New Diversities • Volume 23, No. 1, 2021

Thinking Beyond Boundaries: Researching Ethnoheterogenesis in Contexts of Diversities and Social Change

Guest Editors: Nina Clara Tiesler, Mathias Bös and Deborah Sielert (Leibniz University of Hannover)

List of Contents

Nina Clara Tiesler, Mathias Bös and Deborah Sielert (Leibniz University of Hannover)
Editorial to the Special Issue “Thinking Beyond Boundaries: Researching Ethnoheterogenesis in Contexts of Diversities and Social Change”


Claire Schiff (Bordeaux University)
Intra-Group Boundary-Making in Online Discussions Between Newcomers and Descendants of North African Immigrants in France

This paper addresses the issue of intra-group differences and relations among long standing post-colonial immigrant communities. Through an analysis of sub-ethnic categories used by North Africans in France for naming newcomers, this article contributes to the emerging literature on ‘ethnoheterogenesis’ and diversification within immigrant minority groups by adopting the framework of symbolic boundary-making and Norbert Elias’s established-outsider configuration. Using material gathered from online discussion forums serving the Maghrebi community, the author analyses how stigmatization and counter-stigmatization processes between new arrivals (les Blédards) and native-born minorities (les Beurs) are influenced by the colonial heritage, changes in the profiles of migrants entering France and evolving transnational ties. The study reveals how intra-group boundary making processes are structured around moral discourses and debates about three different but closely articulated themes: cultural and personal (in)authenticity, social (il)legitimacy and individual merit and the instrumentalization of gender relations in the transnational marriage market.

Keywords: intergroup relations; transnational immigrant communities; North-African minority in France; symbolic boundary-making; established/outsider configuration; ethnoheterogenesis; online ethnography, ethnic labelling, immigrant replenishment

Alina Jašina-Schäfer (BKGE, Oldenburg, Germany)
Of Homogenous ‘Freaks’ and Heterogenous Members:
Cultural Minoritites and their Belonging in the Estonian Borderland

This paper interrogates the complex manifestations of belonging among minority groups while focusing on the narratives and spatial experiences of Russian speakers in Estonia. Engaging critically with previous studies on belonging and drawing on the ethnographic examples from the borderland city of Narva, this research reconstructs belonging as a complex relational process constituted through both the official spatial arrangements and individual social actions, meanings, and perceptions. It demonstrates how official state narratives and the reconfiguration of space in and around Narva alienate many of its Russian-speaking dwellers as outsiders and strangers but also, counterintuitively, lead to the emergence of numerous alternative heterogenous representations of the self, anchored in daily interactions in and with concrete material spaces.

Keywords: belonging, borderland, space, Russian speakers, Estonia

Coșkun Canan (Berlin Institute for Integration and Migration Research,
Humboldt University of Berlin) and Albrecht Hänig
Hybrid Stylization in Ethnoheterogeneous Societies: Resistance Against Ethnic Categorizations in a German Rap Song

Social categorization is an essential component of human activity. However, migrants and their descendants can be disadvantageously categorized based on their ethnicity. How can affected individuals deal with such structural conditions in society and resist ethnic categorizations? To answer this question, we first address available strategies in social identity research and find that those strategies are insufficient to resist ethnic categorizations. As an alternative explanatory model, we have developed the concept of hybrid ethnic-cultural stylization, which represents a process of ethnoheterogenesis. By considering a culture of ethnic hybridity, this concept offers innovative strategies to resist disadvantageous ethnic categorizations. We then analyse a German rap song to empirically exemplify a hybrid ethnic-cultural style. Finally, we discuss theoretical implications and make suggestions for further research.

Keywords: migration and integration, hybrid styles, ethnic-cultural empowerment, rap music, anti-racism

Catharina Peeck-Ho (University of Oldenburg) 
The Negotiation of Belonging in San Francisco’s Public Space: Discursive Constructions of Sanctuary Cities

Since the mid-1980s, San Francisco has been among the so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ in the United States and allows undocumented migrants to make use of public services without any fear of deportation. The policy is an outcome of discourses concerning how to deal with social diversity, especially in regard to citizenship status in the context of the movements of refugees from Central America in the 1970s and 1980s. Due to the current political climate in the U.S. and some measures taken by its federal government, sanctuary cities are under pressure. Against this backdrop, the San Francisco Arts Commission launched a campaign with the aim to reflect the status of San Francisco as a sanctuary city; the campaign includes a variety of events and exhibitions, among them a poster series by artist Rodney Ewing. This article analyses San Francisco as an example for how cities represent themselves in the field of culture. It addresses questions of belonging, the dialectics of homogenization and heterogenization and the role of social inequalities in discourses on sanctuary cities.

