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Anna C. Korteweg (University of Toronto) will historicize the concept of immigrant integration in post-colonial and neoliberal social relations before turning to some empirical examples from research on policy approaches to practices associated with immigrants who are labelled Muslim.

Detail Summary
Date 18 May 2018
Time 15:00 - 17:00

The concept of ‘immigrant integration’ performs two kinds of discursive work:

  1. It turns the gaze of social scientists, politicians, and the engaged public away from the actual ways in which those labelled ‘immigrants’ are full members of immigrant receiving societies, both in terms of participation and of belonging, and
  2. The focus on immigrant integration leads to a failure to attend to various political, social and economic troubles of ‘host’ societies, both those that are and those that are not related to the increased presence of those labelled ‘immigrant’. 

By discussing the regulation of wearing head- and face-coverings and of culturalized gendered violence, Professor Korteweg will show how the notion of immigrant integration produces gendered and racialized non-belonging. The conclusion turns to the concept of “complex inequalities” as a way to analyse how the problems that become attached to ‘immigrants’ actually cross-cut multiple groups in any given society.

About Anna Korteweg

Anna Korteweg is Professor & Chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto (Mississauga Campus). Professor Korteweg’s research focuses on the political debates regarding the integration of Muslim immigrants in Western Europe and Canada. She analyzes the ways in which the problem of immigrant integration is constructed in the intersections of gender, religion, ethnicity and national origin focusing on debates surrounding the wearing of the headscarf, so-called “honour-based” violence, and Sharia law. Professor Korteweg is particularly interested in the symbolic and material consequences of the resulting narratives of belonging.


This lecture is co-organised by the ACCESS EUROPE - FMG Migration Network and the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies (IMES).

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