This paper looks at how expert and scientific graphic images of immigrant integration in the Netherlands and Germany portray a distance between minority groups and a dominant imagination of society. It specifically explicates the ways “images of alterity” in assessments of immigrant integration are visually structured by means of a pictorial display of spatial markers of distance. It does so by means of a close examination of the visual expression of Dutch and German national classification systems relating to immigrant integration. Using analytical tools from visual studies, the paper illustrates the ways immigrant integration images enable a “seeing” or “imagining of otherness” by means of a spatialization of the relation between “society” and “immigrant groups,” and it shows how such a spatialized visualization has performative effects.

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Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

Boersma, S. (Sanne), & Schinkel, W. (2015). Imagining society: Logics of visualization in images of immigrant integration. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 33(6), 1043–1062. doi:10.1177/0263775815598153