Abstract

This article tries to clarify the role of media in constructing Russians’ negative attitude toward international labour migrants. The content analysis of media documents pertaining to migration process (recipient territory, high-skilled and low-skilled migrants) allowed the author to identify four basic contradictions of contemporary media discourse as well as the interaction strategies of the indigenous population and immigrants which are determined by the particular discursive models. These contradictions are the following: firstly, there is a dissonance between the image of the recipient territory as a region whose further successful economic development requires the presence of skilled foreign workers, and the image of unskilled foreign workers constituting the majority of the migration flow to Russia. Secondly, — negative representations of the group of “visible” (ethnically different) foreign workers and positive representation of the group of “invisible” foreign migrants (ethnically close). Thirdly, the prevalence of texts that provoke emotional perception of foreign migration over texts contributing to its rational comprehension and, finally, - there is an unbalance between tolerant description of national holidays and cultural events and intolerant description of the everyday life of labour migrants from Central Asia. The author explains the presence of these discourse contradictions by the ambivalent position of the main discourse subjects (employers, indigenous population and journalists, authorities), as well as the absence of the culture of interaction between the participants of migration process in the society leading to strategies of distancing and utilitarianism. The aim of the article is to clarify media mechanisms forming a culture of interaction between locals and newcomers which could contribute to resolution or lessening of those contradictions.

Keywords: media discourse, international migration, high-skilled and low-skilled migrants, social constructivism, social image