(DE)OTHERING <br>Deconstructing Risk and Otherness: hegemonic scripts and counter-narratives on migrants/refugees and 'internal Others' in Portuguese and European mediascapes

(DE)OTHERING
Deconstructing Risk and Otherness: hegemonic scripts and counter-narratives on migrants/refugees and 'internal Others' in Portuguese and European mediascapes

Period
July 15, 2018 to July 14, 2021
Duration
36 months
Funding Entity
FEDER - Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional funds through the COMPETE 2020 - Operacional Programme for Competitiveness and Internationalisation (POCI), and by Portuguese funds through FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
Abstract

This project sets out to critically examine media representations on migrants, refugees and 'internal Others' in
Portugal and across Europe while mapping out their interconnections with particular narratives in the field of security and within the War on Terror. Its focus 'an analysis of Portugal in the light of other European cases affected by terrorist threats (Russia and France) and by migrant/refugee flows (Italy and Germany)' aims to explore the construction of transnational narratives of risk pervading Europe regardless of the 'differential' exposure to them.


It will specifically analyze:
a) How do media represent migrants, refugees and 'internal Others' within a political context of War on Terror and securitization?
b) Do they (re)produce narratives of moral panic and securitization through specific constructions of Otherness? If so, what is the role of constructions of gender, race, age and religion?
c) Do they instead convey representations that may promote an ontology of peace and solidarity?

The project's epistemological approach is based on the constitutive role of discourses, namely the ways in which particular understandings and myths are mobilized, intentionally or unintentionally, by specific actors and how these discourses shape particular perceptions and practices of security. The focus is on the discursive and ontological preconditions that allow/hinder political change.
The project maps out the circulation and co-construction of dominant and alternative media scripts (in visual and
written texts) produced since 2008. Viewing the Portuguese media and political landscape as part of the European 'imagined community' (Anderson, 1982) and of a broader continuum of representations of migrants, refugees and 'internal Others' within the current global context of economic and political uncertainty, the project focuses on scripts:

1) within the European mediascapes, by comparing the Portuguese media data with the European media coverage of paradigmatic cases; 2) within the European political arena, by comparing media data with political speeches and actions surrounding these paradigmatic cases; and 3) within relevant counter-narratives in media and political/activist domain (texts to be identified and explored through CDA, while media experts, political representatives and activists will be selected and interviewed).

The project will adopt an ecological approach to media representations by integrating analysis of mainstream and social media discourses. Its outputs include a website, several academic publications and open seminars, a manual on media literacy, a toolkit on media representations for journalists and editors, an international conference, and an exhibition. Its ultimate aim is to pave the way for a future Interdisciplinary Research Group on Media, Gender and Migrations.

Keywords
migrant/refugee crises, media, securitization /war on terror, portugal /europe