Racism in Ireland
in Racism and social change in the Republic of Ireland
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This chapter examines the origins and changing context of racism in Irish society. This relates to shifting understandings of race and racial distinctiveness, which have impacted upon Irish society. Ireland has a shared history of race and racism with other western countries as well as its own specific engagements with black societies through colonialism. Contemporary manifestations of racism are coded in a language that aims to circumvent accusations of racism. In the case of 'new racism' race is coded as culture. However, biological or phenotypical distinctions are at the heart of the distinctions made between cultures. The monocultural Irish society at the heart of theorising about Irish xenophobia is itself a social construct that emerged from a nineteenth-century discourse of nation-building with represented nations as races. Irish identity was not just constructed in opposition to Britishness. It was expressed in a sense of national pride in Irish missionary efforts.

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