In the last decade, Ireland's immigrant population grew to more than one in ten. Now in the midst of an economic crisis, the integration of immigrants has become a topical issue. This book offers a detailed account of how immigrants in Ireland are faring. Drawing extensively on demographic data and research on immigrant lives, immigrant participation in Irish politics and the experiences of immigrants living in deprived communities, it offers a thorough study of the immigrant experience in Ireland today. Chapters and case studies examine the effects of immigration on social cohesion, the role of social policy, the nature and extent of segregation in education, racism and discrimination in the labour market, and barriers faced by immigrants seeking Irish citizenship. The book contributes to the field of integration studies through its focus on the capabilities and abilities needed by immigrants to participate successfully in Irish society. It follows two previous books by the author for Manchester University Press: Racism and Social Change in the Republic of Ireland (2002) and Immigration and Social Change in the Republic of Ireland (2007).
This book examines the debates and processes that have shaped the modernisation of Ireland since the beginning of the twentieth century. There are compelling justifications for methodological nationalism using research and analysis focused on the jurisdiction of a nation-state. The nation-state remains a necessary unit of analysis not least because it is a unit of taxation and representation, a legal and political jurisdiction, a site of bounded loyalties and of identity politics. The book argues that nationalism in twenty-first-century Ireland is even more powerful and socially embedded than it was in de Valera's Ireland. It considers what kind of Ireland Pearse wanted to bring about. Pearse proposed a model that was very different from the already dominant Catholic model that did much to incubate modern Ireland. Beyond this, Catholicism offered a distinct response to modernity aimed at competing with the two main secular ideologies: liberalism and socialism. Women have been marginalised in most of the debates that shaped Ireland even where they were directly affected by them. One of the most picked-over episodes in twentieth-century Irish history has been the conflict surrounding the Mother and Child Scheme. The book examines this conflict as a starting point of an analysis of the place of women in post-independence Ireland. It further addresses the rise and fall of the Celtic Tiger, the name given to a period of rapid economic growth that was likened to the performance of East Asian 'tiger' economies.
In the last decade Irish society has visibly changed with the emergence of new immigrant communities of black and ethnic minorities. This book draws upon a number of academic disciplines, focusing on the relationship between ideological forms of racism and its consequences upon black and ethnic minorities. Media and political debates on racism in Ireland during this period have tended to depict it as a new phenomenon and even as one imported by asylum seekers. Ireland was never immune from the racist ideologies that governed relationships between the west and the rest despite a history of colonial anti-Irish racism. Citizenship reproduced inequalities between nationals on the basis of gender and race and ethnicity. The book explores how the processes of nation-building which shaped contemporary Irish society and the Irish state were accompanied by a politics of national identity within which claims of social membership of various minority groups were discounted. It examines the exclusionary and assimilationist consequences of Irish nationbuilding for Protestant, Jewish and Traveller minority communities. The book also considers anti-Semitism in Irish society from independence in 1922 until the 1950s. It examines how contemporary responses to refugees and asylum seekers have been shaped by a legacy of exclusionary state practices. Finally, the book talks about anti-Traveller racism, the politics of Traveller exclusion, the work of SPIARSI, and the efforts to contest racism and discrimination faced by minorities in Ireland as expressions of multiculturalism.
Bryan Fanning argues that the large-scale immigration into Ireland during the Celtic Tiger period had its roots in a post-1950s nation-building project of economic development which superseded an economically and culturally isolationist Irish-Ireland period. The lack of political debate about this post-1990s immigration is an eloquent silence and Fanning attempts to fill the void by offering an insightful discussion of immigration in the Celtic Tiger period. This chapter focuses on sociological explanations for Ireland's apolitical embrace of social transformation through immigration during the first decade of the twenty-first century. The speed with which this occurred owed much to the economic boom. Prosperity fostered the quiet transformation of Ireland but did not on its own explain the lack of political controversy about immigration and the absence of anti-immigrant politics even when boom turned to bust and the large-scale emigration of Irish citizens resumed. The chapter notes that immigrants who found themselves displaced from Ireland during the economic crash found themselves on the same boats and planes as Irish citizens displaced through unemployment from Ireland. Immigrants who managed to remain in employment seemed to be as integrated or socially included as any other such fortunate members of Irish society.
