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Migration and Narrative. Key Terms and Concepts

The Glossary includes key terms from discourses on migration, integration, narrative, and media representation that will be used frequently in Opprtunities. In addition to these thematic areas, the glossary provides relevant terminology from corpus linguistics, quantitaive media studies, and narrative theory. This wide semantic field gives shape to our two core concepts, the Cross Talk and the Level telling Field.

With this glossary we launch a fruitful dialogue we seek to initiate on different levels, on political, societal and scientific level.

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Cross-country comparison of media selection and attitudes towards narratives of migration

In this report, we provide a cross-country comparison of news media consumption patterns and anti-immigrant, refugee, and Muslim sentiments in four European countries: Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Italy. Data were collected among adults aged 25 to 65 through an online survey fielded during three weeks in May and June 2021.

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Trends in attitudes towards migration in Europe A comparative analysis

This report examines the evolution in attitudes towards migrants and migration in Europe. Concretely, the report investigates and discusses the changes in the perception of migrants and attitudes towards migration between 2002-2018 using the European Social Survey data. Both the evolution of migration perceptions within countries and the cross-national evolution across European countries are discussed and illustrated visually. The analyses indicate that most Europeans are either ambivalent or relatively positive about migration. Further, important between-country differences are present in Europe. Central and Eastern European countries are especially negative about migration, and they have also grown more negative in the wake of the 2015-2016 refugee crisis. Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon countries, in contrast, hold more positive views. In fact, in most European countries, citizens have become more supportive of tolerant immigration policies over the examined period, though few are supportive of an open border policy. Finally, certain categories of citizens in the sample tend to exhibit lower levels of support for migration. Citizens with lower levels of income and education, (radical) right-leaning political attitudes, low levels of trust, and the elderly, are on average more negative about migrants and open border policies.

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Narrative Dynamics and Migration Centrifugal vs. Centripetal Forces

Narratives influence the public perception of migration and attitudes towards migrants and refugees, often with unintended and unanticipated consequences. In order to further our understanding of the construction, emergence of, and interaction between different kinds of narratives, this paper proposes a programmatic concept of narrative dynamics. Narrative dynamics research is equally interested in the pragmatics of narrative framing and the grand narratives of human rights, in fake news, propaganda and
disinformation, in mundane stories of everyday experience and the intangible myths and masterplots which shape organizations, institutions, and cultures. The paper concentrates on wide-spread phenomena, revealing key features of narratives: event modeling and event management, purpose and chaff, aggregation and normalization, as well as (re)alignment and redirection. In addition to this, the paper focuses on scenarios involving multiple and competing narratives, and it introduces a distinction between centrifugal and
centripetal effects. Three examples – German welcome culture in 2015, Matteo Salvini’s confrontation with Sea Watch in 2019, and online hate speech against a Red Cross volunteer in Ceuta in 2021 – demonstrate how these concepts help us to analyse political framings of migration and responses to representations of migration.

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The Twitter Debate on Immigration in Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Italy: Politicians’ articulations of the discourses of openness and closure

The debate between the political left and the political right has increasingly become a debate on the benefits and drawbacks of immigration. In this report we analyze the lexical choices to be found in the Twitter discourse of politicians from four adjacent countries: Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Italy.
Seven Twitter accounts were scrutinised to compare the views of traditional parties (socialist, liberal, and conservative) with those of the “new” far-right, anti-immigration parties. We considered a large sample period going from January 1 st, 2015 to May 1st , 2021 (7,294,569 words). A corpus-based linguistic analysis showed that the concept of “borders” is central to the discourse of the right and far right, while left-wing/centrist politicians favour “integration”. Nevertheless, both far-right and traditional parties use discursive “safety valves” to stave off attacks from the other side. Right-wing/far-right politicians strive to avoid accusations of racism, while left-wing/centrist politicians fear being represented as blindly believing in the benefits of immigration. Regardless of political affiliation, opposition politicians in need of attention also tend to take an antagonistic stance in their communication.

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Figures de candidats sénégalais à la migration

In this paper migration in Senegal is explained: trends, reasons, populations, ... This paper is in French.

"Au cours des dernières années, le Sénégal est fortement marqué par la migration. Par conséquent, celle-ci est au centre des discussions des populations et au cœur de l’actualité. Fait social majeur, son importance s’est davantage accrue avec le fait sensationnel de migration par les pirogues. Elle est devenue un des rares thèmes de discussion avec les séances de lutte capable de réunir toutes les franges locales quels que soient l’âge, le sexe, le groupe ethnique, le niveau scolaire, le statut professionnel, etc. C’est ainsi que dans les journaux sénégalais, il est récurrent de lire dans la rubrique réservée aux "Faits divers" des scènes affairant à la question du voyage comme en témoignent ceux-ci :  « Abus de confiance : Il vend les 20 tonnes de ciment de la dame et voyage en Espagne (Le Soleil du mercredi 31 octobre 2007) ... Ces situations laissent penser à quel point la migration est au cœur des quotidiens des populations sénégalaises. Elle mobilise toutes les couches sociales avec une présence importante de jeunes originaires à la fois des zones rurales et urbaines, certains disposent de riches capitaux scolaires d’autres non et il en est de même pour les capitaux professionnels depuis plusieurs années. "

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CARNETS DE ROUTE : RECITS ET FIGURES D’EMIGRES SENEGALAIS

In this paper the route of migration in Senegal is explained. Testimonies are used to decribe the different trajects. ... This paper is in French.

