Special Issue "Racialized Citizenship in Superdiverse Europe"

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Zenia Hellgren
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Interdisciplinary Research Group on Immigration (GRITIM-UPF), Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona 08002, Spain
Interests: My main research areas involve inclusion and exclusion, precarity, and agency of immigrants and racialized groups in European societies, with a particular focus on discrimination viewed as an important obstacle for integration
Dr. Bálint Ábel Bereményi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Center for Policy Studies, Central European University, Nador u. 9, 1051 Budapest, Hungary
Interests: My main research interests focus on minorities (Roma/Gypsy), children/youth and social inequalities, mainly in the domains of education and labour market

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There is an increasing awareness that experiences of racism and discrimination seriously harm the sense of belonging as well as the opportunities to enjoy social mobility and quality of life for many immigrants and ethnic minority peoples in European societies. Yet, there is also a persistent unwillingness to talk about the racial dimension of the kinds of disadvantage and social exclusion that affect immigrants, their descendants and other racialized groups disproportionally. Race as concept has been viable in Anglo-Saxon scholarship, but much less so in the European context, where it was largely replaced by the broader and less specific term “ethnicity” in the aftermath of the Second World War and the painful unravelling of what barbarism Nazi racialization had led to. But, as Lentin (2008) has argued, the European silence about race has allowed European states to declare themselves officially non-racist, while at the same time continuing to imply an inherent European superiority in which Europeanness presupposes whiteness.

European societies today, and in particular, its metropolis, are often described as superdiverse, applying Vertovec’s (2007) illustrative term to define the ethnic, cultural and religious pluralism resulting from decades of immigration. Simultaneously, Europe appears ever more polarized in its approach to migration and diversity, with growing xenophobic currents in politics and public debates.

This volume enquires into how racialization affects the lives of people affected by it in myriad ways. It provides multilevel perspectives on different forms of exclusion, but also inclusion, of immigrants and racialized minorities in European societies. Taking the racialization of non-white immigrants and ethnic minorities as its vantage point, it identifies two specific purposes:

  1. To unveil the multiple ways in which racialization operates to hamper the opportunities and sense of identification with society among immigrants and other minorities; and
  2. To explore some strategies and approaches in order to cope with negative patterns, promoting inclusion and belonging.

The contributors are all scholars who conduct their work at the forefront of contemporary research on race, racialization and the exclusion and inclusion of immigrants and ethnic minorities in European societies. More specifically, their work entails the following main dimensions:

  • Theoretical approaches on race, racialization and intersectionality (with specific emphasis on the intersections between race and class, and race and gender, or all three of them) in Europe today; theorizing around key concepts such as race, racialization, citizenship, inclusion and exclusion.
  • Empirical studies on discrimination, exclusion, and coping strategies for inclusion and belonging that combine perspectives from disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, human geography and urban studies
  • Research based policy evaluation, assessing theoretical and discursive frameworks, implementation processes, outputs and outcomes of policies/programmes of different scope in European societies. 

Dr. Zenia Hellgren
Dr. Bálint Ábel Bereményi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Social Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • racism and discrimination
  • social mobility
  • quality of life
  • immigrants
  • racialization
  • European societies
  • citizenship
  • inclusion and exclusion
  • theoretical approaches
  • policy evaluation

