The Construction of Immigrants´ Identity in the EU : A Foucauldian discourse analysis of EU common migration policy

University essay from Umeå universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen; Umeå universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen


The aim of the study is to analyse the discursive construction of the immigrants‟ identity within the EU‟s common migration policy. More specifically, this study seeks to identify what discourses are constituted within the EU, and how these discourses are constructed. Moreover, the study efforts to understand what consequences these discourses may have to the identity of immigrants. In order to achieve the aim of the study, a number of policy documents and agreements have been analysed. This analysis is implemented by applying a social constructivist approach, based on the notion about ethnic identities, securitisation theory, discourse theory and the theoretical concepts of Eurocentrism and Europeanisation. The methodological approach applied to the analysis is the Foucauldian genealogical discourse analysis.The conclusion of the study is that the EU, through its policy documents, has contributed to the construction of the following discourses: identity discourse, threat discourse and power discourse. Consequently, the analysis showed that these discourses may affect the image of immigrants negatively. The strengthening of “we” and “them” identities is emphasised through categorisation of immigrants, integration provisions, and through managing security and migration questions together.

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