Pioneers of European Integration
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Pioneers of European Integration

Citizenship and Mobility in the EU

Edited by Ettore Recchi and Adrian Favell

The free movement of EU citizens is the most visible sociological consequence of the remarkable process of European integration that has transformed the continent since the Second World War. Pioneers of European Integration offers the first systematic analysis of the small but symbolically potent number of Europeans who have chosen to live and work as foreigners in another member state of the EU. Based on an original survey of 5000 people moving to and from the EU’s five largest countries, the book documents the demographic profile, migration choices, cultural adaptation, social mobility, political participation and media use of these pioneers of a transnational Europe, as well as opening a window to the new waves of intra-EU East–West migrations.
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Chapter 8: A Common Information Space? The Media Use of EU Movers

Damian Tambini and Nina Rother


Damian Tambini and Nina Rother INTRODUCTION In the relationship between mobility, integration, identity and citizenship, cultural and educational institutions loom large. Classic studies of nationalism, for example, show how earlier media such as poetry and literature played a key role in national identity construction (Anderson 1983). Others outline the interdependence between national identity construction, media structures, national policy frameworks and individual identity construction (Collins 1998; Price 1995; Schlesinger 1991). While technological change is never entirely deterministic, it is undeniable that communications media – understood broadly – structure and condition the links between migrant, host and home populations, and are crucial to the construction of the proverbial ‘imagined community’ to which migrants feel a sense of belonging (Elkins 1997). As with other questions about intra-EU migration explored in this book, little systematic research has been carried out into the media use patterns of EU movers. Our goal here is thus to build up a picture of their media use, and highlight its role in their integration and citizenship practices. Many claim that the communication processes which make up the national public sphere are being decoupled from national geography, as older distribution technologies are displaced by new transnational networks. We know very little, however, from research to date, about the empirical detail of this shift in communication patterns. If such a transnational information space was emerging, we would expect EU movers to be among its first inhabitants. Given the new abundance of media available, to what extent do these movers use the media of...

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