African asylum seekers and refugees in both Irelands
in Immigrants as outsiders in the two Irelands
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There is a growing interest as well as urgency to understand diversity, cultural differences and transformation on the island of Ireland. With the UK’s Brexit decision in summer 2016 the notion of the border, border crossing and what European Union membership entails for different groups in society have become even more opaque. This chapter examines the everyday life experiences of asylum seekers and refugees in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Their experiences are differently fashioned through two distinct immigration systems, as well as two distinct national, historical and socio-economic contexts. This chapter considers how asylum seekers’ and refugees’ experiences of integration are shaped by issues such as racism and sectarianism in Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland. It explores how local environments, spatial segregation and being a black immigrant in a largely white society condition feelings of belonging as well as future aspirations. The authors draw particular attention to the complex intersections of poor asylum processes, racism and exclusion.


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