“Race” versus “ethnicity”?

Critical race essentialism and the exclusion and oppression of migrants in the Netherlands.

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Abstract

Howard Winant subordinates “ethnicity” to “race” as the central structuring
principle in society. By contrast, Andreas Wimmer takes racism as a particular
form of ethnic boundary making. Their debate in this journal (vol. 38, no. 13,
2015) mainly concentrates on the US. This article brings the critical race (CR)
literature on migrants’ exclusion and oppression in the Netherlands to this
debate. It discusses several essentialist shortcomings of this literature. First, CR
authors do not contextualize “race” and racism, which repeatedly results in
misreadings of the Dutch context. Second, their imposed totalizing notions of
racism undermine the explanatory value of the concept. Third, the evidence
for their claims remains inconclusive. Fourth, their contributions to the
struggle against migrants’ exclusion and oppression are limited. To avoid
these shortcomings, I argue for a differentiation between “race”/racism and
“ethnicity”/ethnicism as two separate concepts that need to be applied and
understood in a non-essentialist way.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-387
Number of pages18
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2017

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oppression
Netherlands
exclusion
ethnicity
migrant
racism
literature

Keywords

  • Essentialism
  • ethnicity
  • migrants
  • race
  • racism
  • the Netherlands

Cite this

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“Race” versus “ethnicity”? Critical race essentialism and the exclusion and oppression of migrants in the Netherlands. / Siebers, Hans.

In: Ethnic and Racial Studies, Vol. 40, No. 3, 05.01.2017, p. 369-387.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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