Migration in the UK Newsprint Media


The Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford has published a report on how migration in represented in twenty British national newspapers (broadsheet and tabloid) for the period between the beginning of 2010 and the end of 2012. A quantitative analysis was undertaken on an extensive data-set – 58,000 newspaper articles of various forms.

The report goes through in detail the language used in conjunction with certain key words, namely: “migrants”, “immigrants”, “refugees”, and “asylum seekers”. One of the key findings is that the most common word to be used in combination with “immigrants” is “illegal”, while “failed” was the most common word to be used when referring to “asylum”. A number of other associations were also identified and these are detailed in the report.

Not only does this very comprehensive report offer an overall insight into how particular discourses of migration are disseminated into the UK public forum during this time-period, but it also offers a template for researching large corpus’ of data. It is far from an easy task to analyse 58,000 articles in a systematic manner. Therefore, this research and the methodologies employed here can inform research projects in other geographical locations.

Map of the Mexican-Origin Population in the US


The Economist has published a map depicting the current location of the Mexican-origin population in the US. This map is intriguing and enlightening as it also charts the 1848 border between Mexico and the US. Following the 1848 war, Mexico agreed to surrender half of its territory to the US. This included the present-day states of Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Texas (and parts of several other states).

Although the political border between these two countries changed 166 years ago, the population of those of Mexican descent living in these areas has remained high – this of course includes recent arrivals, but also includes those that can trace their origins back to before the “new” border was enforced. In many ways this map reveals the constructed nature of borders and reminds us that the historical context of any present-day issue is vital to a full understanding of a given situation. 



Verso Lists Key Reading for Undergraduates


The publishing house Verso have compiled a list of key readings for undergraduates (available here). The 24 books are inclusive of works by Marx, Harvey, Lukes, Zizek, Balibar, and Anderson. This list would also be helpful and informative for post-graduate students and academics alike.

Admittedly there are a number of these publications that I have not read as of yet, but I’m thankful to have discovered this list and to begin reading. I’ll probably start with “The Curios Enlightenment of Professor Caritat” by Steven Lukes. It sounds fascinating!  Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life” by the Fields sisters is also now on my “to read” list.