- The Uninvited Migrant, the 'Autochtoon' and the 'Allochtoon' in the Netherlands
- Book title
- Boundaries within: Nation, Kinship and Identity among Migrants and Minorities
- Pages (from-to)
- Cham: Springer
- ISBN (electronic)
- IMISCOE Research Series: 2364-4087: 2364-4095
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Political integration often comes with a process of nation building. With European integration, old borders between member states indeed lose their meaning and only Europe’s outside borders remain significant. Yet, nation building on an EU scale is not in evidence. Rather integration seems to produce uncertain identities. However, failing a European identity at least it can be underlined who the ‘others’ are.
This might also hold inside member states’ fabric when formal members (citizens) might still be ‘the other’. Along which fold lines this happens might be explained by earlier political differentiations reflected in national statistical and policy category. This is illustrated by the Dutch government’s benevolent differentiation between allochtoon and autochtoon; terms coined to allow for a neutral monitoring of the effects of integration policies without taking recourse to terms like ‘migrant’ or ‘foreigner’ often used elsewhere. By inclusion of the immigrants’ children and a discursive disregard for differentiation, over time the meaning and scope of the word allochtoon has inflated to mean everyone who is not ‘us’. As will be amply demonstrated, e.g. by parliamentary minutes, using ‘objective’ figures populist rhetoric can thus voice concerns with a large and growing allochtoon population prone to crime and religious extremism; among Muslims in particular.
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