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Open Access Congolese Migration to Belgium and Postcolonial Perspectives

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Congolese Migration to Belgium and Postcolonial Perspectives

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Abstract Long absent from the scholarly literature, Congolese migration to Belgium now occupies a greater place in academic research. Nevertheless the various disciplinary approaches undertaken and the many topics of interest explored have not exhausted the complexity of this diaspora, too often the object of prejudice in popular opinion and public policies. The position of “the Congolese issue” in the academic world is thus rarely problematized due to confusion over how to categorize the Congo and the Congolese – either as ‘Africa,’ ‘Central Africa,’ ‘Sub-Sahara,’ etc. This reflects a ‘geography of the Other’ that significantly confounds current social processes at work in Belgium and the particularity of this (post)migratory situation. Grounded in empirical research, this issue in moving beyond merely highlighting a relatively marginalized group in Belgian Migration Studies, is focusing on the postcolonial stakes of the Congolese presence in Belgium. The authors take different viewpoints to explore the place of the Congolese in the former metropole and the forms of marginalization they face. The everyday life, the state regulations and the dynamics of identity are then various lens to bring to light the racial logics at work in the Belgian multiculturalism.

Affiliations: 1: Center for Ethnic and Migration Studies (CEDEM) University of Liège Belgium sarah.demart@ulg.ac.be

Abstract Long absent from the scholarly literature, Congolese migration to Belgium now occupies a greater place in academic research. Nevertheless the various disciplinary approaches undertaken and the many topics of interest explored have not exhausted the complexity of this diaspora, too often the object of prejudice in popular opinion and public policies. The position of “the Congolese issue” in the academic world is thus rarely problematized due to confusion over how to categorize the Congo and the Congolese – either as ‘Africa,’ ‘Central Africa,’ ‘Sub-Sahara,’ etc. This reflects a ‘geography of the Other’ that significantly confounds current social processes at work in Belgium and the particularity of this (post)migratory situation. Grounded in empirical research, this issue in moving beyond merely highlighting a relatively marginalized group in Belgian Migration Studies, is focusing on the postcolonial stakes of the Congolese presence in Belgium. The authors take different viewpoints to explore the place of the Congolese in the former metropole and the forms of marginalization they face. The everyday life, the state regulations and the dynamics of identity are then various lens to bring to light the racial logics at work in the Belgian multiculturalism.

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/content/journals/10.1163/18725457-12341239
2013-01-01
2016-12-04

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