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5. 'We'll Keep a Welcome in the Hillsides'? Proximity, Distance and Hospitality Towards Migrants in Wales

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Recent survey-based research has suggested that people in Wales generally hold negative attitudes towards migrants. However, other accounts of migrants' everyday lives emphasize the connections and welcome they receive in particular localities. Drawing on hospitality theory as advanced by Derrida, we examine the place of migrants in Wales and Welsh society through the lens of distance and proximity. We argue that, from a top-down perspective, Welshness continues to be constructed in ethno-linguistic terms, which appears as 'out there' and largely inaccessible to migrants who do not 'fit' traditional understandings of 'Welsh national identity'. This inaccessibility, we argue, is demonstrated through a lack of responsibility toward migrants, and is further evidenced by the social constructions of Welshness. We argue that this is countered by migrants' sense of belonging through their proximate and particular localities which are the focus of participation and active citizenship schemes. We conclude that these two strands could be integrated further in policy and practice. This would promote an inclusive rather than exclusive culture of 'others' through the notion of everyday hospitality.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2014

More about this publication?
  • Contemporary Wales is at the forefront of research into economic, political and social sciences relating to Wales. It contains both academic and practitioner-based articles, annual economic and legal reviews, and book reviews. Its interdisciplinary content drawing on current research on Wales makes the journal essential reading for students and researchers across a range of subject areas, including political and social policy, history, law, media and languages. Contemporary Wales has published articles in English and in Welsh.

    Mae Contemporary Wales wedi’i gyhoeddi’n gan Wasg Prifysgol Cymru fel llwyfan ar gyfer ymchwil blaengar ar Gymru o safbwynt y gwyddorau economaidd, gwleidyddol a chymdeithasol. Mae'n cynnwys cyfuniad o erthyglau gan academyddion ac ymarferwyr, adolygiadau economaidd a chyfreithiol blynyddol, ac adolygiadau o gyhoeddiadau yn y maes. Mae natur rhyngddisgyblaethol y cynnwys sy'n seliedig ar yr ymchwil diweddaraf yn golygu bod y cyfnodolyn yn hanfodol i wleidyddion, gwneuthurwyr polisi, y cyfryngau, gwasanaethau cyhoeddus, llywodraeth leol yn ogystal â fyfyrwyr ac ymchwilwyr mewn ystod eang o feysydd gan gynnwys polisi gwleidyddol a chymdeithasol, hanes, y gyfraith, y cyfryngau a ieithoedd. Mae Contemporary Wales wedi cyhoeddi erthyglau yn y Gymraeg a’r Saesneg.

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