Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Haynes, A., Power, M. & Devereux, E.
In the Frame? Public and Political Discources of Migration
Irish Political constructions of foreign drivers
University of Limerick
International Refereed Conference
Optional Fields

International research indicates that recessionary periods may be accompanied by a decline in the quality of relations between the majority population and migrant groups as the latter are at risk of being scapegoated for the economic downturn. In that context, political leadership on the matter of immigration is of crucial importance, with political parties having a key role to play in framing how the public understand the issue and impact of immigration. This paper is based on research which examined how politicians construct non-Irish EU immigrants to Ireland through an analysis of the content of statements attributed to this group in the print media. Print media content was sampled from a national Broadsheet (Irish Independent) and two local imprints (The Limerick Leader and The Limerick Post) for the period 2008-2009. This paper focuses on those statements relating to political constructions of 'foreign drivers' as being problematic, which were among a larger range of themes identified in the wider study.

We argue that the construction of migrants in this way in political commentary will in turn ‘inform’ public debate, impacting on citizens’ awareness of these issues and may ultimately impact detrimentally on how immigrants and their needs are publicly perceived and treated.