Perceptions and Assumptions of Migrants and Immigration

In today’s society there is an ever growing concern surrounding migration and the treatment of migrants coming into countries. Too often people are being mistreated and are subjected to behaviours by others that are just not acceptable. This is especially prominent in the concern of migration and migrants as they are often subjected to racial abuse and other forms of abuse.

There is a small minority of people that treat people of different skin colour, or different accent or different lifestyle in a bad way. It is these people that are often misinformed and form a stereotype about these people that they reflect onto them. Too often the news has given a stereotyped perception of these people which in turn creates a massive influence on those who are easily impressionable.

Migrants are often stereotyped in different ways. They are often accused of coming over here to steal jobs (despite them being aptly qualified in comparison to those who believe the jobs are being stolen from them), they are often criticised for making the UK ‘un-British’ because of the introduction of their culture and ways of life. They are often seen as always going into one particular area and then overpopulating it, however this is not always the case. Granted some areas are more diverse than others and there are hotspots for migration, but they are not deliberately all going to the same place to be a nuisance. People often believe that migrants would be better off in their own country, despite the fact a lot come from areas of conflict. There is a certain misrepresentation in the media that seems to make people forget that these people are coming to get away from the danger and to have a better life, and if the role was reversed, it is very likely they would do the same thing.

Another misconception is that migrant come over here to steal jobs and benefits, despite this not being the case either.

There are far too many assumptions that group all migrants together into one clump when this just isn’t realistic. There are too many different types of migrants and too many individual situations for a stereotype to even make sense on this topic. I think that a problem with migration is that too often their story is not heard and it is a media representation that is shown. The fact is that some of the stories are too traumatic to be shared with the world and people don’t always want to talk about what they are running away from. The portrayal of the individual is never explored from their perspective. It is often a media representation that has been stretched and controlled into a story that will sell or will generate some controversy. This is bad because it is what causes prejudices and makes people think in one way about migration.

Menjívar said. “News outlets are where attitudes are shaped and through which politicians’ actions are conveyed to their constituencies, as well as, in turn, what politicians may react to.”

I have found a website that looks at the UK’s public opinion on migration and there are some interesting points that are being made that do make sense in terms of why migration is perceived as it is:

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Migrants often get a bad rap purely just for migrating. Too often people judge before they know them and this is where i personally feel the issue stems from. If people were less judgemental and more understanding of situations and didn’t just judge from media representations, we would have a much more well informed and educated society on this particular topic.

In conclusion migrants are often given a bad reputation, but I am hoping that through these projects and getting to know some migrants first hand and understanding and telling their story in the way that they want them to be told, it will help challenge ideas and misconceptions around the topic, especially so that it can be shared with others and hopefully aim to challenge some of their misconceptions about the topic.


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