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Title:From civil society to the level of politics: the evolution of narratives about Muslim immigrants in Italy
Author(s):Husband, Allyce
Advisor(s):Rota, Emanuel
Department / Program:Liberal Arts & Sciences
Discipline:European Union Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
European Union
Abstract:In the European Union (EU), Islamophobia and hostile, racist discourse about Muslim individuals is no longer a characteristic of solely the far-right. Politicians and institutions from all parts of the political spectrum demonstrate an increased willingness to politicize everyday cultural encounters with Muslim immigrants that influences the social reality in which they live. This analysis examines discourse about Muslim immigrants in Italian society and the dominant narratives, or ways of thinking and talking about Muslims, that this discourse creates. Specifically, this analysis explores the characteristics of media and political discourse that drive dominant narratives about Muslim immigrants in Italy from the micro level of civil society to the macro, institutional level where they are transformed into policy proposal narratives that marginalize Muslim individuals. I maintain that narratives about Muslim immigrants that originate from the micro level of civil society are reflected in policy proposal narratives at the macro level. Using the framework of a metanarrative analysis, two narratives, which are deemed the ‘their religious and cultural differences are a threat’ narrative and the ‘invasion and threat to public order’ narrative, are deconstructed to determine the ‘storylines’ from the news media and the ‘ideographs’ in political discourse of which they are constructed. The ‘storylines’ and ‘ideographs’ that fuel the dominant narratives are based heavily in language characterized by public order, security, preservation of traditions, and the historical value of the Italian city center. While the analysis identifies stories and political language around which discourse about Muslims in Italy is articled, it also provides a new way to think about discourse that marginalizes Muslim individuals and provides an opportunity for a more inclusive narrative to be put forth in EU society.
Issue Date:2013-05-24
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Allyce Husband
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-05-24
Date Deposited:2013-05

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