The public image of the immigrants who came in Italy from Muslim countries is often flawed by bias and stereotypes that relegate these people, even the more distant from religious belief and practices (which might be called secularized), in an "Islamic" identity, perceived as a monolith driven by fanaticism and intolerance. The mainstream medias contribute to the construction of these distorted representations by framing, emphasizing some issues related to otherness, and organizing the different positions of the various actors involved in the semiosphere. As shown by recent cases in several European countries (eg Switzerland and the outcome of a specific referendum), the conflict on building of mosques is configured as a crucial problematic node to examine the reactions of host societies to the visibility of Islam in the public arena and their representations in the information flow. The degree and forms of “resistance” to this visibility in urban space depend, among other things, on the level of acceptance of Islam in the local and national context (as well as on the characteristics of the Muslim settlement): in this respect, the Italian situation seems to be particularly peculiar for several reasons. In this paper will be analysed the debates and conflicts involving the places where mosques are built, concerning the mosques as visible symbols of the Islamic presence in Italy, directly related to the perception of Islam as “the typical Other”, examining in particular the role played by media imagery and communication processes (including those voluntarily activated by the political and cultural actors involved). The analysis of different case studies, conducted on various kinds of texts (tv news, newspapers, online discussions) and through a mix of quantitative and qualitative research methods (content analysis, lexical-textual analysis and discourse analysis), will highlight the main coordinates of the debate, the role of different actors involved, the images and characterizations of Islam and, in general, of people with different cultural backgrounds which emerge from the media coverage of these conflicts, putting them in socio-political Italian context, even to outline its main peculiarities.
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|Titolo:||The “Issue of Mosques” in Italy: Mass Media, Public Opinion and Political Actors|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2011|
|Appartiene alla tipologia:||04a Atto di comunicazione a congresso|