An Analysis of the Nature and Use of Promigrant Representations in an Antideportation Campaign

Promigrant Representations

Caoimhe Ryan, Stephen Reicher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Opposition to immigration and the rejection of migrants have long been of concern to psychologists. While much is known about negative representations of migrants in politics and the media, far less is known about positive representations of migrants and immigration. In this article, we provide an examination of social representations promoting promigrant action in the context of a community campaign opposing the deportation of a woman and her young daughter. The woman, who had come to the United Kingdom from Malawi seven years prior had lost permission to remain following changes to personal circumstances and was facing deportation. Our analysis explores the ways in which the campaign’s mobilization arguments respond to and engage with antimigrant representations. It identifies the importance of categorical representations concerning the nature, norms, and interests of the local community, of the two migrants under threat of deportation, and of those seeking to deport them. Contrary to antimigrant representations, the migrants at the center of the campaign were presented as ingroup members and their potential deportation as a violation of ingroup norms and ingroup interests. Finally, we also identify points of ambivalence in the campaign’s mobilization strategy where arguments reject the ascription but not the nature of negative representations of migrants.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalPolitical Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Oct 2018

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campaign
deportation
migrant
Emigration and Immigration
mobilization
immigration
Malawi
Politics
Nuclear Family
Migrants
ambivalence
psychologist
community
Psychology
opposition
threat
Deportation
examination
politics
Mobilization

Keywords

  • immigration
  • mobilization
  • prosocial behavior
  • social identity
  • social representation

Cite this

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title = "An Analysis of the Nature and Use of Promigrant Representations in an Antideportation Campaign: Promigrant Representations",
abstract = "Opposition to immigration and the rejection of migrants have long been of concern to psychologists. While much is known about negative representations of migrants in politics and the media, far less is known about positive representations of migrants and immigration. In this article, we provide an examination of social representations promoting promigrant action in the context of a community campaign opposing the deportation of a woman and her young daughter. The woman, who had come to the United Kingdom from Malawi seven years prior had lost permission to remain following changes to personal circumstances and was facing deportation. Our analysis explores the ways in which the campaign’s mobilization arguments respond to and engage with antimigrant representations. It identifies the importance of categorical representations concerning the nature, norms, and interests of the local community, of the two migrants under threat of deportation, and of those seeking to deport them. Contrary to antimigrant representations, the migrants at the center of the campaign were presented as ingroup members and their potential deportation as a violation of ingroup norms and ingroup interests. Finally, we also identify points of ambivalence in the campaign’s mobilization strategy where arguments reject the ascription but not the nature of negative representations of migrants.",
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author = "Caoimhe Ryan and Stephen Reicher",
note = "The authors are grateful to the campaigners who were interviewed for this study and so generously shared their thoughts and experiences with us. The research presented in this article was carried out with ESRC funding from the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (ESRC Doctoral Training Centre). Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Caoimhe Ryan, School of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, KY16 9JP. Email: caoimhe.e.ryan@gmail.com",
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N1 - The authors are grateful to the campaigners who were interviewed for this study and so generously shared their thoughts and experiences with us. The research presented in this article was carried out with ESRC funding from the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (ESRC Doctoral Training Centre). Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Caoimhe Ryan, School of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, KY16 9JP. Email: caoimhe.e.ryan@gmail.com

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N2 - Opposition to immigration and the rejection of migrants have long been of concern to psychologists. While much is known about negative representations of migrants in politics and the media, far less is known about positive representations of migrants and immigration. In this article, we provide an examination of social representations promoting promigrant action in the context of a community campaign opposing the deportation of a woman and her young daughter. The woman, who had come to the United Kingdom from Malawi seven years prior had lost permission to remain following changes to personal circumstances and was facing deportation. Our analysis explores the ways in which the campaign’s mobilization arguments respond to and engage with antimigrant representations. It identifies the importance of categorical representations concerning the nature, norms, and interests of the local community, of the two migrants under threat of deportation, and of those seeking to deport them. Contrary to antimigrant representations, the migrants at the center of the campaign were presented as ingroup members and their potential deportation as a violation of ingroup norms and ingroup interests. Finally, we also identify points of ambivalence in the campaign’s mobilization strategy where arguments reject the ascription but not the nature of negative representations of migrants.

AB - Opposition to immigration and the rejection of migrants have long been of concern to psychologists. While much is known about negative representations of migrants in politics and the media, far less is known about positive representations of migrants and immigration. In this article, we provide an examination of social representations promoting promigrant action in the context of a community campaign opposing the deportation of a woman and her young daughter. The woman, who had come to the United Kingdom from Malawi seven years prior had lost permission to remain following changes to personal circumstances and was facing deportation. Our analysis explores the ways in which the campaign’s mobilization arguments respond to and engage with antimigrant representations. It identifies the importance of categorical representations concerning the nature, norms, and interests of the local community, of the two migrants under threat of deportation, and of those seeking to deport them. Contrary to antimigrant representations, the migrants at the center of the campaign were presented as ingroup members and their potential deportation as a violation of ingroup norms and ingroup interests. Finally, we also identify points of ambivalence in the campaign’s mobilization strategy where arguments reject the ascription but not the nature of negative representations of migrants.

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