Article

The depiction of Polish migrants in the United Kingdom by the British press after Poland's accession to the European Union

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Abstract

Purpose – A negative framing of immigrants to stir populist sentiment is a widespread tactic repeatedly deployed by the British press. Following the accession of ten new and predominantly Eastern European member‐states to the European Union in 2004, this gambit was again utilised to provocatively portray migrant workers newly arriving in the United Kingdom as an external economic threat. The aim of this paper was to uncover the recurrent ways in which Polish migrants were emotively framed by the top daily British newspapers during this period of EU enlargement. Design/methodology/approach – A bespoke collection of newspaper articles was assembled and examined using a corpus‐based discourse analysis. The analysis was subsequently triangulated with relevant responses to a series of public opinion surveys. Findings – Results show that the British press conformed to classic media representations of migrants when referring to Poles in particular, by depicting them as an external economic threat “flooding” the country; in addition a novel stereotype of the “Polish plumber” was used to present them arriving to take the jobs of native manual labourers. Originality/value – The study adds to the understanding of media attitudes towards new migrants in the UK, and demonstrates the utility of triangulated corpus‐based discourse analysis for those who seek to highlight systematic characterisations of migrants in the popular press.

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... In multi-media British society, mass media has played a crucial role in distributing a biased image of the Polish worker. Spigelman [2013] carried out a discursive analysis of the British tabloids and found persistent use of metaphors of natural disasters to frame the 'otherness' of migrants, who in particular are blamed for threatening the employment security of the local population. Spigelman, drawing on fi ndings from the Northern Life and Times Survey, also showed that this anti-Polish bias was spread relatively widely in Britain, including Northern Ireland, where respondents identifi ed Polish migrants as the group that faces the most prejudices in Northern Ireland. ...
... Formally, Poles, like any other EU citizens, are eligible for employment in the UK; therefore, imposing the folk devil image on them requires a multi-mediated effort. This produces a symbolic degradation, achieved, for instance, by amplifying their 'otherness', which has been observed by Spigelman [2013], or by associating them with a criminal threat [Mawby and Gibsy 2009]. It was by means of such a 'spiral of signifi cation' [Hall et al. 1978] around the image of job insecurities that it was possible to develop an impression of a major threat undermining the collective well-being. ...
... Only Mawby and Gibsy [2009: 48] have hinted in passim that further analysis of the 'slow burn model' would perhaps require 'incorporating the insights of risk-society scholars'. In this sense, the recurring image of the criminal Eastern European migrant that stands at the centre of Mawby and Gisby's [2009] contribution or the 'Polish plumber' threatening the jobs of British nationals in Spigelman's [2013] piece provide implicit insight from the perspective of the dialectics that govern individual risk management against the collective representation of harm as embodied by different categories of folk devils acted upon in the form of social grievances. These dialectics, as Hier reminds us, are cyclical (not a single volatile moment); moreover, the revised model suggests that the subject identifi ed as the cause of a panic is empirically contingent and changes over the course of ongoing eruptions of panic. ...
Article
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This article examines British societal reactions to Polish migrant workers using a framework that combines recent developments of the moral panic concept informed by the sociology of moral regulation and risk governance studies. Given the multi-mediated nature of contemporary moral panics and in contrast to conventional analysis focusing on newspaper coverage this article is based on Polish migrants' self-reported experiences. Moral panic claims-making about Polish workers 'taking British jobs' and 'abusing British social benefits' are perceived by the respondents themselves. Our analysis is in line with Sean Hier's conceptualisations of the interplay between individualised risk management and moral panic claims-making, which are manifestations of conflictual sites of the contemporary neo-liberal project of prudentialism. The article argues that the anti-Polish migrant campaign in Britain after 2004, which dramatised Polish migrants as 'stealing the jobs' of the native population, cannot be properly analysed as an irrational ethnic bias or an elite-engineering panic but is rather an expression of the destabilising effects of employment insecurities within Western risk societies.
... The economic determinants for moving in the UK refer to output per capita, unemployment and wage differentials as well as consistent economic disparities between regions as Simionescu showed [38]. Contrary to previous studies from literature [15] [28] [41] in this empirical study, the economic and social determinants of migration to the UK were determined for each EU member state in the CEE. Actually, a specific profile of macroeconomic determinants for each origin country of migrants was built. ...
