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Migrants’ anchoring in an age of insecurity

This monograph argues that well-established concepts in migration studies such as ‘settlement’ and ‘integration’ do not sufficiently capture the features of adaptation and settling of contemporary migrants. Instead, it proposes the integrative and transdisciplinary concept of anchoring, linking the notions of identity, adaptation and settling while overcoming the limitations of the established concepts and underlining migrants’ efforts at recovering their feelings of security and stability. Drawing on 80 in-depth interviews with Polish migrants in the UK and Ukrainian migrants in Poland, ethnographic and autobiographical research together with an analysis of Internet blogs and forums, the book presents the author’s original concept of anchoring, underpinned by a combination of sociological and psychological perspectives, as well as demonstrating its applications. The book aims not only to provide a theoretical and methodological contribution to better understanding and examining the processes of adaptation and settling among today’s migrants, but also to highlight practical implications useful for the better support of individuals facing changes and challenges in new, complex and fluid societies.

Aleksandra Grzymala-Kazlowska

Chapter 6 aims to synthesise crucial points about anchoring which emerge from the SAST research with Ukrainian migrants in Poland and Polish migrants in the UK, to develop a framework allowing a better understanding of the processes of adaptation and settling. In order to outline key elements useful for building a general model of migrants’ anchoring, it concentrates on commonalities observed across both groups, in contrast to the previous chapters focusing on Polish migrants in the UK and Ukrainian migrants in Poland as separate case studies to highlight their specifics and contextual insights. This chapter showed the centrality of the need for security and stability. The proposed model of anchoring outlines layers of anchoring, from external footholds related to the legal and institutional frameworks and work opportunities, through more complex anchors embedded in social relations, to deeper internal anchors, such as constructed familiarity and closeness. Chapter 6 highlights the significance of practices and spaces for anchoring as well as the importance of cognitive, emotional and spiritual anchoring. This part of the monograph shows the dynamics of anchoring and the uneven and relational character of settling. It sheds light on the flexibility and reversibility of anchoring, including the processes of re-anchoring or un-anchoring (e.g. through selling houses in the country of origin, relocating loved ones, changing names). It argues that although the migrants were active agents endeavouring to establish themselves and reach a relative state of safety and stability, they were also constrained by their existing anchors, their limited resources and societal structures.q

in Rethinking settlement and integration
Norman Geras
in The contract of mutual indifference
Norman Geras
in The contract of mutual indifference
Norman Geras
in The contract of mutual indifference
in The contract of mutual indifference
Abstract only
Joseph Webster

This chapter takes as its ethnographic focus the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, examining the Orange Order campaign against a ‘Yes’ vote. The chapter opens with a discussion of the Order’s exclusion from the mainstream ‘Better Together’ campaign, and their decision to set up a rival campaign called ‘British Together’. Analytically, the chapter argues that the Order found itself well outside the mainstream of the Scottish independence debate because it refused to separate (unionist) politics from (Protestant) religion, a move that was mirrored in their insistence that the SNP was not only pro-independence, but pro-Catholic. The chapter goes on to argue that this logic left many Orangemen positioning themselves as latter-day Covenanters, fighting to maintain the heritage of the Protestant Reformation. For other Orangemen, the referendum and their campaign against independence led them to embrace the identity of latter-day loyalists, imagining themselves to be fighting (as in Northern Ireland) to maintain the integrity of the UK against republican enemies. This chapter concludes with an examination of Barth’s Ethnic groups and boundaries. The chapter critiques Barth by showing how Orangemen embrace reification and self-essentialism, suggesting that such actions cannot be dismissed as analytical category errors.

in The religion of Orange politics
Abstract only
The Good' of Orange exceptionalism
Joseph Webster

The Conclusion returns to the overall theoretical argument of the book that the Scottish Orange Order needs to be made sense of as a kind of Protestant exceptionalism. The beginning sets this out via an analysis of British Israelite theology and its connections to Orange ideology. The key concept of Orange chosenness is explored in detail here, as are the connected themes of divine Queenship, the manifest destiny of British Protestants (in conversation with American Puritans), as well as the more contemporary case of the language of chosenness among Rangers fans. The conclusion then considers the implications of Orange ideas about exceptionalism, arguing that the result is a set of interlocking claims about the moral personhood of British Protestants in relation to the non-moral personhood attributed to Catholics. In making this case, the book draws on Augustine’s theology of evil as privatio boni, or the absence of good, suggesting that for Orangemen, Catholicism is just such an absence of (moral) personhood. The book concludes by suggesting that this kind of exclusionary exceptionalism is far more common than might be suspected, and, as such, the Orange Order cannot be dismissed as atypical of human social group formation.

in The religion of Orange politics
Abstract only
Joseph Webster

This chapter takes as its ethnographic focus the Glencruix Orange Social Club, a private bar for Orangemen which provides a key space for fraternal sociability and bonding. By describing the lives and conversations of Orangemen here, this chapter argues that any anthropology of ‘The Good’ needs to rethink what might be legitimately included within this category; failure to do so will lead to a fundamental failure to understand the moral claims which Orangemen themselves make. This argument hinges on a partial conflation of fraternal love and sectarian hate, a conflation which is designed to show how loving fellow Orangemen and hating (largely imagined and absent) Catholics are interdependent social processes. Drawing on the philosophical work of Burke on ‘the negative’, the chapter suggests that a love for the fraternity necessitates a relational rejection, just as sectarian hate necessitates a relational embrace. A key element of the attendant ethnographic context here is the football rivalry between Celtic FC and Rangers FC which stands as Scotland’s most infamous occasion for performances of sectarian hate. The conclusion of the chapter, that hate can be part of ‘The Good’, begins to set up the book’s overall Conclusion about the morality of exceptionalism.

in The religion of Orange politics