Immigration in the media: The translation of control practices into the language we live in

  • Marcello Maneri University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy


We begin from the end: the realization – result of many researches carried out in this field – that the media representation of immigration and consequently its public image only relates to a “problem” concerning otherness, illegitimacy and finally a naturally criminal essence. Looking for the reasons of  this representation in the functioning of media, as much literature has done, is certainly useful  but not sufficient to understand the deep nature of this common sense, which acts as an actual “system of truth”. Seeing the other possible cause of our “democratic racism” in the tactical benefits assured by the hostility discourse to the political entrepreneurs of fear is as much legitimate but still unbalanced. The attempt of this article is to find the real roots of the language that we use – like it or not – to speak of immigration in the practices of control of the “Fortress Europe”, in the policies of exclusion of the new pariah, in the investigations and the provisions inspired by the counter-terrorism, obligatory “Islamic”. The available categories, topics, images, narratives reflect the organizational imperatives of the institutions in charge of the control of the phenomenon, whit their priorities, gazes, definitions. In this reconstruction media have the relevant role of translator: from practices of control – reported, justified, naturalized – into constructs and standardizations which become “archive” on which we draw in everyday life.

How to Cite
Maneri, M. (2015) “Immigration in the media: The translation of control practices into the language we live in”, Anuac, 1(1), pp. 24-37. doi: 10.7340/anuac2239-625X-8.