2016 研究助成 Research Grant Program  /  (A)共同研究助成  (A) Joint Research Grants
(Grant Number)
(Project Title)
Messaging Mobility: Exploring and creating new narratives about migration and human movement in a changing world
William Allen
Centre on Migration, Policy, and Society, University of Oxford
(Grant Amount)
企画書・概要 (Abstract of Project Proposal)


    Migration and human mobility confronts citizens and politicians with questions about the nature of contemporary states and societies in a globalised world. These issues are both urgent and profound. They demand more effective communication about mobility and its impacts. But, it's not clear what 'effective' messages look like. Furthermore, deeper reflection with members of the public is required on an overarching framework of values that can guide how we talk and think about migration. This project begins from the premise that good communication is about listening to others' ideas and values as well as talking. These ethical and participatory elements are critical for building more just, peaceful, and understanding relationships among all members of society. 'Messaging Mobility' addresses two questions: what would new, 'effective' narratives on migration look like; and what values, techniques, and approaches would they invoke? It uses three methods: textual analysis of media coverage to establish past ways of communicating about migration; survey experiments among the UK public that test potential communicative drivers of public perceptions about migration; and participatory methods including the use of dramatic arts to qualitatively understand how people make sense of the issue using their own words and local experiences.

実施報告書・概要 (Summary of Final Report)

Migration and human mobility remain high on international political, policy, and public agendas. The issue has, in part, contributed to major political shifts in Europe, North America, and beyond. Given such global salience, our project ‘Messaging Migration’ aimed to address how the issue is communicated through media, and to explore alternative approaches based in the creative arts. We intentionally situated our research as an inter- and multi-disciplinary enterprise, involving (among other approaches) political science, sociology, migration studies, linguistics, and drama. Not only did we intend to make contributions to substantive questions about which kinds of messages can impact public discussion, but we also wanted our project to engage with deeper issues about which kinds of values might inform those discussions in the first place. Moreover, we wanted to explore different techniques and ways of expressing our findings to wider audiences beyond the conventional formats of academic journal articles—although we acknowledge how these remain important venues for scholarship and researchers’ professional development.

As such, we posed two seemingly simple questions in our original proposal: (1) What would new, ‘effective’ narratives on migration look like, and (2) what values, techniques, or approaches would they invoke? On both questions, our project generated findings and evidence that support some (at this point) tentative conclusions. More broadly, a key message that emerges from our work is that ‘effectiveness’—and how to achieve it—depends on the objectives and capabilities of messengers, as well as the perspectives of audiences. Therefore, in line with recent communication scholarship, our results do not lead us to advocate for a ‘magic bullet’ approach to talking about migration: one solution will not fit all situations. Rather, ‘effective’ messaging in such polarised and politically fragmented times will likely involve paying closer attention to how, for whom, and in which circumstances information matters for broader public debates.

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