OverviewIn many countries in Western Europe, the demand for immigrant integration has inevitably raised questions about the 'societies' into which immigrants are asked to integrate. Imagined Societies critically intervenes in debates on immigrant integration and multiculturalism in Western Europe. Schinkel argues that the term 'multiculturalism' is not used primarily to describe a type of policy or political philosophy in countries such as the Netherlands, France, Germany or Belgium, but rather as a rhetorical device that promotes demands for 'integration'. He analyses how such demands are ways of imagining the very idea of a 'host society' as 'modern', 'secular' and 'enlightened'. Starting from debates in social theory on social imaginaries, and drawing on public debates on citizenship, secularism and sexuality, and on the social science of measuring immigrant integration, this book presents a highly original study of immigrant integration that challenges our understanding of the concept of society.
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