The official visions of Ireland as a 'migration nation' that circulated during the Celtic Tiger period were not ultimately that different from the image of the frozen cultures, endlessly celebrating themselves, presented in New Thinking = New Ireland. This chapter examines how the dynamic of visibility/invisibility is threaded through the episodes of state intervention in the problem of migration. It also examines how the Irish state, in common with other European states, placed significant emphasis on the need for 'integration', while imposing an increasingly stratified system of entry and residence that serves, in fact, to dis-integrate the population. The chapter discusses the racist spectacle of the 2004 Citizenship referendum. In examining its political calculus and impacts, the chapter argues that its wider political significance requires re-consideration in the light of 'austerity' politics.
This chapter examines media and communication practices in terms of a broader conception of network capital, whereby mediated resources are deployed in negotiating co-presence relationally between different significant locations. Even in the digital age, the satellite dish remains emblematic of transnational media use, and also symbolic of degrees of integration and orientation to the 'host' society. For some respondents, Polish satellite services such as Cyfra+ held strong class connotations, and featured as markers of negative distinction, that is, of immigrants who were not making an effort to 'integrate'. Assessments of, and involvement in, transnational media are every bit as reflective and ambivalent as those expressed in relation to the Irish, national media sphere. Both Poles and Chinese participants were critical of 'official' and 'commercial' media discourses in transnational media and both sought alternatives in unofficial and personal communicative networks.