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Racism, ‘second generation’ refugees and the asylum system

Hirsch, Shirin (2019) Racism, ‘second generation’ refugees and the asylum system. Identities, 26 (1). pp. 88-106. ISSN 1070-289X

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Abstract

This paper explores ‘second generation’ refugee experiences of racism in London, drawing on 45 qualitative interviews. The article analyses specific histories of racialisation for three different refugee groups from Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Turkey and the generational shifts in reproducing race. The asylum system is foregrounded as an essential framework in which to analyse experiences of racism. This was most evident for the first generation refugee, however for their children less is known on how these forms of racism shaped experiences. Within our study, ‘everyday’ mundane forms of racism were recounted by the ‘second generation’ which were often contrasted with that of their parents in severity. This paper analyses this inter-generational relationship further in relation to racism, through the lens of the asylum system. The paper therefore contributes to a greater empirical understanding on earlier modalities of racism and how they survive into the present.

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