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Article
The Charnegroes: Black Africans and the Ontological Conflict in Catalonia
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(7), 257; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10070257 - 07 Jul 2021
Viewed by 966
Abstract
This paper frames an in depth reflection on the current social and political changes and the emerging phenomenon of body politics of migrant and racialized groups in Europe. The ongoing discussion aims to address the meaning of “being” Catalan for Black Africans in [...] Read more.
This paper frames an in depth reflection on the current social and political changes and the emerging phenomenon of body politics of migrant and racialized groups in Europe. The ongoing discussion aims to address the meaning of “being” Catalan for Black Africans in Catalonia. It is grounded on a criterion of ontological commitment and the epistemological aspect of ethnography. I dig into the debate about what makes a racial identity salient in the context of national identity rhetoric. I look thoroughly at the outcomes of the encounter between Black African migrants and the constant resignification of Catalan national identity. I aim to disentangle the racial premises and tackle what Black Africans share once the racial questions are removed. My approach stands within the growing field of postcolonial criticism to understand historical continuities and ontological conflicts. I focus on culture, race, and identity to analyze the cultural dynamics of Senegalese migrants and Equatoguinean communities within the national identity building process in Catalonia. I coined a new concept, Charnegroes, to propose a practical explanation of the emergence of body politics and the changing reality of the relationship between the “us” and the “other” under the recurrent transitions between old and new, colonial and postcolonial, the past and the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Racialized Citizenship in Superdiverse Europe)
Article
Antidiscrimination Meets Integration Policies: Exploring New Diversity-Related Challenges in Europe
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(6), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10060221 - 10 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1006
Abstract
Contemporary European societies are increasingly diverse. Migration both within and to Europe has contributed over the past decades to the rise of new religious, racial, ethnic, social, cultural and economic inequality. Such transformations have raised questions about the (multi-level) governance of diversity in [...] Read more.
Contemporary European societies are increasingly diverse. Migration both within and to Europe has contributed over the past decades to the rise of new religious, racial, ethnic, social, cultural and economic inequality. Such transformations have raised questions about the (multi-level) governance of diversity in Europe, thus determining new challenges for both scholars and policy-makers. Whilst the debate around diversity stemming from migration has become a major topic in urban studies, political science and sociology in Europe, Critical Race Studies and Intersectionality have become central in US approaches to understanding inequality and social injustice. Among the fields where ‘managing diversity’ has become particularly pressing, methodological issues on how to best approach minorities that suffer from multiple discrimination represent some of the hottest subjects of concern. Stemming from the interest in putting into dialogue the existing American scholarship on CRT and anti-discrimination with the European focus on migrant integration, this paper explores the issue of integration in relation to intersectionality by merging the two frames. In doing so, it provides some observations about the complementarity of a racial justice approach for facing the new diversity-related challenges in European polity. In particular, it illustrates how Critical Race Studies can contribute to the analysis of inequality in Europe while drawing on the integration literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Racialized Citizenship in Superdiverse Europe)
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Article
Structural Racism and Racialization of Roma/Ciganos in Portugal: The Case of Secondary School Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(6), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10060203 - 31 May 2021
Viewed by 1400
Abstract
The aim of this article is to contribute to the analysis of the structural racism and racialization that exists in Portugal against Roma people. Racialization takes place in various dimensions of life, but we will focus here on issues of schooling and education, [...] Read more.
The aim of this article is to contribute to the analysis of the structural racism and racialization that exists in Portugal against Roma people. Racialization takes place in various dimensions of life, but we will focus here on issues of schooling and education, which were accentuated during the COVID-19 pandemic and revealed a lack of social deprotection and inequalities between Roma and non-Roma students. This analysis, focusing on the impact on young people attending secondary education, is based on a qualitative study carried out in the Metropolitan Areas of Lisbon and Porto using data from three focus groups and in-depth interviews with 33 secondary school students. Several public policies currently cover the Roma/Ciganos, but social inequality persists in terms of basic subsistence conditions and civic participation, as well as in the form of structural racism, with little Roma participation in political life and the invisibility of representation. The situation has worsened exponentially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the combination of “classic” forms of racism and discrimination and the new forms of exclusion that have also appeared. We argue that the implicit acceptance of poverty and marginalization among Roma people needs to be viewed as a component of the racialization and antigypsyism to which they are subjected, and this dimension needs to be further investigated by scientific agendas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Racialized Citizenship in Superdiverse Europe)
