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Symposium as part of the Marie Curie Research Project “TV News for Promoting Interculturalism: A Novel Step towards Immigrant Integration” developed at ASCA (UvA) in the framework of Marie Curie Actions of the European Commission and under the direction of Dr. Amanda Paz Alencar and Prof. Dr. Mark Deuze.

Detail Summary
Date 25 June 2015
Time 15:00 - 17:30

With the waning of multiculturalism, the concept of integration increasingly garners a great deal attention among scholars from various academic fields. Despite the significant development of empirical research, there is a lack of consensus on what the concept of integration actually refers to. Overall, the term has often been used to define economic, political, social and cultural processes migrants go through when they arrive in a new country. At a normative level, the absence of a common understanding of integration may pose a problem, mainly when it comes to immigration policy-making in supra-national territories such as the European Union. The various ‘EU integration models’ may fail to address in a realistic manner the trajectory of migrants when they arrive into a new society. Instead, these models reflect an idealistic view of the national society (Anderson, 1991; Beck et al., 1994; Gaonkar, 2002; Schinkel, 2013; Schlueter et. al, 2013). For example, Germany, Netherlands, France, Denmark and the United Kingdom have managed to address ‘integration policies’ in very different ways. The variance depends on the country’s historical and political background, as well as the composition of the immigrant population. The way that a country shapes immigration and integration policies usually relies on the type of migration (i.e., labour, humanitarian, family) and the socioeconomic and educational background of each type of migrant. It is also important to highlight that continuing immigration flows and increasing diversity in Western European societies has led to more complex processes of integration, as the cultural characteristics of the new immigrants and their political organization are highly varied.

A comprehensive review of the literature also reveals that mass media plays a critical role in the cultural and social integration of new immigrants.  However, the roles of mass media may be ambiguous, and they often involve a conflicting influence of one’s cultural beliefs with other groups in a new society (i.e., we can see individuals seeking to maintain their cultural identity while interacting in a new society). On the one hand, the use of the host media is often associated with faster integration by contributing to the immigrants’ process of learning about the new society and taking part in it (Fishman et al, 1966; Hunter, 1960; Park, 1922; Walker, 1999; Zubrzycki, 1958), while, on the other hand, they preserve the immigrants’ cultural identity and strengthen their inter-group connection and solidarity (Fathi, 1973; Goldlust & Richmond, 1974; Jeffres & Hur, 1983; Kim, 1980; Lum, 1991). In recent years, mainly with the advent of digital technology, new media platforms and transnational media networks have become central in the study of migration and migrant lives. Relevant studies suggest that the use of such new technologies facilitates migration, functioning as a doorway for integration (Dekker & Engberson, 2012). By engaging in different social media platforms, migrants are allowed for continuing strong ties with friends and family, creating new ties, accessing more sources to get knowledge and assistance than in the past, and engaging in political practices and movements of their home and host countries.

Given this scenario, this symposium aims to link all the variables that contribute to the processes of immigrant integration. The focus, in this case, is on the dynamics involved in the mediation of migrant integration and experiences by media in a cross-country comparative perspective. In order to debate this, we will bring together scholars from the Humanities (e.g., media studies, cultural anthropology) and Social Sciences (e.g., political science and communication sciences), and experts and professionals in the field. We cordially invite all those interested in recent developments in research on the role of (New) Media in the Integration and Political Processes of Immigrants to attend this symposium. Apart from scholars in our field, we also extend a warm welcome to students, policy makers and the interested public. During the symposium, scholars will present their research/topics in three subsequent thematic sessions. These lectures will adress topics varying from development and identity to the relationships between media and migrant integration, and from the social function of media and journalism to online political practices of migrants and so on. This will offer all ASCA researchers and from other research centres an excellent opportunity to discuss paper topics in an interdisciplinary setting. In addition, the programme will include  a keynote lecture by Mark Deuze and the day's programme will be concluded with a drinks reception.

This Symposium is part of the Research Project “TV News for Promoting Interculturalism: A Novel Step towards Immigrant Integration” (Grant Number PIEF-GA-2012-327228, European Union FP7) developed at ASCA (UvA) in the framework of Marie Curie Actions of the European Commission and under the direction of Dr. Amanda Paz Alencar and Prof. Dr. Mark Deuze.

Organized by

Amanda Paz Alencar, is a Marie Curie Fellow in Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam

Sanne Kruikemeier, is an Assistant Professor of Political Communication at the University of Amsterdam.


Invited lecturers:

Dr. Amanda Paz Alencar

Amanda P. Alencar has a PhD in Audiovisual Communication from the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain) . She is currently a Marie Curie Post-doc researcher at the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis of the University of Amsterdam. Her research interests include Immigrant integration, geolinguistic spaces of communication, (New) Media production, social media effect, applied technology for journalism and knowledge production. She will present the main results of her Marie Curie Project which consisted of a cross-cultural analysis of the role of (TV) news in the integration processes of new migrants in NL and Spain, both at structural and sociocultural levels. The two-year project worked towards the creation of strategies for giving immigrants the opportunity to learn more about the political, social, economic and cultural life of their new country.

Dr. Sanne Kruikemeier

Sanne Kruikemeier (PhD, University of Amsterdam, 2014) is an assistant professor of Political Communication at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) at the University van Amsterdam. Her research mainly focuses on the content and effects of online communication in a political context. Her work has appeared in New Media & Society, the European Journal of Communication, and Computers in Human Behavior. In 2007, she received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology at Utrecht University. In 2008, she finished her Master’s degree Policy Analyses and Organizations at Utrecht University. Between 2008 and 2010 she worked as a researcher at the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL). Between 2011 and 2014, she wrote her dissertation about online political communication and its effects on citizens’ political involvement at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) at the University of Amsterdam. For more information see:
Sanne will discuss the social function of journalism and the media for citizenship and political engagement by analyzing the relationships between social media and online political practices of migrants in the exercise of their citizenship in their home country and host country.

Zoë Papaikonomou

Drs. Zoë Papaikonomou is a lecturer in Journalism and the owner of Diversity Media. She teaches in depth storytelling at Windesheim University in Zwolle. In her classes she focuses strongly on the ethical challenges of the journalistic profession specifically regarding diversity. Diversity Media develops media workshops for children and youngsters. Zoë aims to give children in socially challenged areas their own voice by teaching them journalistic skills. Previously Zoë worked as a reporter for AT5 (Amsterdam Television). She specialized in the Islamic community in the capital and diversity issues. Zoë studied History and Arabic Language at the University of Groningen. At the symposium Zoë will mostly talk about her work for Diversity Media.

Koen Faber

Senior Policy Advisor (City of Amsterdam), Department of Work and Income, RvE, Educatie & Inburgering. He is responsible for the Department of European Immigration in Amsterdam.

Fields of expertise: social affairs, immigration, newcomers-policies.

Intervention: The mayor and elderman of the city of Amsterdam states:

"Amsterdam wants to be an economically, culturally and socially vital city. Amsterdam remains a trading-town with an open mind to Europe and the world. New immigrants who are here for a short or long time to stay are welcome to settle here and to contribute to the city." A good thought-through policy on newcomers and how they can be successful in economic and social ways is a key-aspect for successful cities. I will tell something about the current state of affairs within Amsterdam regarding newcomers and current policy and activities. 


3:00                Keynote lecture by Mark Deuze

3:20                Zoë Papaikonomou

3:40                Koen Faber

4:00                Coffee break

4:20                Sanne Kruikemeier

4:40                Amanda Alencar (Closure)

5:00                Drinks reception

Room Bungehuis, room 3.37