Integration or Occupation: What Do Pro and Anti-Refugees Say About Current EU Refugee- Crisis?

Soheila Heidari, Alireza Khosravi



The concern of being occupied by refugees runs through the discourses of both anti and pro-refugee parties considering them as either a threat to be avoided or as an opportunity to be welcomed.  This paper by analyzing the reactions of opponents and supporters of welcoming current refugees in Europe, as the largest movement of people since the establishment of the European Union shows that they both consider European Values as the symbol and refugees as the occupiers of that symbol. Differentiating the occupation of land from occupation of mind, this paper illustrates that in the occupation of mind, a symbol that stands for the prevailing ideology is occupied to call the  governments to react to the needs of individuals that are gathered as a group. Also, by applying the critical term of “occupation” to read refugees themselves, it has been suggested that rather than the fix meaning of refugee, its floating meaning is addressed by politicians. It is concluded that by employing refugees as a threat, politicians intend to connote this message that the occupied will be another occupier.

Keywords; Refugees, Occupation of Mind, Occupation of Land, Floating Signifier



Sociology; Social Science; media studies; Humanities; Migration Studies

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