Volume 13, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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In this article, I chart ways in which changing representations of migrants and refugees in the UK have contributed to their marginalisation. The article shows the findings from a study of the role immigrant organisations played in discussions of immigration control since the 1960s. The findings suggest that language about migrants and refugees has become both more marginalising and more difficult to challenge due to its increased complexity, with the increasing division of migrants into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ subgroups; an increased emphasis on ‘the nation’; and the increasing dissociation of discussions of immigration control from issues of race and racism, accompanied by ‘antiracist’ argumentation strategies and a denial of racism. The findings also suggest that speakers wishing to challenge such language, although able to present oppositional voices, may have difficulty getting those voices heard unless they in turn adopt aspects of the marginalising text and talk they wish to oppose. Keywords: migrants; refugees; representation; opposition; resistance; language; race; racism; antiracism; immigrant organisations


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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