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Representing African Migrants' experience in Europe: A study of narratives on the Surprising Europe website
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies, JMK.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Migration is a continuous process in an increasingly globalized world and African migrants have for a long time migrated to Europe mostly for economic reasons. Due to biased reporting of life in Europe by both western and African media as well as half-truths by Africans living in Europe who seldom tell the whole story of their lives abroad; a lot of African migrants arrive in Europe with a very idealistic image. African migrants thereby risk a lot in pursuit of a better life in Europe. When they finally arrive, a lot of their idealistic expectations are not met, forcing them to be filled with regret and the wish that they had known the full truth before migrating. This study examines an online platform (Surprising Europe’s website), that connects African migrants by inviting them to share stories about their migration experiences in an effort to better inform those intending to migrate. The use of interviews of the producers to better understand the project as well as their intentions, and a narrative analysis of all the 30 articles on the website are analysed. The results indicate that the danger of telling one sided stories contribute to the existing narrative of a western idealistic image of “gold lying on the streets”; as well as an illustration of the authors exhibiting a transformation from people who were formerly Surprising Europe’s audience, now constructing narratives in a collaborative way with the producers. The website therefore demonstrates how an online platform for mediated communication can be used to offer fragmented identities as well as a sense of belonging, offering a voice to the previously voiceless despite their migration status.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 74 p.
Keyword [en]
African migrants, Globalization, Identity, Belonging, Authors, Narratives, Representation, Online media.
National Category
Media and Communications
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-133637OAI: diva2:968050
Available from: 2016-09-14 Created: 2016-09-11 Last updated: 2016-09-14Bibliographically approved

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Ochola, Anne Brenda
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