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TRAMES. A Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences
ISSN 1736-7514 (Electronic)
ISSN 1406-0922 (Print)
Impact Factor (2020): 0.5


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Magda Stroińska, Vikki Cecchetto


The 20th and 21st centuries have been marked by a number of traumatic events: with the two World Wars, Korean War and, especially in the last twenty-five years, with conflicts in the Middle East and in Africa, as well as others, vast numbers of people have been displaced and have had to journey far and wide to find not only a new home but a safe haven from the atrocities of war. While discrimination against newcomers to a country, prejudice, racism, nationalism, religious fundamentalism, and authoritarian dictatorships are not new phenomena, what makes the recent reactions to the current worldwide human influxes different is the use of language manipulation, propaganda and hate speech via social media to re-stigmatize and re-traumatize the new refugees, asylum-seekers, immigrants and migrants. Social media platforms give everyone the opportunity to express their views, whether positive or negative, about anyone who could be considered the other. Both right-wing and left-wing parties and governments also see the usefulness of using the manipulation of the labels given to newcomers and inciting fear of them for their own agendas. In this paper we will investigate how the use of linguistic labels and stereo­typing about the other contribute to the rise of hate speech worldwide and how the presence of hate speech about the newcomers has re-traumatized many refugees who had thought they had reached a safe haven after fleeing the source of their original trauma. For the purpose of this study, we will be using data that primarily refers to Italy and Poland, as well as some other examples.


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