Article
Racialization and Aporophobia: Intersecting Discriminations in the Experiences of Non-Western Migrants and Spanish Roma
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(5), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10050163 - 06 May 2021
Viewed by 1223
Abstract
In this article, we address a gap in the scholarship on (super)diversity, discrimination and racism by placing the experiences of non-western migrants and Roma people in the same conceptual framework of stigmatization based on racialization and aporophobia. Including a (formally non-recognized) national minority, [...] Read more.
In this article, we address a gap in the scholarship on (super)diversity, discrimination and racism by placing the experiences of non-western migrants and Roma people in the same conceptual framework of stigmatization based on racialization and aporophobia. Including a (formally non-recognized) national minority, the Spanish Roma, in such an analysis implies moving from a framework of superdiversity applied to immigrants to a broader one, which also applies the notion of superdiversity to the racialized citizens of a country, shifting the focus from inner-group features to exogenous othering processes by the mainstream society. We aim to also contribute to the literature on the race–class binary with our empirically grounded analysis of how racialization and aporophobia intersect in the negative stereotyping of people who are cast as outsiders based on both their race/ethnicity and (assumed) socio-economic status. Data from several different research projects on migrant and Roma inclusion/exclusion in Spain were used for the analysis, which focuses on the intersections between race and class in the narratives on exclusion and discrimination by 185 migrant and Roma men and women that were interviewed between 2004 and 2021. The analysis shows that our Roma and migrant respondents perceive forms of discrimination based on racialization and aporophobia that are similar in several ways. In turn, the “double stigmatization” experienced by many of our respondents reinforces their actual precariousness, which may be understood both as a cause and consequence of this stigmatization. We found that these experiences were salient in the narratives of both non-western migrant and Roma respondents who find themselves part of a “racialized underclass” and struggle with finding ways to exit the vicious circle of devalued identities and material deprivation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Racialized Citizenship in Superdiverse Europe)
Article
“Race”, Belonging and Emancipation: Trajectories and Views of the Daughters of Western Africa in Spain
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(4), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10040143 - 16 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1108
Abstract
Young Spanish Black people born to migrant parents continue to be either invisible or problematized in public discourses, which project a monocultural and phenotypically homogeneous Europe. Research in countries with a long immigration history has shown that in the process of othering minorities, [...] Read more.
Young Spanish Black people born to migrant parents continue to be either invisible or problematized in public discourses, which project a monocultural and phenotypically homogeneous Europe. Research in countries with a long immigration history has shown that in the process of othering minorities, gender ideologies emerge as ethnic boundaries and feed the paternalistic treatment of women while accusing their families and communities of harming them through atavistic traditions. However, little research has focused on girls’ and young women from West African immigration and Muslim tradition in Spain, a country where they represent the first “second generation”. In order to gain a deeper insight into their processes and views, this paper describes and analyses the educational trajectories and transitions to adult life of a group of young women with these backgrounds who participated in a multilevel and narrative ethnography developed in the framework of a longitudinal and comparative project on the risk of Early Leaving of Education and Training in Europe (ELET). In the light of the conceptual contributions of the politics of belonging and intersectionality, the responsibilities regarding the conditions for gaining independence are relocated while assessing the role of the school in the processes of social mobility and the development of egalitarian aspirations in the labor market and in the family environment. The findings show how the limits encountered by these young women in their trajectories to an independent adult life are mainly produced by processes of racialization conditioned by class and gender, ironically in key spaces of social inclusion such as schools and the labor market rather than, or mainly by, an ethnic community that subjugates them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Racialized Citizenship in Superdiverse Europe)
Article
Behind the Curtain of the Border Spectacle: Introducing ‘Illegal’ Movement and Racialized Profiling in the West African Region
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(4), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10040139 - 15 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1531
Abstract
