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Showing papers in "Race \/ Ethnicity: Multidisciplinary Global Contexts in 2007"


Journal Article
TL;DR: In this article, the authors express the solidarity they still feel with those who fled to the far side of the world and who will never see them again by sending their greetings.
Abstract: Letters bring the low voices across the sea. The unfa miliar pens grope for the proper words. When you ask somebody to write for you, you must go and treat him. Therefore you try yourself. In the store are printed forms. Sometimes they will do to transmit information. But you wish through this lifeless paper to do more than send news. With painful effort and at the sacrifice of precious time, you express the solidarity you still feel with those who stayed behind. The sheet is then the symbol of the ties that continue to bind. Ceremonial salutations, to my dearest ... to every him and her who filled the days of the old life and whom I will never see again. By this letter I kiss you. To the aged parents who bred and nurtured, who took trouble over, shed tears for me and now have none to comfort them; to the brother who shared my tasks and bed; to my comrades of the fields; to all the kin who joined in festivals; to the whole visible communion, the oneness, of the village that I have forfeited by emigration; to each I send my greetings. And with my greetings go wishes that you may have the sweet years of life, of health and happi ness, alas elusive there and here. They are wanderers to the wide world and often yearn to ward the far direction whence they have come. Why even the birds who fly away from their native places still hasten to go back. Can ever a man feel really happy condemned to live away from where he was born? Though by leaving he has cut himself off and knows he never will return, yet he hopes, by reaching backward, still to belong in the homeland. It is to that end that the husband and wife and older chil dren gather to assist in the composition; it is to that end that they assemble to read the reply. Little enough occurs to them that is worth recording, certainly not the monotonous struggle

271 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors explored the structural racialization of immigration through the concept of the "racial state" and examined ways to understand the operations of immigration policy-making at the inter-governmental level, giving particular attention to the ways in which asylum-seekers emerge as a newly racialized group who are both stripped of their rights in the global context and deployed as Others in the construction of national narratives.
Abstract: Over the past two decades, the European Union (EU) has played an increasingly influential role in the construction of a de facto common immigration and asylum policy, providing a forum for policy-formulation beyond the scrutiny of national parliaments. The guiding principles of this policy include linking the immigration portfolio to security rather than justice; reaffirming the importance of political, conceptual and organizational borders; and attempting to transfer policing and processing functions to non-EU countries. The most important element, I argue, is the structural racialization of immigration that occurs across the various processes and which escapes the focus of much academic scrutiny. Exploring this phenomenon through the concept of the “racial state,” I examine ways to understand the operations of immigration policy-making at the inter-governmental level, giving particular attention to the ways in which asylum-seekers emerge as a newly racialized group who are both stripped of their rights in the global context and deployed as Others in the construction of national narratives.

38 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: This paper explored genealogies and drew parallels between historical debates over the contested nature of membership in the United States in the last century and the current controversies swirling around issues of undocumented migration, globalization, and the implications of demographic change and cultural conflict over time.
Abstract: Much of the conventional historiography and contemporary debate on immigration to the United States has been framed in reference to the institution of national citizenship. In recent years, however, a growing number of critics have raised questions about the actual performance of liberal notions of citizenship as a guarantor of social democracy in a changing world. Some theorists have highlighted the increasingly arbitrary and capricious nature of distinctions between "citizens" and "non-citizens" in cosmopolitan, multicultural settings where the forces of economic globalization have made daily, intimate interaction between people of different legal statuses commonplace. Others have juxtaposed the institution's historical and contemporary role as a mechanism of social sorting, control, and discipline against its potential as a means of political emancipation. Yet another group of social critics has begun to explore long-ignored dissenting voices in the debate over immigration and citizenship by exploring the views of groups and individuals who have been defined as aliens and outliers. This essay builds on insights drawn from this critical scholarship to explore some of the political and social dynamics between "citizens" and "non-citizens" in a period of intensive globalization at the turn of the last century. By analyzing this important early period, the article attempts to explore genealogies and draw parallels between historical debates over the contested nature of membership in the United States in the last century and the current controversies swirling around issues of undocumented migration, globalization, and the implications of demographic change and cultural conflict over time.

