Media Effects on Attitudes toward Migration and Mobility in the EU: A Comprehensive Literature Review

March 31, 2017

Literature Review

This literature review from work package 9 provides an overview of how various facets of news representations of EU mobility (i.e., salience of social groups benefiting from free movement, specific issues) affect the perception of and attitudes toward EU mobility and related concepts (i.e., perception of social groups, risks and benefits of different aspects of migration and mobility).

In some domains, literature on EU mobility is scarce. Yet, as we are analyzing EU mobility from an effects perspective, we make use of research from the US. Although the political and cultural context in the US is different, we argue that research on the cognitive mechanisms underlying media effects can be translated to an EU context. We preferably consider research published in the English language.

Previous research has relied on different theories to account for media effects on public opinion. From the perspective of communication science, three research strands dominate the discussion about media effects on migration and mobility-related attitudes: Framing, priming and cultivation. Furthermore, in the context of migration and mobility, perceived threats play a major role. We thus first show how threats can generally influence attitudes and then present the studies on media effects from a perspective of framing, priming, and cultivation.

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