University of Limerick Conference Puts Migration in the Frame

Thursday, 24th April 2014 Tags: University of Limerick, Professor Don Barry, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of Sociology, UL,

An important two day conference being held this week (April 24th-25th) at the University of Limerick is examining the ways in which migration is often misunderstood by the public, the media and the politically powerful. ‘In The Frame: Public and Political Discourses on Migration’ is the inaugural conference of the Power, Discourse and Society Research Cluster at UL.

One of the event’s co-organisers Dr. Martin Power (Lecturer, Department of Sociology, UL) stated that: “This interdisciplinary conference will hear papers from all over the world which seek to separate the facts from the many myths surrounding migration. It is essential that politicians and policy makers have an informed understanding of migration given that they are the ones who make and implement policies which affect the lives of real people.” Dr. Power also noted that research undertaken by members of the Power, Discourse and Society Research Cluster at UL found a significant amount of media coverage concerning migration to be ill-informed and at times sensationalist.

The conference will hear keynote addresses from Professor Bryan Fanning (UCD) and Professor Nicholas De Genova (Kings’ College London).

In launching the conference this Thursday UL President Don Barry said: “The story of migration and the diaspora is part of Ireland’s history and with an estimated one million Irish-born people currently living and working abroad, it is very much a part of our everyday lives. It is estimated that the diaspora, including second and third generation Irish passport holders, could be as large as 3 million people with as many as 80 million people worldwide claiming some Irish descent. We know from even a cursory examination of media and public commentary on migration that it can sometimes be ill-informed and negative. It is essential therefore that places like the University of Limerick provide a space in which public discourses surrounding migration can be examined critically.”

The success of the In The Frame Conference is a further example of UL's expertise in the areas of media analysis, social policy and studies of racism.