This study analyzes the relationship between a discourse of integration in the European Union and the ways in which the ethnic boundaries of segregated social groups of immigrant children are conceptualized in one working-class and immigrant neighborhood in Madrid, Spain. I use qualitative data gathered during sixteen months of ethnographic fieldwork among Ecuadorian immigrant teenagers to explore the unintended consequences of European efforts to promote the integration of immigrants in member states. My argument is that the pervasive discourse of integration in the European Union is central to a racialized process of subject formation occurring in Madrid through which the children of immigrants come to be recognized as ethnic outsiders in Spanish society. By analyzing in ethnographic detail how discursive forces intertwine with material constraints to shape the subjectivity of immigrant children in Madrid, this study helps to explain how racialized colonial and postcolonial socioeconomic hierarchies are reproduced in current immigration scenarios.


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pp. 135-164
Launched on MUSE
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