Department of Anthropology


Pathological integration, or, how East Europeans use racism to become British  

Tuesday 21 November 15:30 until 17:00
Arts C, C333
Speaker: Dr Jon Fox
Part of the series: SCMR Migration Seminar Series

"Pathological integration, or, how East Europeans use racism to become British"
East Europeans are integrating into life in the UK.  This entails learning to get along with their new neighbours, but it also involves not getting along with certain neighbours.  Integration isn’t confined to benevolent forms of everyday cosmopolitanism, multiculturalism, and conviviality; it can also include more pathological forms, like racism.  Whilst integration is generally seen as desirable, the learning that it entails necessarily includes less desirable practices and norms.  The aim of this paper is to show how East Europeans in the UK have been acquiring specifically British competencies of racism.  This doesn’t mean all East Europeans are racist or they always use racism; it does mean, however, that racism is a part of the integration equation.  We focus on the racist and racialising practices of Poles, Hungarians, and Romanians in Bristol in the UK.  These East Europeans are using racism to insert themselves more favourably into Britain’s racialised status hierarchies.  This is a kind of integration.
Jon’s research is in nationalism, ethnicity, racism, and migration. He is interested in how ordinary people reproduce ethnicity, nationhood, and ‘race’ in their everyday lives. Whilst appreciating the important role politics, culture, and the economy play in shaping these categories, Jon’s research pays special attention to the theory they are also the practical accomplishments of ordinary people engaging in routine activities. His research to date has examined these issues around questions of nationalism and migration in Hungary, Romania, and the UK. Jon is based at SPAIS, Bristol University.

Back to events list

By: Sarah Scuzzarello
Last updated: Monday, 11 September 2017