Representation, Discourse and Social Politics

Dominant representations emerge over time through discursive practices at individual and societal levels, policies and everyday social communication. Representations in the media and in official government policies and statements have a role in creating opportunities or challenges to migrants themselves and can significantly influence the protection of their human rights. They play an important role in constructing meaning, in shaping social realities and influencing public opinion by “framing images of reality in a predictable and patterned way” (McQuail, 1994). The securitization of migration policy has led to perceptions of migration that emphasizes an “us vs. them” mentality and to greater vulnerability and precarious conditions for migrants, especially women. Social stereotypes that prevail in mass and social media affect not only our perceptions of migrants, but also the way in which migrants behave and perceive themselves. As new forms of media and communication continue to emerge, new research is needed to form an understanding of the representation, discourse, and social politics created. The center focuses its research on representations of war and social trauma, production of social identities with a focus on racialization of gender and intercultural exchange, education and social justice, and tracking flows of discourse influencing both individual and group identities. 



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