The panel addresses emerging national, local and individual imaginations of 'crisis' associated with social class and 'multi-culturalism' in Europe.
This panel explores issues to do with the politics of social class and immigration, community and national belonging in contemporary Europe. It seeks to bring together scholars with an ethnographic research interest in emerging national, local and individual imaginations of 'crisis' associated with 'multi-culturalism'. What is the texture of this crisis? How is it imagined? Whose or what purposes does it serve? What kind of response does it elicit? In Britain, for example, a new rhetoric of 'indigeneity' is emerging which, amongst other things, points to a trend towards the ethnicisation of the white working classes. This poses an awkward relationship between moral claims to indigenous status made by ethnic majorities as opposed to ethnic minorities. To what extent is this occurring in other European contexts? What are its specific contours? Are we witness to a new politics of difference? Of interest are the ways in which specific groups and individuals are imagined as 'belonging' (or not) and how such imaginations are played out and represented on a public stage in both neo-liberal and neo-conservative discourses. What are the material consequences of such imaginaries? How are they politically exploited? What are its counterparts and alternatives? While socially and politically shaped boundaries between those who 'rightfully belong' and those who do not have always been naturalised and disseminated in commonsensical ideas, the panel seeks to explore emerging and current modalities of belonging.