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... Furthermore, there is overwhelming confirmation of UK coverage emphasising increasing immigration numbers (Allen and Blinder, 2013;Cheregi, 2015;KhosraviNik et al., 2012;Philo et al., 2013;Spigelman, 2012). The same literature (including Liz Gerard (see Note 9) and Balch and Balabanova, 2014) also detects a strong and consistent media emphasis on the threat of immigrants to the UK's economy and security, and its National Health Service (NHS), schools, housing and benefits systems -which is often unfounded (Fitzgerald and Smoczyński, 2015). ...
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... Supporters of migration could not build a positive economic case as the local population experienced negative consequences of the 2008 financial crisis (Balch, Balabanova, 2014). Negative views were at least supported (Spigelman, 2013) if not generated by the media as news coverage influenced public opinion (Blinder, Allen, 2016). While statistics showed that EU citizens in the UK paid more in taxes than took back (Oxford Economics, 2018), the British perceived them as a welfare burden. ...
... The search terms were: migrant OR migration OR immigrant OR emigrant OR refugee OR ethnic OR citizen OR (free AND movement) OR Polish OR Romanian. Polish and Romanian were included as they represented two of the largest European Union national groups based in the UK (Office for National Statistics, 2019) and were examples of stereotypical economic migration to the UK (Spigelman, 2013;Cheregi, 2018). In total, 4,619 tweets met these criteria. ...
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... The United Kingdom was one of the supporting countries of the EU enlargement in 2004 and was among the few countries that did not impose restrictions on receiving migrants from CEE countries (Cini and Borragán, 2013). Recent studies in literature confirm the media position against immigrants (Spoonley and Butcher, 2009, Robinson et al., 2010, Leveson, 2012, Esses and Medianu, 2013, Spigelman, 2013, Drzewiecka et al., 2014. Spigelman (2013) showed that the negative image of the 2004-2008 Polish immigrants is contrary to reality. ...
... Recent studies in literature confirm the media position against immigrants (Spoonley and Butcher, 2009, Robinson et al., 2010, Leveson, 2012, Esses and Medianu, 2013, Spigelman, 2013, Drzewiecka et al., 2014. Spigelman (2013) showed that the negative image of the 2004-2008 Polish immigrants is contrary to reality. Esses and Medianu (2013) suggest that the negative and exaggerated image of immigrants and refugees in the UK goes right up to dehumanization. ...
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... My PhD research investigates ethnic and linguistic identity construction in bilingual Polishborn adolescents living in the UK. I was interested in how Polish teenagers positioned themselves in a Britain that was becoming increasingly hostile to migrants from member states of the European Union, especially Poles (Spigelman 2013). To investigate this, the research was designed as a qualitative study comprising of in-depth interviews with Polishborn adolescents aged between 11 and 16. ...
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This Forum issue discusses the centrality of the fieldwork in doctoral research. The inevitability of researchers' influence and of their values apparent during and after their fieldwork calls for a high degree of reflexivity. Since the standard methodology textbooks do not sufficiently guide on addressing such challenges, doctoral researchers go through stressful phases, at times revising various decisions they made before starting fieldwork. By drawing upon four case studies from varied contexts, this forum highlights some of these challenges including: going beyond signing the consent form and building rapport to elicit student voices; the ethical implications of White privilege of researchers turning consent into an obligatory contract with participants; unanticipated delays in the fieldwork opening up new possibilities; and tensions resulting from negotiating between insider and outsider identities while researching in two hostile contexts.
... My principal argument is that post-communist states today are dealing with conflicting sources of ontological insecurity. They are anxious to be perceived as fully European by "core" European states, a status that remains fleeting especially in the aftermath of the openly anti-East European rhetoric of the Eurocrisis and Brexit (Spigelman 2013, Favell 2017, Browning 2018. Being fully European, however, means sharing in the cosmopolitan European narratives of the twentieth century, perhaps the strongest being the narrative of the Holocaust. ...
