Imag(in)ing the other(s) : Migration, racism, and the discursive constructions of migrants

Abstract: The dissertation examines the question of how the material and discursive constructions of "white" spaces impact on immigrants in Sweden, Europe and the West. Itoffers critical readings of migrations, discourses and space. Critical geographicalstudies of migration should interrogate the role of boundaries, enclosures and dichotomies in the constructions of material/spatial and discursive/symbolic spaces,notions of identity and difference, imag(in)ed spaces and imag(in)ed communities,and systems of inclusion and exclusion. The thesis provides theoretical discussionsand critical analyses of dominant imag(in)ings and discursive constructions of migrants in Sweden, Europe, and the West. It maps the shifting migration regimes anddiscourses by deploying perspectives in critical geopolitics for the analyses of discourses/imag(in)ings of mass migration. It draws out the lineaments between dominant narratives and regimes of migration and the racialization, criminalization andsecuritization of migration issues in Western Europe. Psychoanalytical perspectivesand hermeneutics of suspicion inform the critique of dominant articulations, in orderto address issues of why migrations have been enframed as (i) threats (ii) which interests have been harnessed/mobilized, (iii) what emotions are repressed by suchvisions and (iv) what imag(in)ings do they hide? Discourses of (migration) threats/invasions are means of displacement and guilt reversal - a specific mode of articulation of "white" paranoia, i.e., the projection of the harmful intentions of the Selfonto the Other(s).

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