Racism, borders and the refugee ‘second generation’
Dr Shirin Hirsch, University of Glasgow
Wednesday 7th December, 3.15 - 4.30pm (coffee and cakes from 3.15pm, talks starts 3.30pm)
Room 303, Sir Alexander Stone Building, University Gardens, University of Glasgow
In this talk Dr Hirsch explores experiences of racism in London, drawing on 45 qualitative interviews with three groups of ‘second generation’ refugees. The individuals interviewed for this project were all born in Britain and grew up in London and all had parents who had gained refugee status in Britain either as Vietnamese refugees, Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka or Kurdish refugees from Turkey. The paper analyses the specific histories of racialisation for these refugee groups and how these continue to impact on succeeding generations in different ways. The research focused on the asylum system, and Dr Hirsch argues this system is at the heart of understanding new forms of racism. Racism is viewed here as a ‘scavenger ideology’ in which the exclusionary system of borders and controls, created and orchestrated by the state, feeds into ‘everyday’ interpersonal experiences of racial ordering and identification.
Dr Shirin Hirsch is currently based in Sociology, at the University of Glasgow. She is working on a joint project exploring the neighbourhood level processes in which ethnicity is constructed, asserted and contested. Before this she worked at the University of Manchester on a European project alongside Professor Alice Bloch on ‘second generation’ refugee lives. Her PhD explored the Chilean coup of 1973 and the lived experience of Chilean exiles in Britain.