Turbans, Hijabs and Other Differences: ‘Integration from Below’ and Irish Interculturalism

This article outlines the ease with which the Republic of Ireland had moved from publicly articulating Irish racism during the 1997 European Year Against Racism, to employing euphemisms such as interculturalism, transculturalism, integration and cultural diversity. In the rush to diversity, these euphemisms, employed unproblematically during the Irish economic boom, erase political terms such as ‘race’ and racism that state actors do not want to hear mentioned. Using examples of the racialization of specific populations, this article argues that the economic downturn led to the disappearance of integrationist discourses, as ‘race’, racism and immigration become but vague memories. Against the background of shadowy figures of turbaned and veiled migrants as the racialized trope of Irish ‘racism without racism’, the article argues that through the strategy of convening migrant-led associations and networks, migrants, though forced to appropriate state parlance, enact their own ‘integration from below’, making integration work in new exciting ways. (The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in European Journal of Cultural Studies, 15/2, April 2012 by SAGE Publications Ltd, All rights reserved. © Ronit Lentin).

Source: European Journal of Cultural Studies Volume 15, Number 2, pages 226-242, April 2012  

Author(s):Ronit Lentin
Publisher:SAGE Journals.
Publication Date:01 Apr 2012
Geographic Focus:Ireland
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