Article
Post-communist states today are dealing with conflicting sources of ontological insecurity. They are anxious to be perceived as fully European by “core” European states, a status that remains fleeting. Being fully European, however, means sharing in the cosmopolitan European narratives of the twentieth century, perhaps the strongest being the narrative of the Holocaust. Influencing the European Union’s own memory politics and legislation in the process, post-communist states have attempted to resolve these insecurities by undergoing a radical revision of their respective Holocaust remembrance where the memory, symbols, and imagery of the Holocaust become appropriated to represent crimes of communism. By rejecting the cosmopolitan European narrative of the Holocaust, post-communist states have also removed anti-fascist resistance from the core memory of the Holocaust, allowing for a revival and ideological normalisation of contemporary fascist ideological movements. I illustrate the argument with an overview of contemporary Holocaust remembrance practices in the EU’s youngest member, Croatia.
... However, without looking past the parochial, post-communist national image and becoming interested in the topic itself, as occurred with Vygotsky, such collaboration is difficult to establish or break through to the dominant academic circles. Although a European country, it is symbolic of cul- tural and economic oppression, Poland's academic reputation and Korczak's legacy are intertwined with the Holocaust and more recent negativity towards its immigrants, par- ticularly in the United Kingdom (Spigelman, 2013). As a critical theorist/educational practitioner, Korczak's relevance to current social and political issues is the reason this work deviates from the well-worn path of a biographical narrative. ...
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This edited volume about the educational, social and political issues of the globalized world, is a collection of chapters by experienced academics from many different countries that are directly or indirectly entangled in the post-colonial social and economic milieu. The chapters come from Algeria, Ecuador, India, Italy, Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, the UK and the USA. The book offers original ways of understating the social and educational contexts of globalized societies, through the critical lens of a post-colonial framing. In the title, the word 'contexts' refers to the inescapable social and educational environments that one is immersed in during their upbringing and throughout adult life. In some of the chapters we find discussions on the sociological aspects of the environment in which the education is constructed and delivered, in others we find the interconnectivity between the sociological aspects of life and the systems of education. The issues of social inclusion and exclusion are ever-present in each of the chapters and power relations are carefully examined, questioning the ideological and economic underpinning of education and the world's social stratification. Due to the cross-continental nature of the book, the principle of world 'englishes' is willingly adopted, entrusting that the chapters will gain a global readership.
... W prasie tej dominował negatywny obraz imigracji Polaków porównanych do naturalnej katastrofy, 236 3. Czynniki wpływające na stan polskich organizacji imigranckich w wybranych krajach plagi i posądzanych o zabieranie miejsc pracy i dumping społeczny. Taki wizerunek w prasie tabloidalnej obejmował jednak wszystkie grupy migrantów (Spigelman 2013). ...
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Autorzy w przekrojowy sposób opisują sytuację polskich organizacji imigranckich w wybranych krajach europejskich (Niemczech, Francji, Wielkiej Brytanii, Irlandii, Norwegii, Szwecji, Holandii, Włoszech i Hiszpanii) na podstawie przeprowadzonych dogłębnych badań terenowych, takich jak: badanie techniką sondażu internetowego (CAWI) – ilościowe badanie zaangażowania społecznego, stosunku do polskich organizacji imigranckich oraz charakterystyki społeczno-demograficznej Polaków mieszkających w wybranych krajach europejskich, wywiady pogłębione z przedstawicielami instytucji zajmujących się koordynacją, kreowaniem i realizacją polityki polonijnej, wywiady pogłębione z przedstawicielami instytucji zajmujących się koordynacją, kreowaniem i realizacją polityk imigracyjnych i integracyjnych w wybranych krajach europejskich, wywiady pogłębione z ekspertami w zakresie polskich organizacji imigranckich w wybranych krajach europejskich na temat oceny kondycji polskich organizacji imigranckich, studia przypadków polskich organizacji imigranckich w wybranych krajach europejskich, mające na celu szczegółowe zbadanie działalności wybranych organizacji ze szczególnym uwzględnieniem ich kondycji oraz czynników na tę kondycję wpływających, badanie techniką sondażu instytucjonalnego polskich organizacji imigranckich w wybranych krajach europejskich. Prezentowana publikacja ma charakter nowatorski. Przedstawia pierwsze tego typu przekrojowe badania polskich organizacji imigranckich. Pozwala ponadto na dokonywanie porównań oraz uogólnień, które umożliwiają formułowanie nowych propozycji teoretycznych zmierzających do zbudowania modelu wyjaśniającego sytuację organizacji imigranckich.
