Paper long abstract:
Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork amongst Slovakian Roma labour migrants to the UK, this paper examines differentiated modalities of belonging in one 'multicultural' yet 'run-down' neighbourhood in a post-industrial Scottish city. This originally white Scottish working-class area was transformed into a 'multicultural' neighborhood through several migration waves from South Asia and recently from the new EU countries. Those concerned with the lost of 'community spirit' and growing crisis of the neighborhood, blaming its decline for migrants, do so on the grounds of protecting the 'cultural values' and 'rightful economic interests' of endangered majority who is, after 'they took over', turning into still most authentic yet disempowered working-class minority abandoned by the state. I shall ask what can we learn from debunking the logic of the widely shared performative rhetorics of 'I'm not a racist person but….' The paper shall examine several groups (migrants, white working class, and social and health workers) and levels of their competing claims for 'who has the right to belong here' in relation to the transforming vectors of difference and local hierarchy of prejudice shifting alongside variously intersecting capitals of ascribed ethno-national, class, race, gender and cultural membership.
In-migration, indigeneity and imagination: or class, community and crisis in Europe