The Semantics of the Forced Migration Master Narrative in the Public Discussion Space of Latvia

Friday, July 14, 2017
Gilbert Scott Building - Room 356 (University of Glasgow)
Liena Galeja , Cultural Studies, Latvian Academy of Culture
The so-called migration crisis in the middle of the 2nd decade of the 21st century has affected not only the Western European countries selected by the majority of the asylum seekers as their destination, but also Eastern Europe both due to the assigned number of asylum seekers due to the refugee quotas and to echoing the actual events related to different aspects of the intensification of the migration flow. The migration crisis discourse in the public discussion space in most Eastern European countries has been deeply affected by particular socio-economical and historical experiences composing the forced migration master narrative. The post-socialist condition plays an important role in respect to the thematization of the forced migration and its actors in most Eastern European communities. Also the historical master narrative specific to each community must be taken into the account. The research paper specifies the forced migration master discourse in the public discussion space of Latvia as a case study, focusing on the applied rhetorics and the semantic means referring to the involved actors. In order to trace the historical development of the forced migration master narrative, the focus has been put onto highlighting certain semantic units benchmarking specific milestones in the migration narrative affecting the population of Latvia. The proposed research paper aims not only discussing the specifics and causalities of the development of the forced migration master narrative in the case of Latvia, but also questions the possibility to compare discourse practices within a broader Eastern European context.