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Borders, Migration and Class in an Age of CrisisProducing Immigrants and Workers$
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Tom Vickers

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781529201819

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529201819.001.0001

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Deconstructing Migrant/Worker Categories in Britain

Deconstructing Migrant/Worker Categories in Britain

(p.169) 6 Deconstructing Migrant/Worker Categories in Britain
Borders, Migration and Class in an Age of Crisis

Tom Vickers

Policy Press

This chapter discusses the ways in which state-endorsed divisions within the working class are reflected and reinforced at a discursive level through processes of ‘othering’. It argues that ideological categories position workers in multiple, shifting and often contradictory ways within ‘common sense’ hegemonic narratives that justify and reinforce capitalist exploitation. Such narratives are constantly changing and the divisions they help to structure are taking increasingly sharp and aggressive forms in the context of the imperialist crisis. This is illustrated through a detailed empirical analysis of three British television documentaries that were broadcast in early 2014, within weeks of changes to state restrictions affecting migrants from Bulgaria and Romania. Other academic literature is used to contextualise the analysis of these documentaries, suggesting they are representative of wider trends.

Keywords:   discourse, media, documentaries, hegemony, migration, television

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