Chapter published in:Migration and Media: Discourses about identities in crisis
Edited by Lorella Viola and Andreas Musolff
[Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture 81] 2019
► pp. 45–62
Polentone vs terrone
A discourse-historical analysis of media representation of Italian internal migration
This article explores how the internal conflict between the Italian Northern and Southern regions’ ideologies is linguistically apparent in the use of the discriminating words polentone (literally, polenta eater) attached to people from the North and terrone (literally, person from the land) referred to people from the South. The research hypothesis is that, although at first these terms appear to carry a similar derogatory connotation, terrone is in fact more offensive. It is argued here that such difference may find its roots in the Italian central government political strategies which, by historically favouring one part of the country to the disadvantage of the other, have factually aggravated the production and reproduction of discriminatory prejudices against the South. By using the “discourse-historical approach” (Wodak 2001), the study triangulates linguistic, social and historical data to unveil correlations between the discursive discrimination against Italian intra-migrants and the implicit ideologies circulated by governmental choices.
Keywords: discriminating discourse, corpus-based CDA, Italian internal migration, identity, Othering
Published online: 07 March 2019
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Cited by 1 other publications
Viola, Lorella & Jaap Verheul
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