Successful collaboration begins with a shared language, hence the need for a glossary. This joint effort of contributors from several teams ensures, on the one hand, terminological and conceptual coherence across not only our theoretical approaches, but also the qualitative case studies and quantitative research conducted in OPPORTUNITIES. On the other hand, our glossary facilitates communication between the academic side of the project and the fieldwork conducted by NGOs, uniting our teams working from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ghana, Italy, Mauritania, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and Senegal.

For more information about the Structure and Objectives of the Glossary, click here...)

Narratives on migration emerge through the strategic framing of migration, usually in terms of humanitarian principles, moral obligations, crises, security threats or, from a right-wing perspective, assaults on national sovereignty and cultural identity. Such top-down narratives adopt an outside (“etic”) perspective on migration, focusing on political, economic, legal, social and cultural issues rather than lived experience. They compete to win broad support, influence public opinion or to gain votes in elections. Digital media facilitate the emergence of new forms of hate speech, the rise of conspiracy theories and the circulation of fake news. They challenge the hegemony of established practices and procedures by providing users with new channels to frame and disseminate information. The concepts of narrative dynamics and the narrative market acknowledge the complex relationships and interdependencies between bottom-up and top-down narratives in the public sphere, while the metaphor of narrative ecologies focuses on how recipients process and negotiate competing narratives.

⇢ see also Crisis, Frames of migration, Narrative dynamics, Narrative ecologyNarrative market, Politics of mobility, Positioning, Solidarity (with migrants), Vicarious storytelling

References and further reading:

Gebauer, Carolin, and Roy Sommer. 2023. “Beyond Vicarious Storytelling: How Level Telling Fields Help Create a Fair Narrative on Migration.” Open Research Europe 3.10: 3–14. URL: https://open-research-europe.​ Date of access: July 30, 2023.

Category: C

Work Package: 2, 5, 8