Disque Hall, Room 109, 32 South 32nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (Location may change)
Cultural and religious alterity – associated with postcolonial and labor migrants and their descendants – has become a critical matter of contention in the Netherlands. Paradoxically, however, Dutch society lacks an explicit race discourse. Although culturalist and nativist discourses abound, racism in a country like the Netherlands is still widely perceived as non-existent, and anti-racist critique – deemed to miss the point – is marginalized in public discourse. While the registration of citizens on the basis of ethnicity continues to be seen as highly dubitable, a logic that divides society along ethnic and racial lines has been normalized in administrative practice, public policy, statistical research, media representations and everyday vocabularies. This assemblage of ethnicizied/racialized discourses, policy habits and everyday idioms simplifies the social space by symbolically dividing society between white Dutch ‘autochthones’ and ‘non-Western allochtones’ – a binary that plays a key role in current debates on post-migrant integration, national identity, social cohesion and moral order. Within these dynamics scholars discern an increasingly influential framing of the Dutch nation in terms of ‘home’ – a framing that goes hand in glove with a strong focus on Dutch culture and nostalgia for an imagined homogeneous past.