Publication details

‘A brother is more than a neighbour’ : Symbolic boundary work in Czech pro-migration discourse


JAWORSKY Bernadette Nadya KROTKÝ Jan

Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Keywords Symbolic boundaries; boundary work; refugees; Czechia; migrant advocacy; cultural sociology
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Description Since 2015, the latest so-called migration crisis has become a major discursive topic in the EU, even in countries like Czechia, which have not received many migrants, refugees, or asylum seekers. While researchers have looked at anti-migration discourses in the country, highlighting the ways in which symbolic boundaries around migrants are brightened, there exists a gap in looking at the other side, namely, how migrant rights advocates legitimate the potential acceptance of migrants, refugees, or asylum seekers. In this article, we adopt a cultural sociological approach to explore how two Czech initiatives to accept refugees, including Syrian orphans, variously blur and solidify symbolic boundaries. Our findings show that the migrant rights advocates involved in these two initiatives, who gained the attention of decision makers, follow mainstream discursive narratives, legitimating the acceptance of refugees based on similar arguments and symbols (both religious and security based) as those instrumentalised by the opponents of migration.
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