Autochthony in Europe: The Dutch Turn

in The Perils of Belonging

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780226289649
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226289663 | DOI:
Autochthony in Europe: The Dutch Turn

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This chapter describes autochthony movements in Europe, where the language of belonging and autochthony spread especially in relation to popular concerns about immigrant labor. It concentrates on the Netherlands and what appeared to be an abrupt switch in this country after 2000—marked by two shocking political assassinations—from a multiculturalist approach to a forceful policy of cultural integration. These include the murder of populist politician Pim Fortuyn, and the even bloodier murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh. Fortuyn's impact in politics may have caused a landslide. The notion of allochtonen appeared to be a neutral term that could cover all the various groups of immigrants. Culture and history became central themes in Paul Scheffer's articles and in the Dutch debate on integration in general. Culture is a useful notion in debates on how to live with immigration only if it includes difference rather than excluding it.

Keywords: autochthony; Netherlands; belonging; immigrant labor; political assassinations; Pim Fortuyn; Theo van Gogh; allochtonen; culture; Paul Scheffer

Chapter.  16562 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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