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SSP Research Seminar Series (Recording) - Dr Simone Varriale


Coloniality and Meritocracy in Unequal EU Migrations: Intersecting Inequalities in Post-2008 Italian Migration

On the 18th SSP hosted a brilliant seminar delivered by Dr Simone Varriale. Please find the abstract and bio below. The above link provides access to the recording.

Abstract: This presentation will discuss some key ideas and findings from the author's recent book Coloniality and Meritocracy in Unequal EU Migrations (BUP, 2023). The book rethinks meritocracy as a form of coloniality, namely, a social imaginary that reproduces narratives of ethnic and racial difference between European centres and peripheries, and between Europe and its others. Drawing on interviews with working and middle class, white and Black Italians who moved to Britain after the 2008 economic crisis, the book explores the narratives of Northern meritocracy and Southern backwardness that inform migrants' motivations for moving abroad, and how these narratives are experienced within classed, racialised and gendered migrations. Connecting decolonial theory with the sociology of Pierre Bourdieu, this book provides innovative insights into the relationships between meritocracy, coloniality and European whiteness, and into the social stratification of EU migrations.

Speaker Biography: Simone Varriale is Lecturer in Sociology at Loughborough University, his work on intersections of class, migration and race has been published in journals like SociologyCurrent SociologyThe Sociological Review and Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. He is currently doing new fieldwork on the experiences of Brexit, Covid and the cost-of-living crisis among Black and minority ethnic Italian migrants living in the UK.