Race, Ethnicity and Difference versus Imagined Homogeneity within the European Union

Jan. 20, 2008

Source: European Educational Research Journal, Volume 7 Number 1, 2008, pages 23-38.

This article argues three things. First, it argues that the perception of diversity being problematic in Europe has been generated largely by non-European immigration into urban areas. This has been Britain’s experience for 50 years and Spain’s for barely 15, but whether the immigrants are ex-colonial, Turkish or Balkan migrant labour, or Africans escaping economic despair, they are likely to be seen as troublingly ‘other’.

The second argument is that partly in response to this there is a degree of policy convergence about protection from discrimination, although it is complex, has several motives and is subject to many local variations.

Thirdly, the article reviews the existing diversity within Europe before the immigration of the late twentieth century and argues that historic ‘indigenous’ minorities have received less recognition and legal protection, primarily because of the very notions of national identity now troubled by immigration.

Updated: Mar. 23, 2008