... Čábelková et al., 2015)) The Poles are the largest community of immigrants from the UK, most of them arriving after the EU enlargement in 2004. Spigelman (2013) showed that the negative image of the Poles in the British media in the period 2004-2008 was not justified by the reality. Moreover, Esses, Medianu and Lawson (2013) considered that the negative image of immigrants from CEE countries and refugees arrived till dehumanization. ...
... The salience of the immigration issue in the contemporary British public sphere is also evidenced through analysis of the 'Brexit rhetoric' of policymakers and media, which generated discourses of uncertainty and ever-growing anxiety, as well as xenophobia and hatred (Cap 2017, 67). Issues related to the representation of EU immigration in the UK have also been studied in terms of East-West movements (Spigelman 2013). As for asylum and forced migration, Alexandria Innes (2010) argues that the ability of the mass media to construe asylum seekers, by definition among the most vulnerable individuals in the world, as a group posing a threat to the physical integrity, economy and identity of the British state and society, is not only testimony to their influence, but also a powerful complement to the country's asylum policy in its construction of national identity. ...
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It is generally agreed that a massive influx of foreigners into a country is not only a social issue to be understood and managed, but also something that prompts strong sentiments and moral qualms. By associating the narratives that emerged recently in UK mainstream media, through which the British public ‘made sense of’ (im)migration, with specific conceptions of justice, it is possible to discern the normative premises of the country’s response to (exceptional) movements of people within the EU migration system of governance. Remarkably, while migration narratives hinge to a large extent on the need to ‘take back control’ and ‘defend’ a threatened nation, the EU proves to be a problematic, yet very salient component of Britain’s debate on immigration, which could continue even after the latter’s progressive detachment from the Union.
... Čábelková et al., 2015)) The Poles are the largest community of immigrants from the UK, most of them arriving after the EU enlargement in 2004. Spigelman (2013) showed that the negative image of the Poles in the British media in the period 2004-2008 was not justified by the reality. Moreover, Esses, Medianu and Lawson (2013) considered that the negative image of immigrants from CEE countries and refugees arrived till dehumanization. ...
Article
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Considering that large numbers of the EU-8 immigrants was a strong argument for the Brexit, the objective of this paper is to assess some economic effects of migration from Poland to the UK for both countries. Intensive emigration of the Poles to the UK since 2004 negatively affected Poland's economic growth in the long run, but it also reduced tensions at the labour market by decreasing the unemployment rate. On the other hand, the increase in Polish immigrants in the UK did not significantly affect economic growth and unemployment rate in the destination country in the short run in the period 2004-2015. A significance influence was observed only in the long run, when the UK economic growth decreased, but the pressures on the labour market significantly reduced. From these empirical findings, some policy recommendations are required for both countries: for Poland, migration policies to promote the return of migrants and more efficient utilization of labour force, while for the UK – shaping a more flexible labour market.
... Izabela Pompova 6 However, recent research studies confirm that the media do misrepresent im/migrants (Drzewiecka et al., 2014;Spigelman, 2013;Esses & Medianu, 2013;Leveson, 2012;Gemi, Ulasiuk & Triandafyllidou, 2012;Fox, Moroșanu & Szilassy, 2012;Robinson, 2010;Spoonley & Butcher, 2009;Migration Policy Institute, 2009). Since it is the negative types of media messages that cause outrage, it seems only natural to pay attention to these and to challenge their validity with statistical evidence. ...
... For example 'East Europeans' are failing to integrate into British society' (09/06/2006), 'Poles claiming UK benefit for children they left back home' (13/08/2006) and 'Flood of migrants puts pressure on services' (26/10/2006). We and others (Mawby and Gisby, 2009;Spigelman, 2013) have argued that this developed into what can be understood as a 'moral panic' (Cohen, 1972), with UKIP and a resurgent Conservative party now embracing the antiimmigration debate. CEE migrants were often subjected to 'manufactured' news and in 2008 the Federation of Poles in Great Britain contacted the Press Complaints Commission about the Daily Mail slandering of UK Poles (Brook, 2008). ...
