Stories from a migrant city argues that a rethink of how the terms ‘immigration’, ‘migration’, ‘immigrant’ and ‘migrant’ are imagined and conceptualised is long overdue. It shows how moving away from a racialised local/migrant dichotomy can help to unite people on the basis of common humanity. The book also takes to task the idea that cosmopolitanism is necessarily an elite worldview: on the contrary, not only are axes of racialised difference often reinforced by the actions of economic and political elites, but, in certain spaces and at particular times, non-elite people of all backgrounds show themselves to be at ease with such difference, albeit that this is interwoven with ongoing racisms and the legacies of colonialism. Using a biographical approach and drawing on over one hundred stories and eight years of research by the author in the English city of Peterborough, Stories from a migrant city addresses the question of what Peterborough (and indeed England) stands for in the Brexit era, and to whom it belongs. Taken as a whole, the book’s tales from the city’s homes and streets, its 1970s and 1980s satellite New Towns, its older central neighbourhoods and its warehouse and food factory workplaces, together with its engagement with the cultural productions of residents, challenge middle-class condescension towards working-class cultures. They also reveal how the often-ignored stories from this and other provincial cities can be seen as gifts to richer, metropolitan places.
cosmopolitanism in the
[My song’s] about the battles that people face in the city and in
general really, all over the world. It’s about what I face and other
young people as well … The first line is: ‘As I walk on this earth
I start to feel the hurt …’ So it’s like as soon as you get here you
sort of feel the pain and the hurt that people around you face
as well as yourself. So that’s mainly what it’s based on, myself
… I don’t actually think I mention anything specific in the track
about me. I try and generalise it so that
Epilogue: Brexit, the border and
We are in a new era, in this election we have seen a seismic change and
realignment of politics here.1
The countercultural alternative
When Gerry Adams told supporters at the Louth count centre in the hours
after the 2016 Irish general election that a tremor had gone through Irish
politics, he had no idea how tumultuous the rest of 2016 and early 2017
were going to be for the party and, ultimately, for Northern Ireland in
particular. Sinn Féin’s stellar performance in the Dáil elections had been
] was a transitional arrangement and that there would be a massive peace dividend for working-class communities in the Six Counties, and based on that I voted yes for the Good Friday Agreement because it was an army order at the time to do so and I just followed orders. 21
England’s difficulty is Ireland’s opportunity: Brexit
Currently, republicanism is experiencing a ‘low ebb’ which radical republicans have compared to other periods throughout Irish history, such as the 1950s border campaign after which everything changed
Sarita Malik, Churnjeet Mahn, Michael Pierse, and Ben Rogaly
for the rights of marginalised communities, that some of us would be part of urgent cycles of campaigning, nor that all of our project meetings would almost invariably begin with commiseration or questioning how to hold hope for the future. Again. This has become a book of its time – the Brexit years – which reflects on the potential of diverse forms of creativity at the margins of society to interrupt the flow of the status quo.
Life for migrants with historic ties to empire has become increasingly challenging. The UK Home Office's ‘hostile
Newspapers, magazines and pamphlets have always been central, almost sacred, forms of communication within Irish republican political culture. While social media is becoming the primary ideological battleground in many democracies, Irish republicanism steadfastly expresses itself in the traditional forms of activist journalism. Shinners, Dissos and Dissenters is a long-term analysis of the development of Irish republican activist media since 1998 and the tumultuous years following the end of the Troubles. It is the first in-depth analysis of the newspapers, magazines and online spaces in which the differing strands of Irish republicanism developed and were articulated during a period where schism and dissent defined a return to violence. Based on an analysis of Irish republican media outlets as well as interviews with the key activists that produced them, this book provides a compelling long-term snapshot of a political ideology in transition. It reveals how Irish Republicanism was moulded by the twin forces of the Northern Ireland Peace Process and the violent internal ideological schism that threatened a return to the ‘bad old days’ of the Troubles. This book is vital for those studying Irish politics and those interestedin activism as it provides new insights into the role that modern activist media forms have played in the ideological development of a 200-year-old political tradition.
Deporting Black Britons provides an ethnographic account of deportation from the UK to Jamaica. It traces the painful stories of four men who were deported after receiving criminal convictions in the UK. For each of the men, all of whom had moved to the UK as children, deportation was lived as exile – from parents, partners, children and friends – and the book offers portraits of survival and hardship in both the UK and Jamaica. Based on over four years of research, Deporting Black Britons describes the human consequences of deportation, while situating deportation stories within the broader context of policy, ideology, law and violence. It examines the relationship between racism, criminalisation and immigration control in contemporary Britain, suggesting new ways of thinking about race, borders and citizenship in these anti-immigrant times. Ultimately, the book argues that these stories of exile and banishment should orient us in the struggle against violent immigration controls, in the UK and elsewhere.
Bordering intimacy is a study of how borders and dominant forms of intimacy, such as family, are central to the governance of postcolonial states such as Britain. The book explores the connected history between contemporary border regimes and the policing of family with the role of borders under European and British empires. Building upon postcolonial, decolonial and black feminist theory, the investigation centres on how colonial bordering is remade in contemporary Britain through appeals to protect, sustain and make family life. Not only was family central to the making of colonial racism but claims to family continue to remake, shore up but also hide the organisation of racialised violence in liberal states. Drawing on historical investigations, the book investigates the continuity of colonial rule in numerous areas of contemporary government – family visa regimes, the policing of sham marriages, counterterror strategies, deprivation of citizenship, policing tactics, integration policy. In doing this, the book re-theorises how we think of the connection between liberal government, race, family, borders and empire. In using Britain as a case, this opens up further insights into the international/global circulations of liberal empire and its relationship to violence.
With race as a central theme, this book presents racial stratification as the underlying system which accounts for the difference in outcomes of Whites and Blacks in the labour market. Critical race theory (CRT) is employed to discuss the operation, research, maintenance and impact of racial stratification. The power of this book is the innovative use of a stratification framework to expose the pervasiveness of racial inequality in the labour market. It teaches readers how to use CRT to investigate the racial hierarchy and it provides a replicable framework to identify the racial order based on insight from the Irish case. There is a four-stage framework in the book which helps readers understand how migrants navigate the labour market from the point of migration to labour participation. The book also highlights minority agency and how migrants respond to their marginality. The examples of how social acceptance can be applied in managing difference in the workplace are an added bonus for those interested in diversity and inclusion. This book is the first of its kind in Ireland and across Europe to present inequality, racism and discrimination in the labour market from a racial stratification perspective. While this book is based on Irish data, the CRT theoretical approach, as well as its insight into migrant perspectives, poses a strong appeal to scholars of sociology, social justice, politics, intercultural communication and economics with interest in race and ethnicity, critical whiteness and migration. It is a timely contribution to CRT which offers scholars a method to conduct empirical study of racial stratification across different countries bypassing the over-reliance on secondary data. It will also appeal to countries and scholars examining causal racism and how it shapes racial inequality.
The final chapter explores how the ‘Me, Not You’ message of mainstream
feminism can move from sacrificing more marginalised people to treating them
as enemies when they get in the way. This is particularly the case when it
comes to debates about sex work and transgender equality. Reactionary
feminists in anti-sexual violence movements have situated sex workers as
‘handmaidens of the patriarchy’ who put all women in danger. They have
situated trans women as sexual threats. These politics dovetail with the
far-right use of faux concerns about ‘women’s safety’ to push oppressive
agendas, and there have been political and practical alliances between
reactionary feminists and the far right. At its extremes, politically white
feminism can become a ‘Brexit’ brand which is about policing borders,
shutting doors, and hoarding resources.