A UK Discourse Analysis of Belonging in Romanian Identity and Immigratory Accounts

LENNON, Henry (2018). A UK Discourse Analysis of Belonging in Romanian Identity and Immigratory Accounts. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00126
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    Abstract

    The 1st January 2014 was a political milestone for speculation and warning in the UK as Romania’s citizens became free to live and work visa-free across the EU. This thesis is a constructionist social psychological study drawing upon Shotter’s (1993a) writing on citizenship and Balkanism studies (Todorova, 2009) to investigate how citizenship and belonging were rhetorically mobilised within this epoch. Employing a dual-site methodology, receiving society (extracts from the BBCs Question Time and political interviews from The Andrew Marr Show), and mover voices (narrative interviews with ten self-defining Romanians living in Sheffield) were analysed using interpretative repertoire analysis and discourse analysis, respectively (Potter & Wetherell, 1987). The receiving society analysis explored how two interpretative repertoires were occasioned argumentatively as well as justified or contested rhetorically to construct the nation as under ‘threat’ from Romanian migration or the body politic as being ‘abused’ by Romanian migrants. Conversely, the mover voice analysis focused upon rhetorical features underpinning two key ‘moments’ of identity construction in the interviews: ‘civic becoming’, where participants narrated their acculturation and attempt to overcome ‘otherness’, and ‘civic belonging’, where ‘good migrant’ or ‘active citizen’ narratives in the receiving society were invoked. The thesis concludes by drawing upon critical psychology (Fox, D., Prilleltensky, & Austin, 2009) and Balkanism studies to make sense of the empirical findings. Future avenues of identity exploration, in light of the post-2014 political climate, are considered. The thesis provides three novel contributions to knowledge: firstly it examines the previously undocumented period whereby Romanian identity and migration were constructed in relation to commentary over lifting transitional controls; secondly it utilises a dual-site methodological approach concerned with how distinctive acculturative voices make sense of this epoch; lastly it employs Balkanism studies to historicise the legacy of such contemporary discourse, an important theoretical undertaking not previously undertaken in social psychology.

    Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
    Additional Information: Director of studies / Dr Laura Kilby
    Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00126
    Depositing User: Colin Knott
    Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2019 14:42
    Last Modified: 24 Jul 2019 15:24
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/24017

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