The “migrant with poor prospects”: racialized intersections of class and culture in Dutch civic integration debates
ir/relevance of race seminar with Saskia Bonjour
The recent trend towards selective immigration policies is based on the racialization of certain categories of migrants into irretrievably unassimilable Others.
In Europe, this trend has materialized largely through the application of integration requirements to the immigration of foreigners, the so-called “civic integration turn”.
Based on an analysis of parliamentary debates about civic integration policies in the Netherlands, this paper asks which migrants are considered likely or unlikely to integrate based on which presumed characteristics. We find that Dutch civic integration policies aim at barring “migrants with poor prospects”. In sharp contrast with a long history of Dutch social policies, politicians deny state responsibility for migrants’ emancipation based on a discursive racialization of these migrants as unassimilable.
While class has hitherto been largely ignored in the literature on migration and the politics of belonging, we show that class, intersecting with culture and gender, is key in this process of racialization.
In this seminar, Saskia Bonjour will present the paper: “The “migrant with poor prospects”: racialized intersections of class and culture in Dutch civic integration debates”. The paper is co-authored with Jan Willem Duyvendak.
About the lecturer
Saskia Bonjour is assistant professor in political science. She teaches mostly in the field of gender & politics and intersectionality. Her research focuses on the politics of migration and citizenship in the Netherlands and in Europe. She is especially interested in family migration, civic integration, gender and migration, and Europeanisation.
About the seminar series
In this seminar series the relevance and irrelevance of race is being discussed as an object and concept of research in order to explore ways to talk about race without naturalizing differences. The series goes beyond a standard definition of race, one that is allegedly relevant everywhere, and situates race in specific practices of research. In addition the series gives room to the various different versions of race that can be found in the European context and explores when and how populations, religions, and cultures become naturalized and racialized. Scholars from different (inter)disciplinary fields (such as genetics, anthropology, philosophy, cultural studies, history, political sciences, science and technology studies) are invited to address the issue of race through a paper presentation. The seminar is held every six weeks at the University of Amsterdam.
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