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The new African immigration represents a major change in the complexion and cultural foundations of European civil society. The cultural, religious and educational backgrounds of these immigrants often distinguish them from other groups of immigrants. For example, Africans are sometimes among the most highly educated of all new immigrants while also including a large proportion of desperately poor persons escaping situations of dramatic hardship. At the same time, many African groups bring with them cultural practices such as female genital cutting, arranged marriage, and polygyny that put them at odds with local laws as well as cultural expectations. The numbers of these immigrants are significant. In 2005, the International Organization on Migration estimated 4.6 million African documented immigrants in the EU (compared with 890,000 in the US), in addition to some 7-8 million African immigrants living undocumented in the EU. This talk will draw on scholarly literature to address current developments both in immigrants’ experiences, and on national and supra-national policies concerning immigrants in Europe.
Alma Gottlieb, professor of anthropology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is also the coeditor of A World of Babies: Imagined Childcare Guides for Seven Societies.
Event is free and open to the public.