Why did a country adept at squeezing out surplus family members since the Famine, one that defined itself as monocultural, one that found it difficult to accommodate its small Jewish, Protestant and Traveller minorities, somehow embrace large-scale immigration? This book examines the role of social policy rather than symbolic politics in promoting or impeding integration in Ireland. A core argument is that integration debates and goals cannot be meaningfully detached from the social inclusion goals understood to apply to Irish citizens. The conversations about integration conducted from different angles in different chapters are variously framed in conceptual debates about social capital, cultural capital, human capital, and human capability. Various chapters examine institutional barriers to integration in the domains of education, social policy, and politics and citizenship. Collectively, the literatures on capabilities, social capital, cultural capital, and psychological well-being emphasise the complexity of processes of social exclusion and inclusion.
In 2004, the Republic of Ireland became one of just three European Union member states (along with the UK and Sweden) that agreed to allow unrestricted immigrants from the ten new EU-accession states. Also in 2004, the Irish government introduced a referendum on citizenship. The contemporaneous government decision in 2004 to engineer rapid, large-scale immigration from within the EU barely caused a political ripple. Arguably, what is being harmonised through the EU is not one single integration paradigm but a number of social, institutional, and political ones. The harmonisation of integration has emerged in a context of multiculturalism writ large, where the politics of incommensurability — the Europe of continual wars and, in Ireland, sectarian conflict predicated on the religious and political divisions of the Reformation — has been tamed, but by no means eliminated. Developmental modernity by no means constitutes an end of Irish history. The developmental case for large-scale immigration evaporated overnight. What remains, in essence, is the yet-to-be-assessed social cost of rapid and large-scale immigration as one of several challenges to social cohesion.
This chapter explores ideological, normative, and empirical claims about social cohesion that have a bearing on Irish responses to immigration. It draws on Emile Durkheim's classic sociological account of social cohesion to examine some of the underlying presumptions that have come to be influential in the Irish case. An influential governance security perspective worked to circumscribe state commitments to integration. The subtext here was the implicit definition of social cohesion in terms of the existing bounded community; its underlying normative presumptions are examined using Durkheim's concept of the ‘social fact’. The second proposition considered here is Robert Putnam's assertion that immigration undermines social cohesion. This chapter also discusses the findings of a study which compared ‘socially included’ immigrants with relatively low levels of social capital but high levels of human capital with ‘socially excluded’ Irish neighbours who nevertheless had high levels of social capital. Interpretations of the challenge to social cohesion depend on whether this is defined in terms of social capital (trust and reciprocity) or social inclusion (socio-economic and human capital terms).
The 2006 Irish Census identified a population of 4,239,848 persons. Of the ‘usually resident’ population, 610,000 (14.7 percent) were born outside the Republic of Ireland. Of these, approximately 10 percent were ‘non-Irish nationals’. Just more than 10 percent of children in Ireland in 2006 were born in other countries such as England and Wales, United States, Poland, Lithuania, and other European Union countries. Some 7.4 percent of identified children living in the Republic of Ireland do not have Irish citizenship. The British experience indicates that racism, discrimination, and other barriers to integration are experienced differently and with different consequences by different groups. This can be translated, in the Irish case, into a hypothesis that Chinese, Polish, Lithuanian or Nigerian immigrants will experience different opportunities for and barriers to integration. Asylum seekers comprised a major strand of immigration. Comprehensively disaggregated data can serve to explode myths, such as those about ghettos considered in this chapter, as well as provide an evidence base to address actual risks of social exclusion amongst immigrants, particularly those who settle in disadvantaged areas.
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.