White enough, not white enough: Racism and racialization among Poles in the UK

Article


Narkowicz, K. 2023. White enough, not white enough: Racism and racialization among Poles in the UK. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2022.2154913
TypeArticle
TitleWhite enough, not white enough: Racism and racialization among Poles in the UK
AuthorsNarkowicz, K.
Abstract

This paper discusses race, racialization and whiteness in relation to Eastern European migrants living in Western Europe. Focusing on Poles in the UK, it examines both Polish migrants’ experiences of racism as well as their own investment into racial exclusions of other racialized groups. The paper interrogates how migrants navigate their peripheral whiteness in broader racial hierarchies of Eastern European in-betweenness that are both historically rooted and constantly negotiated.
Benefitting from relatively easy access to the UK, Polish migrants occupy at once a racially privileged and racially marginal position that echoes historical tensions around the place of Eastern Europe in wider racial hierarchies of Europeanness. While being white enough to engage in racial exclusions Eastern Europeans are at the same time not white enough to escape racialization.
Drawing on semi-structured interviews with Poles in the UK conducted between 2019-2020 the paper offers insight into complex racializing practices of Polish migrants when they are both racialized and able to benefit from their position as ‘paler migrants’ to distance themselves from other migrants as well as ‘darker citizens’. It contributes to scholarship on racialization of East-West movers within Europe, in-betweenness and whiteness.

KeywordsMigration; Poland; race; whiteness; decoloniality
Sustainable Development Goals10 Reduced inequalities
Middlesex University ThemeHealth & Wellbeing
Research GroupCentre for Criminological and Social Research (CSRC)
LanguageEnglish
PublisherRoutledge
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
ISSN1369-183X
Publication dates
Online11 Jan 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited27 Feb 2023
Accepted30 Nov 2022
Publisher's version
License
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2022.2154913
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