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This article provides a reflection on the period since the May 2004 Central and Eastern European (CEE) accession and subsequent migration to the UK, and on shifting perspectives of and towards CEE migrants in this period. The authors have been researching this phenomenon in the North of England since 2005 through a series of studies as well as ongoing engagement with regional respondents. CEE migration is analysed through the perspectives of government, employers and trade union interests. A central argument is that attitudes to CEE migrants changed following the 2008 financial crisis as funding for local authorities was reduced, obscuring evidence-based arguments for their value to the UK labour market.
... Straw 2013;Cameron 2013;Allen 2016), reminiscent of UK politics a century ago against 'aliens from Eastern Europe' whose 'habits had a demoralising effect' on Britons (Cohen 2006, p. 71). This recent rhetoric has intersected with negative British media portrayals of CEE movers as foreigners and purveyors of crime and disease Samaluk 2016;Spigelman 2013;Drzewiecka et al. 2014). ...
Article
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Although the increasing responsiveness of the Court of Justice of the European Union (the ‘ECJ’) jurisprudence to western Member States’ concerns regarding Central and Eastern European (‘CEE’) nationals’ mobility has garnered academic attention, ECJ discourse has not been scrutinised for how it approaches the CEE region or CEE movers. Applying postcolonial theory, this article seeks to fill this gap and to explore whether there are any indications that ECJ discourse is in line with the historical western-centric inferiorisation of the CEE region. A critical discourse analysis of a set of ECJ judgments and corresponding Advocate General opinions pertaining to CEE nationals illustrates not only how the ECJ adopts numerous discursive strategies to maintain its authority, but also how it tends to prioritise values of the western Member States, while overlooking interests of CEE movers. Its one-sided approach is further reinforced by referring to irrelevant facts and negative assumptions to create an image of CEE nationals as socially and economically inferior to westerners, as not belonging to the proper EU polity and as not quite deserving of EU law’s protections. By silencing CEE nationals’ voices, while disregarding the background of east/west socio-economic and political power differentials and precariousness experienced by many CEE workers in the west, such racialising discourse normalises ethnicity- and class-based stereotypes. These findings also help to contextualise both EU and western policies targeting CEE movers and evidence of their unequal outcomes in the west, and are in line with today’s nuanced expressions of racisms. By illustrating the ECJ’s role in addressing values pertinent to mobile CEE individuals, this study facilitates a fuller appreciation of the ECJ’s power in shaping and reflecting western-centric EU identity and policies. Engaging with such issues will not only allow us to better appreciate—and question—the ECJ’s legitimacy, but might also facilitate a better understanding of power dynamics within the EU. This study also makes significant theoretical and methodological contributions. It expands (and complicates) the application of postcolonial theory to contemporary intra-EU processes, while illustrating the usefulness of applying critical discourse analysis to exploring differentiation, exclusion, subordination and power within legal language.
... Studiile recente accentuează poziția nefavorabilă a media în privința imigranților (Spoonley și Butcher, 2009;Robinson, 2010;Leveson, 2012;Esses și Medianu, 2013;Spigelman, 2013;Drzewiecka și alții, 2014). Multe dintre studii aduc argumente obiective împotriva opiniei negative vehiculate de media britanică. ...
... However, without looking past the parochial, post-communist national image and becoming interested in the topic itself, as occurred with Vygotsky, such collaboration is difficult to establish or break through to the dominant academic circles. Although a European country, it is symbolic of cultural and economic oppression, Poland's academic reputation and Korczak's legacy are intertwined with the Holocaust and more recent negativity towards its immigrants, particularly in the United Kingdom (Spigelman, 2013). As a critical theorist/educational practitioner, Korczak's relevance to current social and political issues is the reason this work deviates from the well-worn path of a biographical narrative. ...
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The quote on the front cover comes from Clifford Geertz, "Interpretation of Cultures" 1973 and accompanies the illustration, which is meant to resemble the entanglement of people in different social, educational, ideological, historical, structural, political, economic and symbolic ropes, that have an influence on our place, our world view and our opportunities. The fragility of our world is captured in the glass form of our globe. The awareness of power hierarchies and the willingness to think outside of our own cultural boundaries, brings hope for a brighter & more transparent future. We wish to thank our readers for their consideration and the individual chapter writers for the spirit of cooperation. Open access: http://www.aps.edu.pl/uczelnia/wydawnictwo/wykaz-publikacji/odrow%C4%85%C5%BC-coates-anna-goswami-sribas-red-symbolic-violence-in-socio-educational-contexts-a-post-colonial-critique/
... The stigmatisation of migrants is usually accompanied by a rise in hate crime, whilst in the current economic crisis, migrantled NGOs find it increasingly difficult to obtain funding. Many studies have been carried out at national level into the media coverage on migration (Spigelman 2013;Migration Observatory 2013;Philo et al. 2013). In the UK, its role in transmitting information (and misinformation) on asylum and migration issues has been shown to be unremittingly negative (Philo et al. 2013). ...