Keywords: Sanctuary Cities, United States, Citizenship, Migration, Belonging, Politics of Belonging, Social Inequalities, Intersectionality, Cultural Representation

Nina Clara Tiesler (Leibniz University of Hannover)  
The Conceptual History of Ethnogenesis: A Brief Overview

This paper seeks to contribute to the theoretical understandings of ethnicity, ethnic membership formations and (de-)ethnization processes. It presents an overview of the use of an early, constructivist process category that has nearly been forgotten: ethnogenesis. It was employed in international scholarship across disciplines already before the “ethnic revival” in American discourse in the 1970s and/or the emergence of the discourse on “urban ethnicities”.

Accordingly to the manifold of perspectives on – and definitions of – ethnicity, tracing the conceptual history of the term ethnogenesis from the late 19th century up to the present day leads to insights into diverse scholarly traditions. It also illuminates the ways the concept was used, which is dependent on the very specific historic (and political) context of research. The study’s empirical findings were found using the search engine JSTOR as it provided going deeper into the academic exchange between US and Soviet scholars.

Keywords: Ethnogenesis, ethnicity, ethnization, social change, cultural change, ethnoheterogenesis

Yanick Farmer (Université du Québec à Montréal UQAM) 
Open Forum
Factors and Ethical Values that Foster a Sense of Belonging
Toward the Host Society: The Case of South Asian Communities in Montreal’s Parc-Extension Neighbourhood (Canada) 

Place attachment studies developed scales for measuring the sense of belonging using a range of determinants. However, ethical values are rarely dealt with as such in the literature on belonging. This study’s primary objective was thus to understand and rank the factors that, within an immigrant community whose culture of origin is somewhat different from that of the host society, foster development of a sense of place attachment (neighbourhood, city, state, or country). Then, to grasp the role of ethical determinants in constructing a sense of place attachment, the study’s secondary objective was to see, also by ranking, which of the values present in the host society are perceived by members of immigrant communities as fostering their attachment to it. To attain these objectives, the study interviewed forty adult members of South Asian communities living in a Montreal multiethnic neighbourhood. The results show that interpersonal relations, low crime rate and infrastructures are the most important factors to foster place attachment, while fraternity, equality and safety are the most important ethical values.

Keywords: sense of belonging, ethical values, host society, South Asian immigrants, Canada

Lore Van Praag (University of Antwerp) and Stijn Daenekindt (Ghent University)  
Open Forum
Beyond Disciplinary Blind Spots: A Systematic Review of
Research on Ethnicity and Race in Secondary Education Using Automated Text Analysis

Numerous scientific disciplines have shown a strong interest in studying ethnicity and race in the context of secondary education. This has resulted in a proliferation of discipline-specific perspectives on the subject, each characterized by its own blind spots. Objective. Previous reviews have applied a disciplinary approach and exclusively consider studies from one discipline. We depart from this approach and explicitly choose not to use discipline as a criterion for the studies we include. In this way, our systematic review is able to identify disciplinary blind spots and to present an interdisciplinary overview. Methodology. We study English-language articles published in Web of Science (1990-2019) on ethnicity/race/migration and secondary education/high school/comprehensive education/middle school and include all 7,620 research articles in our analysis. We analyse abstracts of these articles using automated text analysis. More specifically, we apply Topic Models to identify the core themes in the included articles. Results. We identify three clusters of topics, focusing on 1) health, 2) performance, enrolment and equity in education, and 3) psychological aspects. We discuss these clusters in depth with regard to the ways they examine the relationship between ethnicity/race and education. Conclusion. Our analysis reveals discipline-specific perspectives in the study of ethnicity/race in the context of secondary education. It also identifies gaps in the literature, within and across disciplines. In this way, the article provides researchers with insights on how they could learn from other perspectives on ethnicity/race and secondary education and stimulates interdisciplinary research.

Keywords: ethnicity; race; secondary education; Topic Modelling