This chapter examines the role of capabilities, social capital, and cultural capital as distinct layers of resources that might facilitate functional integration. It uses the term ‘functional integration’ to denote what migrant workers themselves might consider as viable lives in the host society as distinct from host-society integration goals. Many migrants might envisage a temporary sojourn in Ireland that allows them to build better lives for families at home, only to encounter damaging levels of exploitation, risk, and isolation. Many of the experiences considered in this chapter are those of migrants who have been trafficked into what the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) describes as bonded or indentured labour. The chapter discusses the role of supportive social ties as a bulwark against vulnerability in the labour market, focusing on the experiences of the Brazilian community in Gort, County Galway. It also looks at the attributes of some of the immigrants who have demonstrated considerable willingness to participate in Irish society. The case study draws on interviews with immigrant candidates who contested the 2009 local government elections.
The year 2007 witnessed rising numbers of non-Catholic immigrant children being unable to secure school places in oversubscribed Catholic schools in Ireland. The statutory obligation to provide education for all children resulted in the establishment of two emergency Educate Together schools in Dublin 15 in September 2007. This chapter draws extensively on the findings of the two most substantial empirical studies to date of the experiences of Irish schools — Intercultural Education: Primary Challenges in Dublin 15 and Adapting to Diversity: Irish Schools and Newcomer Students. The findings allowed some comparison between the respective perceptions of teachers and parents of how immigrant children were faring in deprived localities. Both studies examined the nature and extent of segregation, the perceived effects of language difficulties, perceptions of the motivation and educational attainment of newcomers compared to Irish children. The studies addressed English-language acquisition and academic standards, cultural capital, racism, and social class.
Ireland's first major immigration policy statement, Integration: A Two Way Process (2000) advocated the integration of refugees and immigrants into Irish society through employment promotion measures and through addressing specific barriers of discrimination, non-recognition of qualifications and lack of fluency in English. The repertoire of barriers to labour market participation was well known by 2000. Since 2000, various welfare reforms had undermined the welfare rights of many vulnerable migrants. No reference was made to the 2004 legislation that introduced a two-year habitual residence condition for eligibility to many core benefits, including children's allowances. This chapter examines the ‘family resemblance’ between integration goals and social inclusion goals within mainstream Irish social policy. It looks at the legal and cognitive barriers that foster the exclusion of migrants from mainstream thinking about social inclusion. Drawing on the examples of the former asylum seekers who make up much of Ireland's disproportionately marginal black population and of vulnerable migrants excluded from welfare safety nets, the chapter argues that such state-sanctioned contradictory thinking works to sabotage integration and future social cohesion.
This chapter examines the political participation of immigrants and the role of citizenship in the political integration of immigrants in Ireland. Drawing on interviews with almost half of all immigrant candidates who contested the 2009 local government elections, it considers bottom-up efforts of immigrants to participate in electoral politics since 2004, when two former asylum seekers were elected as councillors in the local government elections. It also examines the institutional responsiveness of Irish political parties to immigrants as voters, candidates, and party members, based on interviews and written responses from each of the political parties in 2003, 2004, 2007, and 2009. Most immigrants are entitled to vote in Irish local government elections, where the franchise depends on residency rather than citizenship.
Much of the information and research on which this book was built slightly predates the economic crisis of 2009. Immigration in the Irish case was driven by economic growth and, like other post-boom challenges being reckoned with in hard times, the integration of immigrants cannot be deferred without imposing considerable future social costs upon Irish society. The first major integration challenge is to move from begrudging to proactive integration through citizenship. Inclusive naturalisation, a policy of turning ‘strangers into citizens’, would create further knock-on incentives for political integration. The second major integration challenge is to recognise that integration is best addressed through social policy rather than by means of security policy. What is crucially needed is the cognitive shift that recognises the relationship between social inclusion for citizens and integration of immigrants. The third major integration challenge is to invest in the capabilities of immigrants no less than in those of Irish citizens. A fourth major integration challenge relates to the inclusion of immigrants in decision making in the various domains within which integration occurs.
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book describes that Ireland's twentieth-century nation-building projects stood on the foundations of earlier ones. It examines the influence of Catholicism and the common cause it found with cultural nationalism in post-independence Ireland. The book explores how from the mid-nineteenth century the Catholic Church came to dominate education. Patrick Pearse proposed a model that was very different from the already dominant Catholic model that did much to incubate modern Ireland. The book focuses on an argument that played out between Michael Tierney and Daniel Binchy about King of the Beggars (1938), a biography of Daniel O'Connell by Sean O'Faoláin. It also examines the periodical that O'Faoláin hoped would gaze unflinchingly on the realities of contemporary Irish life.
In 1992, Francis Fukuyama declared the end of history, suggesting that with the fall of the Berlin Wall, liberalism had triumphed as the political and economic paradigm across a globalised world. Methodological nationalism is a term used by sociologists to refer to social inquiry which is bounded by political borders. Nationalism, as an ideology, assumed that humanity is naturally divided into a limited number of nations. Nationalism on the inside organises themselves as nation-states and, on the outside, set boundaries to distinguish themselves from other nation-states. Sociologists who have focused on nationalism have emphasised shifts from Gemeinschaft to Gesellschaft within national containers. Marxists envisaged that nationalism and patriotism would be swept aside by proletarian internationalism. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels gave some thought to how Irish nationalism might help to bring about socialism.
On 4th August, 1906, in An Claidheamh Soluis, which translates as the sword of light, Patrick Pearse wrote a piece in English imagining the Ireland of 2006. Pearse turned to the parliamentary column, which reported a debate about a bill for the compulsory teaching of Japanese as a second language in seaport towns and cities. Pearse imagined this twenty-first-century Ireland several years before he became a self-appointed prophet of revolutionary blood-sacrifice nationalism. The Irish state that fell short of the Republic Pearse proclaimed in 1916 banished him to the margins of its own national pageants. Pearse's image came to be commemorated on postage stamps and street names. During his years as editor of An Claidheamh Soluis Pearse clashed with the Catholic Church. The clash was over what he saw as an inadequate support for the Irish language from the hierarchy who did not support making Gaelic mandatory in seminaries.
Paul Cullen was perhaps as important a maker of modern Ireland as Daniel O'Connell, and in the decades after O'Connell's death, when parliamentary nationalism languished in the doldrums, he was Ireland's most important Catholic leader. Cullen's great accomplishment, Oliver Rafferty emphasises (in 'The Ultramontaine Spirituality of Paul Cullen'), a devotional revolution in Ireland. Cullen as an institutional builder presided over the building of many churches, schools and religious communities. But he also redefined, as Rafferty and a number of other contributors emphasise, Irish public spirituality. Cullen's closeness to Rome helped in various turf wars and also in achieving dominance over other bishops in Ireland. Cullen for his part believed that Catholic emancipation had created the political structures that would enable not just the redress of Catholic grievances but the creation of a theocratic state.
In his 1911 novel The Dawn of All, Robert Hugh Benson, an English priest who converted to Catholicism, imagined a future where most of the world had done the same. England had assented to Catholic home rule in Ireland and encouraged its Catholic population to emigrate there. Catholicism had declined everywhere except in Rome and in Ireland, where appearances of a woman in blue were reported at Marian shrines. For more than half a century Catholic sociology articulated influential visions of Ireland's future. Edward Cahill's Framework of a Christian State discussed at length the history of socialist ideas, theories of surplus value and dialectical materialism. The period of influence of the Catholic social thought had coincided with a period of Irish-Ireland, of a post-colonial cultural nation-building project which emphasised economic isolationism and efforts to promote the Irish language.