Disposable labour, passive victim, active threat: migrant/non-migrant othering in three British television documentaries

Vickers, T. ORCID: 0000-0001-5430-290X and Rutter, A., 2016. Disposable labour, passive victim, active threat: migrant/non-migrant othering in three British television documentaries. European Journal of Cultural Studies. ISSN 1367-5494

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Abstract

This article analyses discourses about migration within three documentaries that were broadcast on terrestrial British television in January 2014: The Truth about Immigration in the UK and The Hidden World of Britain’s Immigrants, both broadcast on BBC 2, and Episode 2 of Benefits Street, broadcast on Channel 4. The methodology involved a detailed analysis of the documentaries, situated within a Marxist analysis of British capitalism, the capitalist crisis, and the economic and political position of migrants. Amidst the contradictions and complexities that were identified within these documentaries, representations of 'migrants' can be grouped into three categories: disposable labour; passive victim; and active threat. We argue these discursive roles reflect and reinforce capitalist exploitation, by constructing 'migrants' as a mutable 'other' to divide the working class.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: European Journal of Cultural Studies
Creators: Vickers, T. and Rutter, A.
Publisher: Sage
Date: 25 December 2016
ISSN: 1367-5494
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1177/1367549416682968DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 18 Nov 2016 08:07
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 14:08
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/29155

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