Rosita Maglie: “Towards a common, stereotype–free language: The representation of migrants on the web”

Rosita Maglie

Abstract. This study intertwines with a research area in cross-linguistic corpus-assisted discourse analysis which investigates the representation of migrants in the UK and Italian press (Baker 2007; Baker et al. 2008; Baker/ Gabrielatos/McEnery 2013; Morley/Taylor 2012; Rasinger 2010; Taylor 2009, 2014) and with PICUM (Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants) initiative launched in June 2014 which promotes accurate and human terminology with reference to migrants. The abovementioned literature shows that press from countries that most pride themselves on their commitment to equality, human rights, and democracy (like the western European countries) are precisely those that, in the late twentieth century, invented a new status (‘illegal’) in order to deprive some of their residents of access to equality, human rights, and democracy. On the other hand, PICUM initiative encourages accurate, humane terminology and strictly avoids using the term ‘illegal migrant’. This study further investigates this terminological issue analyzing different blogs concerned with migration in the Mediterranean Sea (e.g. Fortress Europe and The charter of Lampedusa in Italian and English) as examples of good terminological practice since they cross language boundaries and migrate in different countries and cultures within the Mediterranean Sea, being always alert to inbuilt prejudice in the language used to describe ethnic minorities. The discourse about migration taken from the web can be considered as a major resource to support the promotion of accurate and human terminology, site of cosmo-political encounter, connectivity and conviviality where subjectivities are recognized, respected and re-humanized, act of linguistic knocking down of the walls of exclusion/inclusion that order and govern migration, and as an attitude of (r)esistence against the hegemonic discourse of politics and media that has always been re-proposing year after year the same categories of fear and welfarism, in order to at long last satisfy everybody’s desire to freely move and see new countries and meet new people (paper presented at the workshop “Media Discourse(s): Adaptation, Resilience and Mobility in the Context of Climate-induced Migration”, University of Naples L’Orientale, 9-10 April 2015)

Presentazione Napoli April (2)


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