Research Institute on Population and Social Policies

April 14, 2022

The public discourse on immigration in Italian school textbooks

Adriana ValenteValentina Tudisca e Silvia Carvita have published an article in the magazine "Migrated Worlds"Edited by FrancoAngeli Publisher presenting the results of the research on the representation of migrations in the textbooks of Italian secondary schools, conducted by the research group AS IF of the CNR-IRPPS, as part of the project "Imago Migrantis"

"… The authors present an analysis of the most used History and Geography manuals in Italian secondary schools in the 2016-2017 school year aimed at investigating the representation of migrants and migrations through images and texts. Textbooks are in fact a type of media that can affect public discourse in presenting a certain vision of society to those who will be future citizens, conveying systems of values ​​in an explicit and implicit way. In this sense, they can act as building tools of support for power or cultural resistance, an aspect that is reflected in the so-called “delay in didactic transposition”, which helps to understand the relationship between knowledge and values. Given their "political" character, albeit cloaked in an institutional authority, it is important to reflect on this type of media in a critical way, in particular with regard to the promotion of discrimination and stereotypes. Among the results that emerged from the study, a narrative that describes migrants mainly as "victims" and as a resource (especially economic) for the country of destination, although there is no lack of representation in terms of the problem, while it is difficult to leave room for the issue of rights humans. At the same time, the images convey a predominantly "masculine" representation that tends to "veil" the presence of women, in contrast with the data, but with some elements that the authors consider to be of evolution.