Potential Thesis Abstract
This thesis aims to explore the role of design in visually framing new narratives of migrants in the United States. It will explore contemporary theories of empathic experiences to bridge the gap of understanding to what is considered foreign. Current triggers of public opposition to immigration will be addressed in order to distill new visual metaphors.
Visual rhetoric in media will be studied and alternatives to stereotypes that permeate visual popular culture will be proposed. As a foundation for the understanding of new visual narratives surrounding immigration, an overview of its history will be given. In addition, it will reveal the underlying motivations behind migration, examining the push-pull theory, xenophobia and mass-culture. The role of semiotics will be investigated alongside the storytelling capacity of eternal symbolism. By studying propaganda tactics deployed in new media today, successful tools in moving human emotion will be considered. Within the frame of design thinking and social awareness, empathy will be studied and potential shortcomings will be addressed.
Eventually, the development of new visual narratives will be explored, with a focus on the “migration coin” to catalyze a paradigm shift. A paradigm shift in viewing migrants is important to improve the quality of life of those undergoing intercultural adaptation and those adjusting to newcomers.