M. van den Berg
- "Women from the catacombs of the city": gender notions in Dutch culturist discourse
- Innovation - The European Journal of Social Science Research
- Volume | Issue number
- 22 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
The current discourse on minorities in the Netherlands has two striking features: (1) it has been narrowed down to Muslim immigrants with Moroccan or Turkish backgrounds; (2) it focuses largely on gender-related issues. In this article, we suggest that there has been a historical switch in the focus of discourse on immigrants from structural factors such as employment and crime rates to cultural factors related mainly to the Islamic background of the immigrants concerned. We argue that currently the focus on gender-issues and integration in practice has the dual effects of excluding the minorities in question and of discursively counteracting the emancipation of Muslim women. Both points become apparent when reviewing the practical effects of the institutionalization of the gendered discourse on integration in policy efforts currently being undertaken. These effects are a negation of the autonomy of Muslim women and a form of 'new racism' that bears all the characteristics of Orientalism.
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