established practices and procedures by providing users with new channels to frame and disseminate information. The concepts of narrative dynamics and the narrative market acknowledge the complex relationships and interdependencies between bottom-up and top-down narratives in the public sphere, while the metaphor of narrative ecologies focuses on how recipients process and negotiate competing narratives.

⇢ see also crisis, narrative dynamics, narrative ecologies, narrative market

Category: C

Work Package: 2, 5, 8

[RS]

Naturalization

The Encyclopædia Britannica defines naturalization as “the act of investing an alien with the status of a national in a given state.” The act of naturalization can be effectuated in various ways, for example “as the result of voluntary application, special legislative direction, marriage to a citizen, or parental action.”

⇢ see also alien, assimilation, citizenship, integration

References and further reading:

The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. 2021. “Naturalization.” Encyclopædia Britannica. URL: https://www.britannica.com/topic/naturalization. Date of access: August 24, 2021.

Category: D

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

[MM]

News frame

In the context of his wider analysis of the phenomenon of news framing and the news frames that are the product of these framing processes, David Tewksbury (2015, n. p.) writes: “At their core, most definitions state that a news frame is the verbal and visual information in an article that directly or implicitly suggests what the problem is about, how it can be addressed, and who is responsible for creating and solving it.” News frames are mostly attributed as tools used by journalists, but in fact these news frames resonate among other key actors in the process of political communication as well, such as experts and politicians. In the OPPORTUNITIES project, especially the use of frames by politicians in tweets will be studied. We will study tweets from politicians in four countries: Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Italy.

⇢ see also content analysis and corpus linguistics, quantitative media studies, survey analysis

References and further reading:

Tewksbury, David. 2015. “News Framing.” Oxford Bibliographies. URL: https://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780199756841/obo9780199756841-0010.xml. Date of access: August 24, 2021.

Category: A

Work Package: 2, 4, 5

[DC / LH / SM]

News values

News values are all about what gets selected as being “news” and which other parts of reality are not deemed newsworthy. Reza Kheirabadi and Ferdows Aghaglozadeh aptly summarize this research theme as follows: “The criteria on which journalists and news editors judge about newsworthiness of an event or news story are called ‘news values’. The most prominent and widely studied list of news values (also called news criteria or news factors) was proposed by Galtung and Ruge in 1965 in which twelve selection criteria such as frequency, threshold, unambiguity and meaningfulness were pinned down as the factors by which gatekeepers make decisions about newsworthiness of a news item.” (Kheirabadi and Aghagolzadeh 2012, 989).

⇢ see also filter bubble, gatekeeper

References and further reading:

  • Galtung, Johan, and Marie Holmboe Ruge. 1965. “The Structure of Foreign News.” Journal of Peace Research 2.1: 64–91.
  • Kheirabadi, Reza and Ferdows Aghagolzadeh. 2012. “A Discursive Review of Galtung, and Ruge’s News Factors in Iranian Newspapers.” Theory and Practice in Language Studies 2.5: 989–994.

Category: A

Work Package: 2, 4, 5

[DC / LH / SM]

Opportunity

The dynamics of current discourses on migration in the European public sphere undermine the project of European integration by foregrounding the notion of crisis instead of uniting EU member states in an effort to overcome the challenges through successful integration and migration management. The ambition of OPPORTUNITIES is to put a more inclusive narrative on migration on the political and societal agenda by acknowledging that every crisis is also an opportunity. The project thus reconceptualizes the narrative of crisis which has dominated European discourses since 2015/ 2016 as a chance to revisit foundational principles of migration debate, create new knowledge on the impact of narratives, and initiate forward-looking narrative strategies which enable us to come to terms with a world in flux. Rethinking crisis as an opportunity for change, progress, and improvement, we believe, will serve the project of building a more inclusive, diverse, and gender-equal Europe.

⇢ see also crisis, European integration, narrative dynamics

Category: C

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

[CG / RS]

Perspective (first, second, third)

The concept of perspective is an important tool to understand the different approaches to reality and the different standpoints persons inhabit and develop. A simple, but deep reaching distinction of different perspectives is the suggestion to distinguish between first-person, second-person, and third-person perspectives (see Sedmak 2013): (a) the first-person perspective is the subjective perspective that is based on “knowledge by acquaintance” and that allows for statements in the first person singular; (b) the second-person perspective is the dynamic standpoint that emerges out of dialogical situations in an encounter with another person; (c) the third-person perspective is the outsider’s view on objects or situations that can claim impartiality and distance. In the context of the OPPORTUNITIES project, the question of perspective is central to the distinction between narratives of and narratives on migration (i.e. a first-person vs. third-person perspective or an inside vs. outside perspective); it is also a key element of the Cross Talk methodology, as Cross Talk events seek to establish a dialogue between migrants, citizens, and stakeholders, thus transforming first-person perspectives into second-person and ideally even new shared first-person perspectives (“my story becomes your story, which then becomes our story”).

⇢ see also Cross Talk, narratives of migration, narratives on migration

References and further reading:

Sedmak, Clemens. 2013. “‘Sollen sie doch Kuchen essen’: Wissen von Armut.” In Armut und Wissen, edited by Helmut P. Gaisbauer, Elisabeth Kapferer, Andreas Koch, and Clemens Sedmak, 177–197. Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien.

Category: A, B

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

[BBK / CS / FK]