This article analyzes coverage of separated child migrants in three British tabloids between the introduction of the Dubs Amendment, which committed to relocating unaccompanied minors to the UK, and the demolition of the unofficial refugee camp in Calais. This camp has been a key symbol of Europe’s “migration crisis” and the subject of significant media attention in which unaccompanied children feature prominently. By considering the changes in tabloid coverage over this time period, this article highlights the increasing contestation of the authenticity of separated children as they began arriving in the UK under Dubs, concurrent with representations of “genuine” child migrants as innocent and vulnerable. We argue that attention to proximity can help account for changing discourses and that the media can simultaneously sustain contradictory views by preserving an essentialized view of “the child,” grounded in racialized, Eurocentric, and advanced capitalist norms. Together, these points raise questions about the political consequences of framing hospitality in the name of “the child.”
From Dubs to Doubt
Rachel Rosen and Sarah Crafter
I entered Leo Baeck College in September 1979 as 50 percent of the Class of 1984; my co-student was William Wolff. It would be hard to conceive of two less similar people, yet we hit it off like a house on fire and remained close mates throughout our College years. I came from an academic background; my general Jewish knowledge was almost nil, but I'd already mastered Biblical Hebrew. Willie, a tabloid journalist, was steeped in Yiddishkeit but couldn't differentiate between a sh'va na' and a sh'va nach. Our lecturers that first year must have been in hysterics over us.
Talking to Patricia J. Williams Following the Reith Lectures.
Richard H. King, Sharon Monteith and Patricia J. Williams
This year’s Reith Lecturer was Patricia J. Williams, a lawyer and Professor of Law at Columbia and author of the award-winning The Alchemy of Race and Rights (1993) and The Rooster’s Egg: The Persistence of Prejudice (1995) as well as numerous essays and articles in law journals and in The Village Voice, The Nation and Ms. Magazine. Professor Williams was invited to speak in this the European Year Against Racism but she found herself and the topic of her lectures the subject of heated media debate in Britain. Tabloids and broadsheets alike reviled her as ‘a militant black feminist who thinks all whites are racist and the family is wrong’ (Daily Mail) and her lectures were even described as ‘mumbo-jumbo’ in the Daily Telegraph. Britain’s newspapers and Melvyn Bragg on Radio 4’s ‘Start the Week’ combined to demonise the first black woman speaker in the 49-year history of the Reith Lectures.
Subjects and Citizens
In the last few months Britain has lived through several moments when the idea of being a citizen has been at the forefront of people’s minds. In the space of twenty-four hours in July 2005 we experienced the jubilation of winning the right to host the 2012 London Olympics and felt the horror and shock caused by the terrorist attacks on the London transport network. Both events showed in stark contrast what being a citizen means for a nation in the twenty-first century: the inevitable coming together of a people to celebrate national success turned to bewilderment as Britons struggled to understand how fellow citizens could inflict such destruction on their own country. Questioning citizenship is now a daily occurrence in the national press as tabloids call for loyalty tests, immigrants to be repatriated, and tougher laws for extremists. The following six articles, written before the aforementioned events, tackle some of the very same issues that now trouble us. They address themes such as identity, nationality, confinement, attacks on liberty, citizenship, and being the subject of oppression. Analysing at a fundamental level the nature of being a subject or citizen, these papers challenge notions of dominant ideology and highlight the importance of self in the construction of identity and a harmonious citizenry.
The European Union has been in its biggest ever crisis since the onset of the Greek sovereign debt crisis in 2010. Beyond the political and economic dimensions, the crisis has also sparked discussions about Germany's European identity. Some scholars have argued that Germany's behavior in the crisis signals a continuation of the process of “normalization” of its European identity toward a stronger articulation of national identity and interests, that it has “fallen out of love” with Europe. This article will seek to reassess these claims, drawing on detailed analysis of political and media discourse in Germany—from political speeches through to both broadsheet and tabloid newspapers. It will argue that the crisis is understood broadly as a European crisis in Germany, where the original values of European integration are at stake. Furthermore, the crisis is debated through the lens of European solidarity, albeit with a particular German flavor of solidarity that draws on the economic tradition of ordoliberalism. Rather than strengthening expressions of national identity, this has resulted in the emergence of a new northern European identity in contrast to Greece or “southern Europe.”