‘No smoke without fire’: strategies of coping with stigmatised migrant identities

Morosanu, Laura and Fox, Jon E (2013) ‘No smoke without fire’: strategies of coping with stigmatised migrant identities. Ethnicities, 13 (4). pp. 438-456. ISSN 1468-7968

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This paper examines how ethnicity informs the ways in which Romanian migrants in the UK cope with stigmatisation. Instead of assuming ethnicity’s relevance, our purpose is to examine how responses to stigmatisation may or may not become ethnicised. We consider two strategies. The first strategy invokes and reinforces the salience of ethnicity, albeit in a negative and thus still stigmatised way. Instead of countering stigma with a positive reappraisal of ‘Romanianness’, some Romanians seek to transfer the stigma onto the ethnic Roma with whom they are frequently associated. This strategy thus acknowledges stigma, but attempts to detach it from the self and reattach it to the ethnicised other. The second strategy emphasises individual skills and accomplishments to overshadow the effects of a stigmatised ethnicity. Ethnicity is made less salient by this switch to a register of personal skill and worth. Exploring the interplay of these coping strategies, we highlight the fluctuating relevance, rather than declining relevance, of an ‘ethnic lens’ (Glick Schiller et al., 2006) in individual migrants’ de-stigmatising discourses and practices that produce, transform or at times elide different ethnic boundaries.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Depositing User: Laura Morosanu
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2013 07:57
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2013 07:57
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/45739
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