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Citizenship, Political Engagement, and Belonging: Immigrants by Professor Deborah Reed-Danahay, Caroline B. Brettell

By Professor Deborah Reed-Danahay, Caroline B. Brettell

Immigration is constantly and speedily altering the face of Western nations. whereas newbies are harbingers of switch, host countries additionally perform how new populations are included into their social and political fabric.

Bringing jointly a transcontinental team of anthropologists, this e-book offers an in-depth examine the present techniques of immigration, political habit, and citizenship in either the United States and Europe. Essays draw on problems with race, nationwide identification, faith, and extra, whereas addressing questions, together with: How should still citizenship be outlined? In what methods do immigrants use the political method to accomplish workforce goals? And, how do adults and adolescence discover ways to turn into energetic members within the public sphere?

Among various case reports, examples comprise cases of racialized citizenship in “Algerian France,” Ireland’s new citizenship legislation according to asylum-seeking moms, the function of Evangelical Christianity in making a house for the development of an identification that transcends nation borders, and the web as one of many new public spheres for the expression of citizenship, be it neighborhood, nationwide, or global.

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In choosing their subjects, the security forces naturalize particular gendered bodily features (such as the “Beur look” of track suits and baseball caps) as markers of identity and, consequently, of suspect allegiance. During these stops, those detained are required to produce their residence permits and/or national identity cards, thus publicly attesting their legality and/or nationality. In these performances of belonging, a racialized form of second-order citizenship is effectively recreated through the threat of violence.

Such “random,” but clearly racially profi led (à faciès) identity checks, pat-downs, and detainments, as practiced by the Immigrant Politics and Citizenship in France 31 Anti-Criminal Brigade, have been for many years a regular feature of everyday housing project life, and have only been exacerbated with the security elaboration of France’s post-September 11th “war on terror” and the criminalization of gatherings in cité spaces like the entryways and basements of estate buildings. Even earlier, following the enactment of the Vigipirate security plan after the 1995 subway bombings, transportation centers had become similar spaces of heightened watchfulness, with roving patrols of riot police and military gendarmes imposing millions of identity checks on racially profi led subjects.

On the other hand, the immediate object of hip-hop’s critical engagement has been the everyday life in the housing projects, the structures that bind together the different ethnic, racial, and religious “communities,” such as they are. Rap artists in particular have underlined local ties over national or international ones, organizing themselves around interracial “posses” of fellow residents of their natal housing projects who often serve the groups as managers, promoters, security guards, and back-up singers.

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