Newspaper Reporting of Migrants in England 1851–1911: Spatial and Temporal Perspectives

In: Journal of Migration History
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  • 1 University of Lancaster, UK

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England in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was no stranger to migrants and, inevitably, migrants were not always warmly received. They were often stigmatised for their perceived differences of language, religion and behaviour, and were blamed for a range of social ills including crime and low wages. In this article I examine print news reporting in six English port cities from c1850 to 1911. I focus on the ways in which crime reporting in particular characterised both offenders and victims, and the extent to which migrant origin was considered a relevant characteristic to report. It is argued that for the most part migrant origin was not widely mentioned in crime reports in regional newspapers, though there were periods when migrant origin was increasingly foregrounded and these coincided with times when migration to England was becoming increasingly politicised, especially before and immediately after the passing of the Aliens Act in 1905.

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