Introduction
in Racism and social change in the Republic of Ireland
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This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book locates racism in Irish society within a historical context. It argues that Ireland was never immune from the racist ideologies that governed relationships between the west and the rest. The book explores how the processes of nation-building which shaped contemporary Irish society and the Irish state were accompanied by a politics of national identity within which claims of social membership of various minority groups were discounted. It considers anti-Semitism in Irish society from independence in 1922 until the 1950s. The book examines how contemporary responses to refugees and asylum seekers in Ireland have been shaped by a legacy of exclusionary state practices. It also examines anti-Traveller racism in Irish society since the 1960s. The book evaluates efforts to contest racism and discrimination faced by minorities in Ireland as expressions of multiculturalism.

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