12 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: In the Uprooted article as mentioned in this paper, Handlinen characterizes the phenomenon of European immigrant "alienation" as a hidden boundary between the immigrant and American society and argues that this boundary is difficult for European immigrants to penetrate, but is even less permeable for black people.
Abstract: In his investigation of European immigrant "alienation" in The Uprooted , Oscar Handlin characterizes the phenomenon as a hidden boundary between the immigrant and American society. Despite his sensitive, humanistic treatment of the boundaries European immigrants faced, his discussion elides the significance of a different kind of immigration, another hidden boundary, and a similar anti-immigrant movement—that of the African American northern migration. When escaped slaves moved from the South into Pennsylvania, many of the problems that these "immigrants" faced were similar to the ones encountered by European immigrants coming from outside of the country. Despite some shared similarities in the experience of national exclusion, however, there is a different character to each of the anti-immigrant movements that opposed them. Taking the obsessive white animus that beleaguered the career of black heavyweight prizefighter Jack Johnson as a point of departure, I begin to elucidate this difference. The hidden border that Handlin intuits, but does not clearly articulate, is the border of white society and the white nation—internal to the geographic boundary of the United States. If this boundary is difficult for European immigrants to penetrate, I argue that it is even less permeable for black people. Turning to the contemporary movement against Latino immigration, I note the structural congruence of "immigrant" blacks and immigrant Latinos, including debt servitude, police impunity, and a systematized prison industry. Finally, I suggest that with respect to Latino immigration, the geographic boundary and the white border, or color line, of the United States, have become one.

8 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: Gibbon's interventions were critical in the development and popularization of the concept of the Canadian Mosaic, a discourse that served to both describe and contain racial and ethnic diversity in the early decades of twentieth-century Canada as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: During the early part of the twentieth century, Canada faced a massive immigration of hundreds of thousands of people from Southern and Eastern Europe. Threatened by the presence of new, non-British ethnic communities, the British-Canadian elite took measures to consolidate white, British-Canadian identity. Central to this project was the cultural work of John Murray Gibbon. Gibbon's interventions were critical in the development and popularization of the concept of the "Canadian Mosaic," a discourse that served to both describe and contain racial and ethnic diversity in the early decades of twentieth-century Canada. His 1938 text, the Canadian Mosaic , and the multiple folk music and handicraft festivals he staged across the country, mobilized spectacle in an effort to consolidate white, British-Canadian identity, perform it as stable both for themselves and for their immigrant audience, and in so doing cause it to function as a model for successful assimilation into "Canadian culture." Gibbon's work with the folk festivals and Canadian Mosaic serve as texts from which can be read how multiple discourses of race, citizenship, cultural belonging, and national identity operated in this period of demographic flux. The necessity of performance, the fragility and flexibility of Canadian whiteness, and the domestication and feminization of ethnic difference were all in play as the British-Canadian elite attempted to stabilize a "liberal order."

7 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: Brick Lane is also a story about globalization, about the massive and rapid re-placements of people and cultures that have been and are still occurring in the capitalist world-system.
Abstract: Brick Lane , like most of the nineteenth-century bildungsroman narratives that it mimics, is fundamentally a novel about the relationship between an individual and a city and the effects that this relationship has on the construction of self-identification. Unlike nineteenth-century novels, however, Brick Lane is also a story about globalization, about the massive and rapid re-placements of people and cultures that have been and are still occurring in the capitalist world-system. The significance of the city and its place in narratives of personal development is both highly traditional and shockingly new, and the processes and consequences of this new dimension are being negotiated every day. Restricting my reading of the novel to its depiction of Nazneen within the space of London—as well as to critical works on globalization, urban space, and gender—I reveal the complex functions of the global city on personal development in the text and show the ways in which Brick Lane figures the emancipating possibilities of the city vis-a-vis gender identity in light of the presence of both global and local commerce. The global city, I argue, becomes a site of liberation for "Third World" migrant women only insofar as it exists as a site for financial exchange, for working and buying and selling, for the blood and breath of the capitalist economy.

5 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: Using ethnographic data and textual analysis, this paper explored how Costa Rican state has attempted to delineate members of the nation as predominantly white and residing largely in the Central Valley in its tourism promotions.
Abstract: Global tourism operates as both a cultural project and an economic development strategy in developing nations. Increasingly, tourism promotions and services have generated new contexts for debates over populations' legitimate membership in the nation-state. Using ethnographic data and textual analysis, this article explores how the Costa Rican state has attempted to delineate members of the nation as predominantly white and residing largely in the Central Valley in its tourism promotions. This practice mirrors the distribution of rights within the nation and produces a category of the citizen-subject in the context of international tourism. As a result, a multi-racial, multi-national group of residents from Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica deployed political strategies in which they imagined themselves as citizen-subjects. The demand for citizenship based on economic participation in tourism created positive changes in the social welfare and access to resources for Puerto Viejo's residents. However, the limits of market-based citizenship claims are also considered.

4 citations