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Young Turks and Kurds Invisibility, disadvantage and identity Presentation to PSI June 28 th 2005 Harriet Bradley, Bristol University.

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Presentation on theme: "Young Turks and Kurds Invisibility, disadvantage and identity Presentation to PSI June 28 th 2005 Harriet Bradley, Bristol University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Young Turks and Kurds Invisibility, disadvantage and identity Presentation to PSI June 28 th 2005 Harriet Bradley, Bristol University

2 A set of invisible disadvantaged groups Study for JRF ’ s ethnicity research programme Survey of 247 young people in Haringey 16-23, 69% 18-20 99 Turks, 68 Kurds, 54 Cypriot, 29 mixed origin 30 follow-up interviews 15 F 15 M

3 Unpicking Visibility & Invisibility Recent research on ethnicity & racism has tended to focus on ‘ visible ’ groups: African- Caribbean, Pakistani, Indian, African, North African etc Ignoring of the less visible: eg Irish, Welsh, Eastern European What makes groups visible/invisible? Visibility a complex concept – several dimensions

4 Physical Visibility A major long-term social preoccupation in UK with skin colour Older form of racism: ‘ colour racism ’ Colonial discourse of ‘ black ’, brown ’ and ‘ yellow ’ as ‘ backward ’, ‘ childlike ’, ‘ threatening etc ’ (v Miles) History of scapegoating Heightened by: easy identification; spatial concentration Visible targets of racial violence, street attack etc

5 Cultural Visibility Modood: cultural racism replaces colour racism Based on religion, other distinct cultural practices eg clothing, food Islamic culture the prime example: mosques, separate schools, distinct clothing, hijab, shops, restaurants etc A new focus for race hatred: which in turn may lead such groups to be more culturally assertive

6 Social Visibility More subtle, but perhaps the most significant; Visibility or lack of visibility in social space/public arena Distinct living areas Strong political presence Militant and participative community groups Sports, music etc in popular arena Defined as a ‘ social problem ’ Criminalised, street gangs et All forms of INTERACTION WITH WIDER CULTURE

7 Turkish Invisibility? Less distinctive physical appearance Little distinctive clothing Islamic but not militant – a secularised Islam Lack political force and presence Lack collective social presence outside of London (of estimated 80,000 Mainland Turks, 60,000 are in London). Self-report in Census 200: 47,149 Turks, 13,556 Turkish Cypriots

8 Potential Visibility Concentration in Haringey: 35% of Haringey pop is minority ethnic. 10% of Haringey schoolchildren are Turkish Turkish gang warfare & street crime Turkish economy (kebab shops, coffee shops, clothing). Community groups

9 The research Carried out in 2001-3 250 responses out of 800 questionnaires circulated (78 F, 172 M) reflects greater social invisibility of Turkish women Focus groups, meetings with agencies Field researcher Pinar Enneli was Turkish: interviews carried out in Turkish and English.

10 Education Low achievement 5+ Cs at GCSE: T21%, K 13%, TC 14% 38% no qualificationss at all Language difficulties Truancy 50% boys, 15% girls Exclusions 18% (24% Kurds) Conflict ‘ Teachers like police, always came late … They only came when they hear very loud screams. ’

11 ‘ Nobody expects us to do well especially in the exams … because you ’ re in this bad school you should be bad as well.. It ’ s like you ’ re a loser in a loser school ’ (Kurdish female)

12 ‘ When I was in secondary school, the only thing in my mind was to finish school and start working. Then, a couple of months after the school, I couldn ’ t find a job. My mother told me either work or go to college. I chose college. I ’ m doing basic GNVQ in mechanical engineering ’ (Kurdish male)

13 Unemployment Experience of unemployment 36% M, 28% F Length of unemployment Over 20 months: 36% M 55% of Kurds had 3+ spells Training 35% M, 41% F, 53% TC NEET 69% of 16/17, 37% 18/20 Dual pattern Highly excluded YPS from disadvantaged families Relatively better off families support YPS being selective, getting into HE.

14 Employment Type of employment 86% unskilled, only 7% prof/man First jobs 69% small shops, 18% textile factories,17% superstores Most recent job M 65% small shops, 18% superstores F36% small shops, 24% offices, 40% superstores The ‘ ethnic enclave ’ Employer a relative: 36% M first jobs, 15% F ‘ Helping ’, ‘ filling in for ’, relatives, friends

15 Identity Ethnicity ‘ With a British passport you have a right to live in this country. That ’ s all. I mean I ’ m not English ’ Religion ‘ I only feel myself Turkish. I mean I ’ m Muslim but Muslim Turk ’ ‘ If I do not tell them I ’ m Muslim they don ’ t know ’ Hybrid identities 56% expressed mixed identity such as Turkish- Cypriot, Turkish and British, Turkish Muslim

16 Conclusions : disadvantage and invisibility Disadvantage and risky transitions Self-supporting community /also a`trap ’ Policy/research/resources targeted at visible minorities Lack of mobilisation (social invisibility), partly because of internal ethnic division Cultural visibility not yet developed because of less marked attachment to Islam Haringey as ‘ Little Turkey ’ : not visible to wider society. Academic research can help voices to be heard

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