Multiple Discrimination, Intersectionality and Vulnerability

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 6:30 PM
Room: Booth 42
Oral Presentation
Pamela Irving JACKSON , Sociology, Rhode Island College, Providence, RI
Peter DOERSCHLER , Political Science, Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, PA
In its 2012 report, Amnesty International underscores the consequences of discrimination against Muslims in Europe.  “Multiple discrimination” is a special focus of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.  Discussion of the need for a “‘Horizontal Directive’” (EU-MIDIS, 2010 (5): 5) and the “Genderace” project of the 7th Framework Programme both highlight multiple discrimination and the “intersectionality” (Genderace, 2010:  272) of axes of discrimination.  The GendeRace report (2010: 32) uses the term intersectionality “to define a situation . . .  in which several grounds of discrimination interact concurrently.” This report follows the European Commission’s 2007 study, in which the problem of multiple discrimination and the significance of intersectionality on the impact of discrimination are investigated.  Using  the European Social Survey (2002, 2008, 2010) for fourteen European states along with scores on the  Banting/Kymlicka (2012) Multicultural Policy index and its eight dimensions (available for 1980, 2000, 2010), we examine over time both the reported discrimination faced by Muslims on the basis of their religion, race, nationality, ethnicity and gender and the impact of specific areas of state policy on the trajectory of discrimination.  We give particular attention to consideration of the discrimination-reducing impact of state policy in eight areas: (1) affirmation of multiculturalism by the constitution, legislature or parliament; (2) school curriculum; (3) media—sensitivity and representation; (4) dress-code exemptions; (5) dual citizenship allowed; (6) funding of cultural activities of ethnic group organizations; (7) bilingual education; (8) affirmative action (Banting and Kymlicka, 2012: 11).  On the basis of the results, we assess the policy changes warranted by the data to enable European Muslims to fully utilize their talents and abilities to the benefit of Europe and its member-states.