Migration, racism and the hostile environment: making the case for the social sciences

Andrews, Molly, Arnot, Madeleine, Anthias, Floya, Ashe, Stephen, Brah, Avtar, Dona, Giorgia, Erel, Umut, Gidley, Ben, Humphris, Rachel, Kofman, Elenore, Mondon, Aurelien, Murji, Karim ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7490-7906, Phoenix, Ann, Sigona, Nando, Squire, Corinne, Targarona, Nuria, Wemyss, Georgie, Winter, Aaron and Yuval-Davis, Nira (2020) Migration, racism and the hostile environment: making the case for the social sciences. Discussion Paper. UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

Brexit, the European immigration and refugee situation and the Grenfell and Windrush scandals are just some of the recent major events which issues of migration have been at the heart of British social and political agenda. These highlight racism and the fundamental relations people who have settled in the UK have to British collective identity and belonging as well as to the British economy, polity and social relations. 9.4 million UK residents are foreign-born, 14% of the population, just over a third of whom are EU-born. Less than 10% of UK residents are not UK nationals. 20% of the population is of an ethnicity other than White British.

Social scientists have observed and analysed such public issues and the public policies that both framed and resulted from them throughout the years. In doing so they have not only helped to document and analyse them but contributed towards their critique and problematisation as part of a public intellectual endeavour towards a more equal and just society. In doing so, much of social sciences research has been empirically informed, often methodologically innovative, theoretically productive and has contributed to our understanding of how processes of racialization and migration have been experienced in diverse ways by different groupings. In this report we aim to highlight some of these contributions and their importance to British society and institutions.

At the end of this report, we list, as Further Readings, some of the main contributions members of AcSS and other social scientists have made throughout the years in the field of migration and refugees, racism, and belonging. Rather than attempting to sum up these contributions in the report itself, however, we have selected some of the main issues in this field of study, which present particular challenges to contemporary British society and institutions. We focus in this report on the specific contributions of social sciences to these issues.

British social science has been playing for many years an important, often leading, innovative conceptual role in international social science debates. Although the issues we study are presented within their historical and locational contexts, we focus in this report on present day issues which have been crucial to our areas of study, such as the development of a ‘hostile environment’ and everyday bordering as a major governmental technology in the control and disciplining of diversity and discourses on migrants and racialized minorities. We also examine how the issues we have been studying have been affected by the rise of extreme right and neo-nativist politics in the UK and the role of Brexit in these, as well as the ways different groups and social movements have been resisting these processes of exclusion and racialisation.

In this report, we do not present British social sciences as unified and non-conflictual; nor do we see social sciences in the UK as isolated from professional or political developments in other countries and regions. In addition, the report is multi-disciplinary; it covers research from the fields of psychosocial studies, sociology, social policy, economics and politics. It stretches from the local, to the regional and the national. And it is consistentlyintersectional, addressing gender, class, generation, race, ethnicity and religion.

Item Type: Report (Discussion Paper)
Additional Information: To cite the report: Social Scientists Against the Hostile Environment (2020) Migration, Racism and the Hostile Environment: Making the Case for the Social Sciences, London: Academy of Social Sciences special interest group on Migration, Refugees and Settlement. The report has been sponsored by the British Sociological Association; BSA Race and Ethnicity Study Group; BSA Migration and Diaspora Group; BSA Sociology of Rights Group; Citizenship and Governance SRA, Open University; CMRB (Centre for research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging, UEL); CNR (Centre for Narrative Researc, UEL); IRIS (Institute for Research on Superdiversity, UoB); MigrantsOrganize; Migrants’ Rights Network; People’s Permanent Tribunal; ROTA (Race on the Agenda). Social Scientists Against The Hostile Environment (SSAHE) is a project group of the Special Interest Group (SIG) on Refugees, Migration and Settlement established by some Fellows of the Academy of Social Sciences. The views expressed in this report are those of Social Scientists Against The Hostile Environment, which brought together members of the SIG with other interested social science colleagues. The report does not purport to represent the views of the Academy of Social Sciences, its wider Fellowship, or the organisa-tions listed as report sponsors.
Subjects: Law and criminal justice > Law
Social sciences > Politics
Social sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Camille Regnault
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2020 11:16
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2020 16:52
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/6795

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