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Migration and Migrants between the Favorable and the Problematic

A Discourse Analysis of Secondary School Turkish History Textbooks from 1966 to 2018

Önder Cetin


Migration has significantly shaped the changing demographics of Turkey and the interplay between the self-image of the state and its citizens as elements of nation-building policies, dating back to the late Ottoman period. Although the effects of migration and its representations have been the subject of scholarly studies about collective memory, textbooks have largely been omitted from studies about migration. This article analyzes the topics and discursive strategies used to construct narratives of migration and migrants in secondary-level history textbooks by considering ways in which textbooks construct and transmit collective self-images. Adopting a critical discourse analysis approach, the author demonstrates how topoi are used to present a favorable or problematic image of migration.