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"Recognizing someone's humanity is crucial. Calling someone a migrant, calling someone an asylum seeker, calling them a refugee: these are official categories. But in many ways, depending on how they use them, they can change and become more negative."
So says propaganda and migration specialist Emma Briant, explaining the dangers of conflating and misusing the terms that apply to humans on the move. And British-Asian-but-kinda-not author Nikesh Shukla wonders where he's from - where he is really from.
- Emma Briant is quoted in this long read about psychological manipulation by news.
- I found this piece interesting about the practice of overstating harm.
- Adrian Florido of Code Switch (a podcast which is well worth your attention) examines the term 'illegal alien'.
- A journalist struggles with 'illegal immigrant'.
- Poet Michael Rosen rips apart the UK government's scapegoating of immigrants.
- If you don't think English should be full of foreign words, which it is, you could try campaigning for linguistic purism (but you'll be wasting your time, because that's not how the language works).
- The Daily Mail reporting on immigrants in 1900 and in 2016.
- There's a transcript of this episode at theallusionist.org/transcripts/migration.
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YOUR RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
- Emma Briant is a lecturer in journalism studies at the University of Sheffield, but is currently a researcher at George Washington University, and writing a new book about media bias and American politics. Her 2013 book Bad News for Refugees studied how migrants have been stigmatised by politicians and journalists over many years. Read more of her work on migration, propaganda and communication at her website, emma-briant.co.uk, and follow her on Twitter @emmabriant.
- ikesh Shukla is an author and the editor of The Good Immigrant, and of another forthcoming collection, Rife, by British writers under the age of 24. Pledge for it here (I have!). Find more of his work at nikesh-shukla.com, and follow him on Twitter @nikeshshukla.
- This episode was produced by me, with music by Martin Austwick, who also provided editorial help, as did Eleanor McDowall. Thanks too to Cheeka Eyers and Hrishikesh Hirway.
- Find me at facebook.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/helenzaltzman and instagram.com/helenzaltzman.