'There's just too many': The construction of immigration as a social problem

Pattison, James (2022) 'There's just too many': The construction of immigration as a social problem. British Journal of Sociology . ISSN 1468-4446

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-4446.12933

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'There's just too many': The construction of immigration as a social problem
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This article presents findings collected in 2016-17 from a multi-method ethnographic study of Shirebrook, Derbyshire in the English East Midlands, examining the narratives used by the local authority (LA) and local residents that construct immigration as a social problem. In doing so, it contributes to the literature on race and migration by extending analysis beyond metropolitan localities with long histories of multi-ethnic settlement, to consider a relatively small, peripheral former colliery town. The paper demonstrates how migration is framed as a social problem by central government funding streams with consequences for localities, and the influence this has on local narratives of social change. The construction of immigration as a social problem is rooted in the constraints of austerity and longer-term processes of deindustrialisation and economic restructuring, with representations and understandings of place being constitutive of anti-immigrant sentiment. This article deepens our understanding of responses to immigration in the UK, and has broader implications for understanding the relationship between place, state polices and local narratives.

Keywords:migration, deindustrialisation, class, symbolic power, immigration, ethnography
Subjects:L Social studies > L300 Sociology
L Social studies > L400 Social Policy
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:48410
Deposited On:02 Mar 2022 12:22

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