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Comunicar Journal 71: Hate speech in communication: Research and proposals (Vol. 30 - 2022)

A systematic literature review of the representations of migration in Brazil and the United Kingdom


Isabella Gonçalves

Yossi David


In recent decades, increased scholarly attention has been paid to the interactions between immigration, media coverage, framing, and the rise of populism. This paper draws on these interactions to systematically review peer-reviewed articles related to media representations of immigrants and refugees in Brazil and the United Kingdom (UK). The objective was to identify the tone used in such representations and the research methods applied in the articles. This is the first systematic literature review that compares studies on media and immigration including both Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) and non-WEIRD countries. This paper uses Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) to collect, map, and systematize 47 peer-reviewed articles published in the past two decades. The findings show that, in the studies we analyzed, the tone of representation of refugees in the media in both countries is negative. Mass media underrepresent the main actors and use stereotypes and discourses of otherization. This paper contributes to our understanding of the differences between studies, including those conducted in the UK and Brazil, and calls for more comparative studies that include countries from the global south and global north. It also demonstrates the standardization of frames and tone of representation on immigration in both countries, suggesting similar patterns across different countries.


Immigrants, refugees, representation, systematic review, mass media studies, scientific production