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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% 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 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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