SOGOLAS Research Seminar: Moral panics and affectively invested action

04/24/2024 - 15:15 - 16:45

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This presentation explores the trajectory of anti-Polish migrant moral panics, observing their rise following the Central and Eastern European EU accession in May 2004 and subsequent decline after the UK EU Referendum in 2016. The reproduction of anti-migrant discourses and the subsequent volatility of analyzed anti-migrant sentiment are examined through the Durkheimian and Laclauian lens of affectively invested social action. Post-Referendum, anti-migrant discourses sporadically surfaced among the British public, but in a more subdued, non-emotional, and descriptive manner, merely symbolizing social issues instead of actively perpetuating them. This presentation focuses on evidence of the decline in Polish moral panic through interviews with predominantly low-skilled Polish migrants and an analysis of over a thousand newspaper articles from both pre- and post-Referendum periods.

Main speaker: Dr Rafal Smoczyński (Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology).

Moderated by Professor Peeter Selg

Discussants: Distinguished Professor of Comparative Politics Raivo Vetik and Associate Professor of Political Sociology Mari-Liis Jakobson (SOGOLAS)

The seminar will be held in English.