Dmitry Timoshkin 1, 2
  • 1 Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, 660041, Krasnoyarsk, Svobodny Ave., 86.
  • 2 Irkutsk State University, Karla Marksa Str., 1, Irkutsk, Russian Federation 664033

Migrants and Spatial Marginality in Urban Digital Media (The Case of Irkutsk)

2021, vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 124–147 [issue contents]
The article analyzes “migrant” spaces created in Irkutsk by journalists and users of urban digital media. We considered professional news agencies, groups in Vkontakte, and forums as a tool for “space production” in combining many autobiographical descriptions of interaction with the city, images, and publicistic texts into an integral socio-spatial image. We were interested in how the texts’ authors of digital media integrate migrants into the “image of Irkutsk”: do they create specific “migrant” places on the map of Irkutsk? What are their features? Do the “migrant” spaces created on various digital platforms differ from each other? Does the social marginality of the “migrant” receive spatial expression? The materials were selected in the Google search engine, as well as in the built-in search engines of urban communities on Vkontakte and forums, using the keywords “Irkutsk” + “migrants” or “newcomers”. We used the method of retrospective online observation and discourse analysis. By observing the users’ dialogues and publicistic texts posted at different times, we determined which localities “migrants” and “newcomers” were placed in, and what characteristics they were given. It was found that the professional media mainly broadcasts the bureaucratic vision of the “migrant” and its location: it is associated with a set of “suspect spaces”, points of concentration of informal jobs, and are regularly “checked” by officials. Spaces are presented as marginal, do not fit into the city as an established socio-spatial order, and therefore are “dirty” and dangerous. These images move to social media where the image of “dirty” spaces and the “migrant” hiding there, as transmitted by the bureaucracy, collide with the subjective experience of users, becoming more complex and ambiguous. Thus, the “migrant” is placed in a wider range of spaces and social situations, gradually becoming a part of everyday urban life.
Citation: Timoshkin D. (2021) Migranty i prostranstvennaya marginal'nost' v gorodskikh tsifrovykh media (na primere Irkutska) [Migrants and Spatial Marginality in Urban Digital Media (The Case of Irkutsk)]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 20, no 1, pp. 124-127 (in Russian)
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