Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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Integration has become a keyword across texts and genres, and is often uncritically embraced not only by politicians and journalists but also by academic researchers. In this paper, we explore how integration is used in reference to people categorized as “migrants” or “foreigners”. We discuss intertextual links between a wide range of texts from different European countries, including official policy documents, print media texts and academic publications. We have deliberately chosen liberal and progressive texts rather than the texts of the extreme right, since our objective is to show how even in liberal texts, the use of the concept of integration is frequently informed by illiberal assumptions and ideologies. Our analysis aims to lay bare the cultural or discourse models underlying the use of the concept of integration. We compare and contrast three discourse models of integration, which we have labelled as the centre-periphery, mathematical game and statistical correlations models. We show how one particular text shuttles between models and examine the pernicious consequences of the linguistic choices made in the text. The paper concludes with a call for greater awareness of the potentially discriminatory ideological frameworks within which the term “integration” functions.


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