The “Irish question”: marginalizations at the nexus of sociology of migration and ethnic and racial studies in Britain*

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Abstract

Despite constituting one of the largest migrant groups, the Irish have been overlooked in most British sociological research on migration and ethnicity. We explore how this came about and examine its costs in relation to stigmatization and national security. The relative silence among British sociologists throughout the war in Northern Ireland and its impact on the Irish in England, requires further explanation. This neglect resulted in a failure to learn lessons from the past especially about the potential impact of counter-terrorism practices on Muslim communities. Furthermore, we show how unpacking the compressed category of whiteness helps to understand the dynamic interplay of other identity markers such as accent, religion, nationality and class in shaping how different groups of white migrants, especially Eastern/Central Europeans, have been perceived, represented and racialized in various public discourses.

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Hickman, M. J., & Ryan, L. (2020). The “Irish question”: marginalizations at the nexus of sociology of migration and ethnic and racial studies in Britain*. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 43(16), 96–114. https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2020.1722194

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