Chapter
The dynamics of the EU’s research-policy nexus may have made it more difficult for other stakeholders than academia and policymakers to influence EU policymaking in the field of migrant integration. The general absence of migrant voices and of civil society more generally from the research-policy nexus is the result of several factors that have positioned migrants as the object of study and recipients of policy measures rather than as active contributors. These factors include: the lack of transparency and accountability in EU migration policymaking; the focus of much migration research on policy concerns (currently integration and security); the use of research methodologies that investigate migration-related topics from theoretical and expert, academic positions; and the exclusion of migrant voices from media coverage. All of these are analysed in this chapter, which concludes that, in the end, the voices of migrants and of researchers alike, even of those who use the most innovative methodologies, are unlikely to have significant or measurable impact on the policy priorities of the member states and in the EU Council of Ministers.
... In looking at attitudes towards Poland and Poles in Western European countries through a postcolonial lens one can observe politicians, the media and the public at large drawing on colonial tropes of East and West, setting Poland within a wider civilisational hierarchy (Spigelman, 2013). However, if we look at perspectives from within Poland then the discourses drawn upon are different -unsurprisingly, the relation is not reversed. ...
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Postcolonial theory has tended to focus on those spaces where European colonialism has had a territorial and political history. This is unsurprising, as much of the world is in this sense ‘postcolonial’. But not all of it. This article focuses on Poland, often theorised as peripheral to ‘old Europe’, and explores the application of postcolonial analyses to this ‘other’ place. The article draws upon reflections arising from a study of responses to ethnic diversity in Warsaw, Poland. In doing so we conclude that postcolonialism does indeed offer some important insights into understanding Polish attitudes to other nationalities, and yet more work also needs to be done to make the theoretical bridge. In the case of Poland we propose the ‘triple relation’ be the starting point for such work.
... Even though, this study does not draw directly on the moral panic scholarship (Cohen 1972;Goode, Ben-Yehuda 1994), nonetheless, it is relevant to note some parallels of the analyzed data with the recent findings on anti-migrant moral panics taking place particularly in Western European countries (Chan et al 2013;Robinson 2009;Spigelman 2013). Overall, moral panic studies are commonly located in the current of the sociology of social control which explores societal reactions towards different categories of threats posed allegedly by folk devils (e.g. ...
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Poles are one of the largest non-UK born ethnic groups in all countries and most regions of the United Kingdom. Since Poland’s accession to the European Union in May 2004, thousands of Poles have migrated to the UK, hoping for better professional opportunities and higher standards of living. It was thus only a matter of time before Poles started to put their experience of migration on paper. One example is A.M. Bakalar, whose literary debut, Madame Mephisto (2012), was promoted as the voice of the new wave of Polish migration and the first novel to be written in English by a Polish female author since Poland joined the EU in 2004. This article centres on Bakalar’s protagonist, a thirty-year-old Pole in London, with the aim of revealing how cultural myths and beliefs feed into the process of identity formation and what it takes for the experience of migration to go awry. By exploring Magda’s problematic relationship with her home country, represented as oppressive and insular, this article inquiries into the nature of contemporary migrant experience and the role which national identity plays in the process of cultural adjustment.
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A succession of well-publicized incidents in Britain, and elsewhere, has highlighted the dilemma of refugees and seekers of asylum. A number of desperate human tragedies allied to some very dubious institutional practices and decisions have been a cause for concern. Drawing upon that vast corpus of information we call `common knowledge', together with other more exclusive sources of knowledge, British national newspapers and their readers, among others, are involved in the social construction of asylum-seekers. Ideas of citizenship, identity and Nation-hood are employed within a variety of discursive and rhetorical strategies that form part of an `elite' discourse, one that contributes to a `new Apartheid'. This article presents a discursive and rhetorical analysis of letters written to British national newspapers by members of the public. Asylum-seekers find themselves [re]positioned and contrasted with a variety of other social groups in such a way as to justify disregarding some of the central tenets of British democracy. Dissenting voices and a `counter' discourse are evident although very much a minority. It is argued that applied discursive work is necessary to bolster resistance and deconstruct the `new Apartheid'.
