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Integration and Social Cohesion in the Republic of Ireland$
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Bryan Fanning

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780719084782

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719084782.001.0001

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Some immigrant lives

Some immigrant lives

(p.81) 5 Some immigrant lives
Integration and Social Cohesion in the Republic of Ireland

Bryan Fanning

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines the role of capabilities, social capital, and cultural capital as distinct layers of resources that might facilitate functional integration. It uses the term ‘functional integration’ to denote what migrant workers themselves might consider as viable lives in the host society as distinct from host-society integration goals. Many migrants might envisage a temporary sojourn in Ireland that allows them to build better lives for families at home, only to encounter damaging levels of exploitation, risk, and isolation. Many of the experiences considered in this chapter are those of migrants who have been trafficked into what the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) describes as bonded or indentured labour. The chapter discusses the role of supportive social ties as a bulwark against vulnerability in the labour market, focusing on the experiences of the Brazilian community in Gort, County Galway. It also looks at the attributes of some of the immigrants who have demonstrated considerable willingness to participate in Irish society. The case study draws on interviews with immigrant candidates who contested the 2009 local government elections.

Keywords:   Ireland, capabilities, social capital, cultural capital, functional integration, migrant workers, exploitation, indentured labour, immigrants, elections

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