Public debates on migration oscillate between two conflicting claims: on the one hand, compassion and protection, on the other hand, rejection and fear. Both representations are more focused on emotional reactions than rational reflections. The media hyper-simplification concurs to a social representation of migration that is currently distorting real-life experiences to such an extent that the spectacularization of migrants brings about problems in terms of their negative self-representations. Furthermore, information about migrants reported by media is usually decontextualized, worsening this state of affairs. Consequently, the complex phenomenon of migration is concealed in many degrees and ways by the Italian media system. Starting from this assumption, we argue that these kinds of representation do not allow the audience to understand the complexity of the question, indeed feeding populism and influencing European and national policies to manage migration. This paper thus aims to analyse the migration issue within the theoretical framework of the European public sphere and of the transformation of public sphere in the digital era. The two frameworks are intertwined, as the Internet, and social networks in particular, reflect this simplification in the process of understanding what is behind the phenomenon of migration.

Beyond Aesthetics of Pity. Italian Media Representation of Migrants and Emotional Audience

Antonia Cava;Mariaeugenia Parito;Francesco Pira
2018

Abstract

Public debates on migration oscillate between two conflicting claims: on the one hand, compassion and protection, on the other hand, rejection and fear. Both representations are more focused on emotional reactions than rational reflections. The media hyper-simplification concurs to a social representation of migration that is currently distorting real-life experiences to such an extent that the spectacularization of migrants brings about problems in terms of their negative self-representations. Furthermore, information about migrants reported by media is usually decontextualized, worsening this state of affairs. Consequently, the complex phenomenon of migration is concealed in many degrees and ways by the Italian media system. Starting from this assumption, we argue that these kinds of representation do not allow the audience to understand the complexity of the question, indeed feeding populism and influencing European and national policies to manage migration. This paper thus aims to analyse the migration issue within the theoretical framework of the European public sphere and of the transformation of public sphere in the digital era. The two frameworks are intertwined, as the Internet, and social networks in particular, reflect this simplification in the process of understanding what is behind the phenomenon of migration.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/3130707
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