The emergence, uses and impacts of narratives on migration: State of the art

Christina Boswell, Saskia Smellie, Marcello Maneri, Andrea Pogliano, Bianca Garcés-Mascareñas, Verónica Benet-Martínez, Berta Güell

Research output: Working paper


This Working Paper provides an overview of social science literature on narratives, with a particular focus on narratives on migration (MiNa). The paper starts by tracing the emergence of the concept of narratives in a range of social sciences (sociology, anthropology, political science, psychology and media studies), and then outlines a working definition of the concept for use in the BRIDGES project.

We then map key literature about the emergence and sources of narratives; their psychological, social and political functions; and the factors influencing their spread and prevalence. We go on to explore how the concept has been applied to understand the dynamics of mobility, displacement, integration, public attitudes and political mobilisation in migration studies. We examine some of the key themes of the literature in relation to gender, a key dimension of the BRIDGES project, and then set out a number of trends that might be expected to shape the content and diffusion of narratives.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2021


  • migration
  • migration narratives
  • narratives production
  • narratives impact


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