"Les points exposés dans ce documents sont « pourquoi partir ? », les « destinations rêvées », les « préparatifs du voyage », les « difficultés rencontrées au cours du voyage » et l’ « expulsion : entre échec et source de motivation de l’émigré ».

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MIGRANTS SENEGALAIS : PASSER PAR LE NIGER POUR ATTEINDRE L’EUROPE

In this paper on route of migration via Niger is explained. Testimonies are used to understand the reasons and the difficulties and barriers to migrate. ... This paper is in French.

"Cette recherche s’intéresse aux migrants sénégalais qui se rendent au Niger par voie terrestre en espérant, un jour, atteindre l’Europe à la suite de plusieurs escales. En route, les migrants sénégalais s'installent fréquemment dans des carrefours migratoires pour travailler et financer les prochaines escales. C’est ainsi que depuis le Mali (Bamako, Bougouni et Sikasso) ou au Burkina Faso (Bobo-Dioulasso, Ouagadougou, etc.), etc. des migrants sénégalais sont retrou-vés dans l’artisanat, la maçonnerie ou la vente ambulante, etc. Au Niger, ils sont souvent à Niamey ou à Agadez, deux grands carrefours historiques où ils se débrouillent pour leur sur-vie.

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Policy brief: Cross-country comparison of media selection and attitudes towards narratives on migration

Based on an OPPORTUNITIES survey on media consumption and attitudes towards migrants, OPPORTUNITIES formulates a first set of recommendations on how politicians and media should communicate.

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Unaccompanied Children Outside the Level Telling Field and Protection Systems

There are large groups of minors and juniors who need protection but lack carers and representatives with voice. These groups do not merely operate on the margins of the level telling, but they are out-side it. They are completely excluded despite the facts that they are physically present in societies, socially entangled, and that their life worlds are directly affected by the structures and systems of society. We are referring, here, to unaccompanied migrant and refugee children in the European Un-ion’s Member States. For those children fleeing prosecution in their home countries, the asylum regimes of the host coun-tries provide, and/or ought to provide, a level of protection. The degree to which this level of protec-tion is acceptable and holistic remains debatable and needs to be verified by statistics on whether minors’ applications for refugee status are increasing, processed without obstacles and are successful. But migrant children who are not in the asylum system remain exposed to very serious, and often life threatening, risks. They have travelled to the EU alone, may lack documentation, are alone in host countries and face serious risks of exploitation, abuse and neglect. In this Policy brief we suggest national strategies based on both horizontal and vertical objectives to raise the voice of children
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SOCIAL COOPERATION REQUIRES AN EQUAL TELLING FIELD

In this Policy brief we discuss the need of social cooperation. The narratives on migration as a threat to societal survival, on the one hand, and as an enabler of societal renewal, on the other, show the importance of the existence of a democratic public sphere which can expose irrationality and prejudice in various arguments by persistent appeals to justice and reason. Narratives on migration are necessarily conditioned, circumscribed and shaped by both ideologies and historical contexts and, by ensuring that there exists a level telling field, well-informed policies and sustainable solutions can be appropriately devised. Instead of societal survival, it is more accurate to refer to societal renewal and processes of change in social relations particularly since the latter ensure the continuity of societies in the long run. Instead of the mandatory integration of new-comers, it might be better to talk about the inclusion and equal participation of all residents. It is true, one cannot legislate away prejudice. But, instead of divisions between ingroups and outgroups, it is advisable for political communities to promote an ethic of listening, respect for human dignity and fundamental rights, to acknowledge the inevitability of the fluidity of society and to seek to transform differences, tensions and conflicts into creative communal conversations.
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INTEGRATION POLICY FIELD: DOERS, SAYERS AND WITNESSES

In this Policy brief we give five policy recommendations to articulate a fairer narrative on migration and integration. As stated in ‘Migration and Narrative: Key Terms and Concepts’, ‘integration policies, and the demands made by states for (better) integration of migrants, often fall short of treating migrants as full members of, and equal participants, in the community’. This presupposes not only the promotion of intercultural under-standing, but also the creation of a public arena which subscribes to the principles of a ‘level telling field’. A level telling field is open to all participants and permits the sharing of experiences, rights claims, arguments and perspective with a view to designing policies and strategies that are fair and respectful of the values of the European Union, such as, respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.