Migrant Racialization on Twitter during a border and a pandemic crisis

Maria Avraamidou, Eftychios Eftychio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This work examines how the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic reshaped the migration debate on Twitter. Through co-hashtag network analysis, time-frequency and content analysis, it shows that the pandemic was related with positive (humanitarian) and negative (threat) stances about migration. The positive side focused on the need to protect refugees stranded at camps in Greece from COVID-19. The negative focused on the Greek-Turkish land-border crisis (Evros crisis), using COVID-19 to reinforce migrants as racialized others. These findings fit the problematization of positive and negative migrant representations in the Global north as Eurocentric. In the case of camps, refugees fit well within the victim/helpless frame, justifying humanitarianism, this time on health grounds. Regarding the border crisis, refugees also fit the Eurocentric frame of violent/male/inferior other who could spread a deadly virus. Overall, COVID-19 intertwined with migration in Twitter debates, reinforcing the racialized, Eurocentric representational field on migrants from the Global south
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-251
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Communication Gazette
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by the Research and Innovation Foundation (grant number POST-DOC/0916/ 0115)

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