Special Issue "Racialized Citizenship in Superdiverse Europe"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020) | Viewed by 23029

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A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Zenia Hellgren
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Interdisciplinary Research Group on Immigration (GRITIM-UPF), Universitat Pompeu Fabra, 08002 Barcelona, 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: 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

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Keywords

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

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Introduction to the Special Issue: Far from Colorblind. Reflections on Racialization in Contemporary Europe
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11010021 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1274
Abstract
European history is to a significant extent also a history about racialization and racism. Since the colonizers of past centuries defined boundaries between “civilized” and “savages” by applying value standards in which the notions of race, ethnicity, culture, and religion were interwoven and [...] Read more.
European history is to a significant extent also a history about racialization and racism. Since the colonizers of past centuries defined boundaries between “civilized” and “savages” by applying value standards in which the notions of race, ethnicity, culture, and religion were interwoven and imposed on human beings perceived as fundamentally different from themselves, racialization became deeply inherent in how (white) Europeans viewed the world, themselves, and others. In this Special Issue, we assume that colonialist racialization constitutes the base of a persistent and often unreflective and indirect racism. Implicit value systems according to which white people are automatically considered as more competent, more desirable, preferable in general terms, and more “European” translate into patterns of everyday racism affecting the self-image and life chances of white and non-white Europeans. In this introductory article, which defines the conceptual framework for the special issue, we contest the idea of a “post-racial” condition and discuss the consequences of ethno-racial differentiation and stigmatization for racialized groups such as Black Europeans, European Roma, and non-white migrants in general. Finally, we argue for the need to further problematize and critically examine whiteness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Racialized Citizenship in Superdiverse Europe)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Article
The Persistence of Racial Constructs in Spain: Bringing Race and Colorblindness into the Debate on Interculturalism
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11010013 - 02 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1417
Abstract
In this article, I argue that persisting racial constructs in Spain affect conceptions of national belonging and continue to shape and permeate contemporary discriminations. I begin by describing several recent political events that demonstrate the urgent need for a discussion about “race” and [...] Read more.
In this article, I argue that persisting racial constructs in Spain affect conceptions of national belonging and continue to shape and permeate contemporary discriminations. I begin by describing several recent political events that demonstrate the urgent need for a discussion about “race” and racialization in the country. Second, some conceptual foundations are provided concerning constructs of race and the corollary processes of racism and racialization. Third, I present data from various public surveys and also from ethnographic research conducted in Spain on mixedness and multiraciality to demonstrate that social constructs of race remain a significant boundary driving stigmatization and discrimination in Spain, where skin color and other perceived physical traits continue to be important markers for social interaction, perceived social belonging, and differential social treatment. Finally, I bring race into the debate on managing diversity, arguing that a post-racial approach—that is, race-neutral discourse and the adoption of colorblind public policies, both of which are characteristic of the interculturalist perspectives currently preferred by Spain as well as elsewhere in Europe—fails to confront the enduring effects of colonialism and the ongoing realities of structural racism. I conclude by emphasizing the importance of bringing race into national and regional policy discussions on how best to approach issues of diversity, equality, anti-discrimination, and social cohesion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Racialized Citizenship in Superdiverse Europe)
Article
Hate Speech, Symbolic Violence, and Racial Discrimination. Antigypsyism: What Responses for the Next Decade?
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 360; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100360 - 27 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1540
Abstract
This paper aims to fulfill a double objective: on the one hand, to explain how hate speech works as a mechanism of racialization towards the Roma, resulting in a concrete form of symbolic violence. On the other hand, to analyze the most relevant [...] Read more.
This paper aims to fulfill a double objective: on the one hand, to explain how hate speech works as a mechanism of racialization towards the Roma, resulting in a concrete form of symbolic violence. On the other hand, to analyze the most relevant institutional responses to fight against antigypsyism, looking at the new EU Roma Framework 2020–2030 with a special attention on the recent developments in Spain. The paper discusses the fact that a focus on symbolic violence and more concretely on hate speech would produce considerably differing approaches to Roma inclusion policies. The paper is divided into three sections: the first section will conceptually address the notions of “antigypsyism”, “racial discrimination”, “symbolic violence”, and “hate speech”. The second section will present and contextualize a series of illustrative cases of antigypsyist hate speech in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in Spain. The third section will examine the most relevant legislative and policy initiatives adopted to fight against antigypsyism. The paper will wrap up with a discussion and some conclusions on the functioning of hate speech as a symbolic mechanism of racialization; and its capacity to articulate moral hierarchies and social divisions among the Roma and the rest of society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Racialized Citizenship in Superdiverse Europe)
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
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2204
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
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1804
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
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2190
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
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2226
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
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1565
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
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2275
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
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2228
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 1781
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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