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WJEC AS Media Studies Representation of Issues: Immigration

vikiwalden | Monday March 24, 2014

Categories: A Level, Eduqas (WJEC) A Level, WJEC AS, WJEC AS Media Studies, Key Concepts, Ideology, Media Language, Hot Entries, News, Newspapers

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Immigration is a rich representation topic for WJEC AS Media Studies because it can allow us to explore ethnicity, nationality, events and issues simultaneously.  It can be quite a sensitive topic in the classroom, so it is important that students understand some of the key terminology that is often misinterpreted or conflated in the Media.

  • Immigration: Coming to live in a country different to your birth-place.
  • Immigrant: Someone arriving in a country (other than their place of birth) hoping to live there.
  • Emigrate: To leave one’s country of birth to take residency in another country.
  • Migrant: Someone who moves from one place to another.
  • Economic Migrant: Someone who moves to a country specifically for financial reasons - in order to improve their standard of living.
  • Illegal Immigrant: Someone who moves to a country without the correct paperwork, i.e. Visas and a work permit. They are often smuggled into a country in terrible conditions in an attempt to escape problems in their home country. This group of people are often the most exploited.
  • Asylum Seeker: Someone who has fled his or her home country as a political refugee and is seeking refugee status in another place. They are often kept in holding camps while the Home Office considered their case and while here have limited rights including not being able to work.

Often all of these terms are conflated in the press identifying people who are not White British, or anyone who is ‘new’ to the UK as an ‘Other’ by identifying them as “immigrant” or “second/ third-generation immigrant”. Such construction of Otherness is used to create binary opposites in news narratives.

History of Immigration in the UK

Immigration is not a new topic, however it is continuously perpetuated as a problem by the national press who provoke mass hysteria and moral panics about immigration, particularly at times when there is social crisis, i.e. recession.

After World War Two,...

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