Integration in Ireland

The everyday lives of African migrants

Authors: Mark Maguire and Fiona Murphy

During the past fifteen years, many thousands of people have passed through the Irish asylum system, especially migrants from Africa. Public debates in Ireland, in common with other EU Member States, have been framed by ‘integration’ discourse. However, not enough is known about lived experiences of integration, especially among former asylum seekers and their families. This book builds on several years of in-depth ethnographic research to provide a striking portrait of the integration experiences of African migrants in Dundalk, Drogheda and Dublin. The book draws on contemporary anthropological theory to explore labour integration, civic and political participation, religion, education and youth identity. The stories of several key research participants are threaded through the book. The book draws out the rich voices of African migrants who struggle in their everyday lives to overcome racism and exclusion and, yet, are producing new cultural formations and generating reasons for societal hope. Set against the backdrop of a severe economic crisis and the ever-present hand of neo-liberal policies, this book is about everyday struggles and new visions for the future.

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