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This article explores how metaphors contribute to the formation of legitimacy in right-wing political communication on immigration policy in the 2005 British election campaign. It investigates the role played by metaphors in the formation of right-wing political legitimacy and the differences in how metaphor is used by the far and centre-right. The two main types identified are ‘natural disaster’ metaphors - predominantly relating to fluids - and ‘container’ metaphors concerning a build up of pressure within or outside a container. These two types are related through the notion of a bounded area protecting what is within from external danger. The container metaphor is persuasive in political communication because it merges a fourth dimension of time with spatially based concepts of two or three dimensions. It implies that controlling immigration through maintaining the security of borders (a spatially-based concept) will ensure control over the rate of social change in Britain (a time-based concept). It also heightens emotional fears associated with the penetration of a container.
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This paper examines the discursive construction of refugees and asylum seekers (and to a lesser extent immigrants and migrants) in a 140-million-word corpus of UK press articles published between 1996 and 2005. Taking a corpus-based approach, the data were analyzed not only as a whole, but also with regard to synchronic variation, by carrying out concordance analyses of keywords which occurred within tabloid and broad-sheet newspapers, and diachronic change, albeit mainly approached from an unusual angle, by investigating consistent collocates and frequencies of specific terms over time. The analyses point to a number of (mainly negative) categories of representation, the existence and development of nonsensical terms (e.g., illegal refugee), and media confusion and conflation of definitions of the four terms under examination. The paper concludes by critically discussing the extent to which a corpus-based methodological stance can inform critical discourse analysis.1
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By looking at category use within the asylum debate, this paper investigates how participants construct 'asylum seekers'. Critical discursive psychology is used to study a corpus of public sphere data. Categorization is shown to be a powerful political and rhetorical strategy for participants in the asylum debate as they attempt to impose their own systems of classification onto the debate, and, in doing so, justify the (more or less) harsh treatment of asylum seekers. Three strategies that speakers use to justify the different treatment of asylum seekers are identified: first, speakers distinguish the categories of 'refugee' and 'migrant'; second, the categories of 'refugees' and 'economic migrants' are conflated; and third, the categories of 'refugee' and 'illegal immigrant' are simultaneously distinguished and conflated. We conclude by discussing some of the political implications of these analyses - in particular, how category constructions can work to focus attention on asylum seekers' legitimacy, and not on how they can be helped.
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This article discusses the extent to which methods normally associated with corpus linguistics can be effectively used by critical discourse analysts. Our research is based on the analysis of a 140-million-word corpus of British news articles about refugees, asylum seekers, immigrants and migrants (collectively RASIM). We discuss how processes such as collocation and concordance analysis were able to identify common categories of representation of RASIM as well as directing analysts to representative texts in order to carry out qualitative analysis. The article suggests a framework for adopting corpus approaches in critical discourse analysis.
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After a brief account of an old study on sociopolitical vs formalist styles of literary criticism and the lessons it taught about relating cultural objects to context, I turn to more recent work on talk-in-interaction and engage three themes: (1) That the events of conversation have a sense and import to participants which are at least partially displayed in each successive contribution, and which are thereby put to some degree under interactional control. Accordingly, academic accounts of the import of conversational `texts' can be endogenously grounded, and this is a worthy analytic aspiration; (2) The pursuit of this goal mandates relevant senses of context to be consulted for analysis, and these are senses and aspects of context which are demonstrably relevant to the participants in the event being examined, not necessarily ones relevant to the inquirer doing the analysis; and (3) Its technical grounds and mandate aside, this is a useful contraint on analysis in disciplining work to the indigenous preoccupations of the everyday world being grasped, and serving as a buffer against the potential for academic and theoretical imperialism which imposes intellectuals' preoccupations on a world without respect to their indigenous resonance.