The introduction of ‘illegal’ migration in West African countries represented a major conceptual policy shift for societies that were historically characterized by intra-regional free movement. However, this transformation went along with severe allegations of racialized profiling of undocumented migrants in many West African [...] Read more.
The introduction of ‘illegal’ migration in West African countries represented a major conceptual policy shift for societies that were historically characterized by intra-regional free movement. However, this transformation went along with severe allegations of racialized profiling of undocumented migrants in many West African societies. De Genova’s concept of the ‘border spectacle’ describes how the presumed ‘illegality’ of migrants is made spectacularly visible in Europe, thus producing a criminalized and racialized portrayal of migrants. Nonetheless, this work argues that today’s illegalization through a racialized representation of migrants has been extended beyond Europe’s boundaries and behind the spectacle’s curtain towards countries of migration origin. Drawing on the cases of Mauritania and Mali, this paper considers their fundamentally opposite reaction to the introduction of ‘irregular’ movement and illustrates the inherent problematics of transferring the figure of a racialized migrant into the West African region. Particularly successful in countries with a history of ethnic conflicts, this process essentially externalized European border practices of racialized profiling. On the contrary, this analysis concludes that the presence of established patterns of regional movement and cross-border habits made it undesirable to either introduce the policy concept of ‘illegal’ migration or to adopt its potentially racialized portrayal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Racialized Citizenship in Superdiverse Europe)
Article
Anti-Racism in Europe: An Intersectional Approach to the Discourse on Empowerment through the EU Anti-Racism Action Plan 2020–2025
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(4), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10040137 - 14 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1195
Abstract
Anti-racism in Europe operates in political, policy, and civic spaces, in which organizations try to counter racial discrimination and violence. This paper applies a textual analysis to the European discourse of the transnationally connected anti-racism movement that shaped the European Union (henceforth EU) [...] Read more.
Anti-racism in Europe operates in political, policy, and civic spaces, in which organizations try to counter racial discrimination and violence. This paper applies a textual analysis to the European discourse of the transnationally connected anti-racism movement that shaped the European Union (henceforth EU) anti-racism action plan 2020–2025. The plan seeks to address structural racism in the EU through an intersectional lens. Alana Lentin, however, cautions that the structuring principles of anti-racism approaches can obscure “irrefutable reciprocity between racism and the modern nation-state”. Against the backdrop of a critique intersectionality mainstreaming in global anti-racist movements, this paper draws on Kimberly Crenshaw’s concept of intersectionality to critically examine the practices outlined in the EU anti-racism action plan to understand (1) the extent to which the EU anti-racism action addresses the historical baggage of European imperialism, (2) the influence of transnational anti-racism organizations such as the European Network Against Racism (henceforth ENAR) in reinforcing universalisms about notions of humanity in anti-racism activism through language and (3) the limitations that the EU anti-racism action plan poses for the empowerment of racially marginalized groups of people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Racialized Citizenship in Superdiverse Europe)
Article
European Muslim Youth and Gender (in)Equality Discourse: Towards a More Critical Academic Inquiry
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(4), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10040133 - 09 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1213
Abstract
In Europe, gender equality can be framed as a secular value, juxtaposed against affiliation with and practice of Islam. Academic and public debate has either given special attention to the spread of religious fundamentalism in Europe, or to the way Muslim women dress, [...] Read more.
In Europe, gender equality can be framed as a secular value, juxtaposed against affiliation with and practice of Islam. Academic and public debate has either given special attention to the spread of religious fundamentalism in Europe, or to the way Muslim women dress, citing how both purportedly jeopardize gender equality. This is despite findings that a link between gender equality and religiosity or practice of Islam is neither inherent nor circumscribed. Moreover, it is possible to demonstrate that such discourse rests on implicitly racialized conceptualizations of the Muslim “other”. Meanwhile, Muslim youth in particular are benchmarked against these imagined standards of gender equality, as compared with non-Muslim peers. This work examines ways in which normative secular frameworks and discourses, taking ownership of gender equality narratives, have shaped Europe’s academic inquiry regarding Muslim youth. It notes what is absent in this inquiry, including intersections of race and class, which remain divorced from the limited conversation on gender and religious difference. A reflexive, intersectional approach to this discussion, conscious of the importance of embedded racial or structural inequality and what is absent in current inquiry, better serves in understanding and navigating power relations that ultimately contribute to multiple exclusion of these youth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Racialized Citizenship in Superdiverse Europe)
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