Resisting Stereotypes

By: Lydia Ouma Radoli  

This paper uses discourse analysis to examine news excerpts from diasporic media and interviews with media experts “on the representation of migrants of African Descent in Europe.” As the influx of migrants from war-torn countries of Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, and Ukraine culminates to “a migration crisis,” migrants outside the category of violence and conflict are labelled in stereotypes that reify “otherness.” Although pockets of Kenyans remain in Europe (Germany and Britain) illegally, many migrate as professionals, expatriates, students, sports talents, etc. They exist within migrant contexts in Europe and are lumped together as “economic migrants.” In Europe, migrants are viewed as threats to the economic well-being and detractors to the political climate. Stereotypical representations of migrants inhibit their integration in host societies. Yet, public discourse ignores their economic contribution at home and abroad. The migration influx of refugees from conflict zones has amplified stereotypes of migrants as “illegals, foreigners, and infringers of social welfare.” However, diasporic media like "Mkenya Ujerumani" (Germany) and "Ukentv" (UK) in this study, (re)produce an alternative narrative of how Kenyans resist and survive the stereotypes. In this paper, I highlight how aspects of representations of migration and development in diasporic media negate a Eurocentric thought.

"Migration Crisis", " Diasporic Media", " Representations", " Kenyan Migrants", " Migration and Development"
Media Cultures
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Lydia Ouma Radoli

International Researcher, Business, Law and Social Sciences, Brandenburg University of Technology, Cottbus-Senftenberg

My academic specific areas of focus are in Communication Sociology, Human Rights Practice, African Diasporas and recently, Media, Migration, and Development. The focus areas fit within Social Science Research. I am also a trained and practicing journalist, currently completing my Ph.D. Studies in Germany. I have worked as a senior Broadcast Journalist and Producer in East Africa, specifically, Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda. I remain an active contributor to the Kenyan Diaspora affairs as a registered member of the Kenya Diaspora Alliance (KDA). Here in Germany, I write for Mkenya Ujerumani - a Diasporic Media outlet for Kenyans. Essentially, my stories focus on the role of the Diaspora communities as change agents, their social struggles, experiences in the host societies, reproduction of cultures and linkages with home states. My Ph.D. thesis is themed on: “The Analysis of Migration and Development Discourse in Transnational Digital Migrant Media“: Case Study of Kenyan Migration to Europe. Presently, I am working on the finer details of my Ph.D. thesis. I target to defend my Ph.D. thesis in January 2019. After the doctoral studies, I intend to work in the University and contribute to media and as well as sociological research in public and private sectors. Part of my interest also lies in the production of media programmes for radio and television that address social issues in my country. In 2018, I established Diaspora Radio, an online platform producing narratives of African Migrants giving alternative perspectives.