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In this article, we trace the histories of discourses supporting ‘jobs for natives’ in the UK and Austria using the discourse-historical approach (DHA) to critical discourse studies. DHA uses four ‘levels of context’ as heuristic devices in critical analysis. In this article, we focus our attention predominantly on the broadest of these, largely eschewing the text internal analysis typical of CDA, in favour of a wider contextual sweep. In this way, we deconstruct and trace the conceptual history of British and Austrian slogans of the extreme right related to issues of un/employment. We argue that slogans such as ‘British Jobs for British workers’ and ‘Austria First’ have been recontextualised into current political rhetoric while carrying historical context-dependent connotations, stemming from pre-World War II colonialism and antisemitism. Hence, we further claim that – although such rhetoric is currently widespread across EU member states – the ideologies and traditions drawn upon are distinct and create specific subtexts to be exploited for political ends; this is part of the discursive strategy of ‘calculated ambivalence’ employed in such rhetoric.
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it is almost impossible not to have noticed the profound impact that the 2004 enlargement of the european Union, with the ensuing movements of 'accession 8' migrants, has had on migration patterns within europe, and to the United Kingdom and ireland in particular. From the perspective of the UK, not only have the demographic and geographic characteristics of new incoming migration shifted considerably (although not as much as popularly imagined), but public discourses of migration have similarly altered, leaving behind some of the intensity of hostility directed at 'asylum seekers' (see Kushner 2006), to rest instead on discussions of the new east european migrants, how long they will stay, and what impact they have had on economic growth and public services across the country. indeed, the recent award of the 2008 Orange Broadband Prize for Women's Literature for The Road Home, rose tremain's novel about the life of lev, a male eastern european migrant in Britain, illustrates how much public interest there has been in this migration. among these new a8 immigrants to the UK, those coming from Poland have, arguably, been dominant - the most numerous, and certainly the most visible in the public arena. The Home Office's, admittedly flawed, figures suggest that a minimum of 540,000 Polish citizens have been working in the UK labour market since 2004 - 67 per cent of the total of migrants from the different
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Although many short-term reasons for a specifically English Euro-scepticism have been proposed, a long-term perspective is required to provide a fuller and more rounded treatment of this important and topical political issue. It needs to be grasped in terms of cultural, political and religious factors in English history, specifically, the antiquity and political character of a sense of English national identity, on the one hand, and on the other hand, the nature and impact of Protestant covenantalism. Among the factors that have shaped a sense of English national identity are its insular, geopolitical situation, the early development of a centralised English state, and the concomitant growth of a unified English legal system. To the existing sense of national identity under the Tudors was added a strong current of religious separatism, manifested first through Henry VIII's break with Rome and his vindication of monarchical supremacy in a national church, and second through the Puritan return to the idea of election modelled on the Old Testament narrative of the Exodus and Covenant of the Israelites. These currents have lent to the sense of English national identity a strong oppositional character, in contrast to the transterritorialism of Christendom characteristic of the leading Roman Catholic powers. This can be seen both by comparing English with French historical trajectories, and more recently, in terms of the separate, but allied, position of England in relation to European integration.
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The purpose of our article is to examine how current East European migration to the UK has been racialized in immigration policy and tabloid journalism. The state's immigration policy, we argue, exhibits features of institutionalized racism that implicitly invokes shared whiteness as a basis of racialized inclusion. The tabloids, in contrast, tend toward cultural racism in their coverage of these migrations by explicitly invoking cultural difference as a basis of racialized exclusion. Our analysis focuses on two cohorts of migrants: Hungarians, representing the larger 2004 entrants, and Romanians, representing the smaller 2007 entrants. The processes of racialization we examine in this article reveal degrees of whiteness that give 'race' continued currency as an idiom for making sense of these migrations and the migrants that people them.
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This article analyses the causes of variation in attitudes to immigration policy in the UK. The key theoretical approaches emphasised are: the role of self-interest; group conflict over resources; and group conflict over important symbols of Britishness. The connection between perceptions of immigration and crime is also investigated. Based on the 2003 British Social Attitudes Survey, the findings indicate that self-interest has very little bearing on opposition to immigration and that British citizens instead appear to be most concerned with threats to ingroup resources posed by immigration, threats to the shared customs and traditions of British society (particularly those posed by Muslims) and – to a lesser extent – the potential for increased crime that may result from immigration.