The Polarized Social Representations of immigration through the photographic lens of INSTAGRAM

Annamaria Silvana de Rosa, Elena Bocci, Antonio Nubola, Marco Salvati


The current study is inserted into a research line of a wider project, which investigates the social representations about the contemporary migratory phenomenon through various social networks. Specifically, this study focused on individuals’ social representations about immigrants through Instagram and was inspired by the ‘social representations’ theoretical framework and in particular by its ‘modelling’ paradigmatic approach. In line with previous results, we expected to confirm the very polarized representation of immigrants. 456 photos with textual elements were analysed by SPAD through lexical correspondence analysis. The results offer a clear dichotomous discourse about immigration issue: on the one hand, the positive social representations referring to the inclusive visions and policies about immigrants; on the other hand, negative social representations referring to exclusionary visions and policies about immigrants. Thus, in the contemporary and digitalized social world, Instagram seems to be a powerful tool, which allows individuals to create, share and spread social representations about immigration issue, in order to contribute and participate in the debate by expressing their own position on this regard. Limitations and further research directions are discussed.


social representations; immigration; social media; Instagram; lexical correspondence analysis

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Copyright (c) 2020 Annamaria Silvana de Rosa, Elena Bocci, Antonio Nubola, Marco Salvati

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ISSN PRINT:  2723-973X – ISSN ONLINE: 2724-2943

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