Cultural Brokers in Post-Colonial Migration Regimes

de Jong, Sara (2016). Cultural Brokers in Post-Colonial Migration Regimes. In: Dhawan, Nikita; Fink, Elisabeth; Leinius, Johanna and Mageza-Barthel, Rirhandu eds. Negotiating Normativity: Postcolonial Appropriations, Transformations and Contestations. Springer, pp. 45–59.



This chapter argues that there are significant continuities between gendered and racialised cultural brokers, which emerged in the colonial era as mediators between settlers/colonisers and indigenous peoples, and contemporary subjects within post-colonial migration regimes. I present and analyse a range of illustrative examples from an on-going research project on how cultural brokers are mobilised in the governance of migration and integration in Austria. I argue that contemporary cultural brokers facilitate the sedimentation of normative integration orders and can be instrumentalised to demarcate boundaries between ‘Self’ and cultural ‘Other.’ The chapter subsequently explores the possibilities for contestation from the location of the cultural broker. I suggest that a counter-hegemonic reading reveals that cultural brokers can employ their ‘double vision’ to shift their anticipated roles and manipulate interpretations.

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