Edited by Andreas Musolff
[Benjamins Current Topics 102] 2019
► pp. 33–54
Conditional support for territorial migrations in Serbian national discourse
After more than a decade of Serbia’s investment in the EU integration, its citizens are still imagining their national identities from the externally assigned position of ‘flawed’ Europeans. To respond to this subject position in the context of ongoing migration trends in Europe, these individuals engage in identity politics that both celebrate elements of otherness, and also locate them in the country’s own internal and Eastern Others. This study uses critical discourse analysis to examine the ideological effects of these negotiations in response to the 2010/2011 asylum-seeking crisis, when a number of Serbian citizens applied for asylum in several EU countries, which defined this as an abuse of Schengen system. The analysis of more than 1,000 online comments shows that newsreaders offer conditional support for asylum seekers to (re)inscribe preferred social hierarchies. Represented simultaneously as suffering citizens and immoral internal other, asylum seekers serve as the strategic means by which ethnic discrimination becomes an invisible element of everyday nationalism.