Perceiving Migration in Emirdag: A Baudrillardian Perspective

Filiz Göktuna Yaylacı 1 *, Mine Karakuş 1

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By 1970s, Western societies have entered a new phase marked by a cultural, economic and political transformation. These transformations in the economic realm as decrease in the demand on human labor and flexibility in the mode of production also have serious implications on the social, cultural and political areas, particularly on the volume and the nature of migratory flows. Post-modern school of thought provides the basis for the most of the arguments on the fore mentioned economic restructuration and its implications on contemporary social phenomena. The macro level theories that explain the labor migration from East to West and from South to North in the Fordist era, fall short in elaborating the multi-faceted flows of different forms of migration. Desires for different life style and opportunities, the images of the receiving societies and how the actors perceive the destined lands, play important roles in individual choices for migration. These images and information of various forms and kind are conveyed through mass media and Internet, which shape the perceptions and identity formation of the prospective migrants. From this standpoint, the main aim of this paper is to analyze the role and the way that perceptions, aspirations and images play in actors’ decision making for migration. Within this context, by employing Baudrillard’s conceptual framework, it will be argued that, in the universe of simulations, migration and factors of migration become hyperrealities and images that have lost their realities. By referring to Baudrillard’s concepts of simulacrum and simulation, it is intended to explicate whether or not and how perceptions, desires, images constructed by individuals stimulate migration. Within this context, the impact of direct personal communications, the communication with symbols through material ownerships, and the impact of perceptions of material symbols on individuals will be analyzed. Furthermore, how these perceptions effect the decision making process for migration will be elaborated. For that purpose, an explorative research was conducted in Emirdağ district and its surrounding villages. Emirdağ used to be an important source of labor migration up until 1970s, still continues to be a major source of migration in the form of chain migration especially to Belgium even though economic labor migration to European countries has been halted for last three decades. In order to understand the main motives of the individuals and how the receiving societies are being perceived and the images of the receiving lands are being constructed by the actors of migration in the town, a series of semi-structured in-depth interviews are conducted with 44 participants, 24 women and 20 men from Emirdağ and its periphery.


Inter-cultural communication interaction of inter-group communication simulacra migrant imagination life opprtunities


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 6, Issue 3, July 2016, pp. 134-155

Published Online: 26 Jul 2016

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