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Minority and majority community integration in Northern Ireland: a matrix of tolerance

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Ruth McAreaveyORCiD


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Based on empirical data from research conducted in Northern Ireland, this chapter examines the way in which tolerance is displayed between majority and minority groups. The analysis considers the way in which migrants in particular navigate through public and private spaces to become integrated with the mainstream society. As such it deepens our understanding of social relations between minority and majority groups and seeks to contribute to debates on social integration and tolerance. Effectively the ways in which migrants integrate and are integrated into a society reveal different forms of tolerance that can be understood as a matrix involving different dimensions of both tolerance and intolerance (see below). Indeed, acceptance is not a linear pathway and for instance attaining recognition does not necessarily follow from mere tolerance and, as we will see, aspects (or facets?) of intolerance can also become a means to a more positive end. Ultimately society can reach a position where different groups recognize and respect each other. Such a move is reliant on proactive measures; indeed in certain situations this may involve intolerance, from government, civil society and individuals. The research shows how ‘mere tolerance’, although seemingly innocuous, has limited social value. Meanwhile some forms of intolerance can, in certain circumstances, lead to recognition and inclusion for migrant communities.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McAreavey R

Editor(s): Honohan I; and Rougier N

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Tolerance and Diversity in Ireland, North and South

Year: 2015

Pages: 114-134

Print publication date: 30/11/2015

Acceptance date: 29/04/2014

Publisher: Manchester University Press

Place Published: Manchester


Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9780719097201