DOI: 10.1111/soc4.13190 ISSN: 1751-9020

Is it Antislavic racism, or how to speak about liminality, stigma, and racism in Europe

Magdalena Nowicka
  • General Social Sciences


This article discusses the present‐day positionality of Polish immigrants in Germany and the discursive possibilities for articulating their experiences of discrimination as racism. As interviews with these immigrants do not capture explicit accounts of racism, and there is practically no research on racism directed at Eastern Europeans in Germany, this article scrutinizes the epistemological context in which the voicing of discrimination is embedded. They include the imagined liminality of Poland in Europe, the binary and coloured understandings of racism in Poland and Germany, and the socialisation of Poles to lean towards silence on racism. Based on empirical data, the article discusses three intersecting forms of experiences of racism: disappearance through effort, devaluation of experience, and cultural precarity. Finally, the article argues that metaphors of liminality, stigma, stickiness and cultural precarity offer a nuanced understanding of Eastern European positionalities in Western Europe.

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