WP8 – Mapping discourse
This work package serves as a descriptive cornerstone for the REMINDER project in that it establishes, in a systematic manner, the types of discourses in political, social and mass mediated communication in the UK, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Poland that relate to EU mobility. It does so by relying on large-scale text analysis techniques. The materials used will be machine-readable texts from the various domains, including digitally archived newspaper articles, web-scraped online news articles, automated transcriptions of television broadcasts, party manifestos, press releases of political parties and civil society actors, websites and social media accounts of these actors, blogs and user comments.
By these means, the work package enables an in-depth assessment of how intra- and non-EU mobility are discussed and framed in different countries and different points in time, which will contribute to an improved understanding of the interlinkages between mediated discourses, politics and public perceptions.
The vast amount of material to be analysed calls for automated procedures of content analysis. Such methods have made great advances throughout recent years and this work package is making full use of these developments. We will record and draw on data yielded from a combination of different types of approaches, including the systematic analysis of textual data by human coders as well as using novel computer-assisted techniques to gather and quantify meaning from textual data. Dictionaries including co-occurrence patterns will be defined for the identification of topics and actors, including migrant groups. Sentiment analysis will be conducted relying on further developments of existing dictionaries. These approaches enable us to identify key discourse elements such as topics, tone, key actors and identify recurring patterns (‘collocation’) that are related to both EU mobility and non-EU mobility; and to develop a taxonomy of the ‘framing of EU mobility’, illustrating how this form of mobility and its impacts are discussed in public debate.
In particular, we will analyse four key sets of research questions.
- First, we will ask how discourses on EU mobility differ across sources (e.g., types of media) and countries.
- Second, we will establish whether discourses do in fact distinguish between different groups of migrants and how important the EU/non-EU distinction is compared to other differences such as the income level of the origin country or individual characteristics such as gender and age.
- Third, we will examine changes in discourses over time, identifying the extent to which the questions identified above are stable over time or rather respond to real world developments and events.
- Fourth, we will contrast discussions of welfare systems with data on actual impacts to identify any discrepancies or divergence between discourse and reality.