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Tudor, Alyosxa (2023) 'Ascriptions of Migration: Racism, Migratism and Brexit.' European Journal of Cultural Studies, 26 (2). pp. 230-248.

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This article offers an analysis of scholarly attempts to make sense of the nexus of race and migration in Brexit-era UK discourse. To illustrate my arguments that intend to challenge and extend existing scholarship, I discuss exemplary snapshots from news articles, blog posts and social media sources. Building on critical race and postcolonial studies as theoretical background, I trace the phenomenon of naming the discrimination against East Europeans – which is undeniably one of the driving forces of the Brexit discussion – ‘racism’. Sometimes, and this shows the pattern of the overgeneralization of the term, ‘racism’ gets extended to name the post-Brexit exclusion of any EU nationals. This use of ‘racism’, however, is based on methodological nationalism and conceptual whiteness as my analyses show. To make sense of the overlapping racist, anti-immigration and anti-EU rhetoric that marks the pre- and post-Brexit moment in the United Kingdom, this article introduces the concept of ‘migratism’ – a name for the power relation that ascribes migration to certain people, constructing them as migrants and discriminating against them. The terms ‘migratism’ and ‘migratization’ function grammatically in an analogue way to ‘racism’ and ‘racialization’. If racism is the power relation that racializes (=ascribes race to) people, migratism if the power relation that migratizes (=ascribes migration to) people. The terms are not symmetrical but have a complicated interdependent relationship. Racism and migratism are bound to each other and play a crucial role in organizing the Western nation state. The suggested concepts foreground a postcolonial understanding of race and racism and make it possible to analyse both migration-based discrimination and discrimination based on perceived migration in violence and hate crimes connected to the Brexit referendum.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: critical race theory, racism and migration, Anti-Black racism, Islamophobia, nationalism, whiteness, East European migrants, UK news, Brexit referendum
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Law
Departments and Subunits > Interdisciplinary Studies > Centre for Gender Studies
ISSN: 13675494
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 03 May 2022 14:18

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