Citizenship and Mobility in the EU
Edited by Ettore Recchi and Adrian Favell
8. A common information space? The media use of EU movers 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...
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