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Truly, madly, deeply…nostalgically? Britain’s on-off love affair with refugees, past and present

Truly, madly, deeply…nostalgically? Britain’s on-off love affair with refugees, past and present
Truly, madly, deeply…nostalgically? Britain’s on-off love affair with refugees, past and present

Britain’s response to the recent refugee crisis is marked by its absence. Kushner’s article explores how constructions of the past have been instrumentalized by defenders of government restrictionism and those demanding that more should be let in. His particular focus is on child refugees and the comparisons drawn (and rejected) to the Kindertransport. Through discussion in parliament, the media, cultural productions and among ordinary people, he shows the importance of ‘history’ and how references to the Second World War and the Holocaust have tended to help justify rather than query the exclusion of today’s refugees, thereby providing a very different example to Germany. He also explores the role of sentimentalism in positive responses to refugees and how this encourages empathy but can also limit effective entry policies and treatment of the forcibly displaced.

Britain, Germany, History, Holocaust, Kindertransport, Mass-observation, Media, Nostalgia, Parliament, Refugees, Second world war, Sentimentalism, Syria
0031-322X
172-194
Kushner, Tony
958c42e3-4290-4cc4-9d7e-85c1cdff143b
Kushner, Tony
958c42e3-4290-4cc4-9d7e-85c1cdff143b

Kushner, Tony (2018) Truly, madly, deeply…nostalgically? Britain’s on-off love affair with refugees, past and present. Patterns of Prejudice, 52 (2-3), 172-194. (doi:10.1080/0031322X.2018.1433014).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Britain’s response to the recent refugee crisis is marked by its absence. Kushner’s article explores how constructions of the past have been instrumentalized by defenders of government restrictionism and those demanding that more should be let in. His particular focus is on child refugees and the comparisons drawn (and rejected) to the Kindertransport. Through discussion in parliament, the media, cultural productions and among ordinary people, he shows the importance of ‘history’ and how references to the Second World War and the Holocaust have tended to help justify rather than query the exclusion of today’s refugees, thereby providing a very different example to Germany. He also explores the role of sentimentalism in positive responses to refugees and how this encourages empathy but can also limit effective entry policies and treatment of the forcibly displaced.

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Accepted/In Press date: 1 December 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 26 April 2018
Published date: 27 May 2018
Keywords: Britain, Germany, History, Holocaust, Kindertransport, Mass-observation, Media, Nostalgia, Parliament, Refugees, Second world war, Sentimentalism, Syria

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 421817
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/421817
ISSN: 0031-322X
PURE UUID: d20cb409-dcb5-4378-bf6a-3b83a247131c

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 28 Jun 2018 16:30
Last modified: 29 Oct 2019 05:21

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