18th International Migration Conference Migration – Media – The Public
The media and public have a huge importance in modern globalized and digitalized societies. The media generate information, making this available for social communication. At the same time, the information is received in and by the public and further disseminated together with various other information people have, their commentaries and positionings.
At a Glance
18th International Migration Conference Migration – Media – The PublicConference
- 21/06/2018 till 23/06/2018
Technical University Cologne
Faculty of Applied Social Sciences
50678 Köln, Germany
Call for Paper
Proposal submission deadline 31 December 2017 Call For Papers 18th International Migration Conference Engl (pdf, 138 KB)
Migration – Media – The Public
The media and public have a huge importance in modern globalized and digitalized societies. The media generate information, making this available for social communication. At the same time, the information is received in and by the public and further disseminated together with various other information people have, their commentaries and positionings. The digital media permit direct contact between the public and professional media makers as well as between various partial publics. The impact of digitalization has changed the debates on migration and how people in society deal with the topic of migration.
In this context, various spheres can be differentiated that are relevant for research. On one hand, there is the classic journalistic reportage in the media in text, image and sound. It is oriented to the public generally, or in the case of the so-called ‘ethno-media,’ particularly to migrants and/or specific national and ethnic/linguistic migrant groups. The kind of reportage makes a decisive contribution to what knowledge, images and attitudes regarding migrants and migration are disseminated and (re)produced. In the context of deepening digitalization, however, today lay persons also have the possibility, via the so-called interactive media (in particular the social media) to publish on (semi-) platforms their information, positions and their own experiences with migration as well. Via social media, migrants also additionally maintain transborder contacts with family & friends, etc., creating in this way a transnational public. Not least they also utilize the media in order to remain informed about paths of and options for migration, and also the associated risks and dangers.
Thus, in the context of migration, the media exercise a presence and impact on various levels. On one hand, they can contribute to reportage and the creation and promotion of specific imagery pertaining to migrants; on the other, the media are also used as tools for memory, communication and coordination. There has been systematic scientific research on the connection between migration, the media and the public at least since the 1960s. As a result of contemporary events, such as the so-called ‘refugee crisis’ (2015/16) or the ‘Cologne New Year’s Night’ (2016), the topic of ‘media integration’ has again been heavily revaluated. How the media deal with these events shows on one hand that the media report on them in a differentiated and comprehensive manner; on the other, we see that the media and public frequently still situate the topic migration in the context of religious fundamentalism/extremism, crime and danger, that migration for the media principally comprises a social process with a negative connotation, and that migrants tend to appear principally as objects of ascription. However, at the same time a look at how the new media are used also reveals that new forms of counter-publics are also emerging here.
Against this backdrop, the international conference will provide a space for presentation and discussion of research, in particular exploring the question of the nexus between migration, the media and the public. For example, it will seek to better comprehend what connections exist between the media and public in regard to the topic of migration, how people perceive and shape this relation, and what political influences are associated with it. In this connection, historical and international perspectives can also be addressed as thematic foci. Of interest are likewise studies on the (re-)presentation of migrants in the media, the question of the extent to which persons from a migration background are themselves involved in media production. Another key question is: what media do migrants use, for what reasons and motives? A further important topic is the question pertaining to the consequences of media diversity and digital, global and transcultural networking. Of interest are also presentations on migration, the media and the public in relation to age and/or gender, as well as language maintenance and aspects of individual and social multilingualism. Another topical focus area is the sphere of education. How do the schools and spheres of social work deal with and reflect upon the topic of migration in their daily practice, both in connection with their own teaching materials as well as in relation to critical-reflective and creative confrontation with media reporting on migrants and their own media behavior.