"We'll keep a welcome"? Proximity, distance, and hospitality towards migrants in Wales

Lucy Jackson, Rhys Dafydd Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent survey-based research has suggested that people in Wales generally hold negative attitudes towards migrants. However, other accounts of migrants' everyday lives emphasize the connections and welcome they receive in particular localities. Drawing on hospitality theory as advanced by Derrida, we examine the place of migrants in Wales and Welsh society through the lens of distance and proximity. We argue that, from a top-down perspective, Welshness continues to be constructed in ethno-linguistic terms, which appears as 'out there' and largely inaccessible to migrants who do not 'fit' traditional understandings of 'Welsh national identity'. This inaccessibility, we argue, is demonstrated through a lack of responsibility toward migrants, and is further evidenced by the social constructions of Welshness. We argue that this is countered by migrants' sense of belonging through their proximate and particular localities which are the focus of participation and active citizenship schemes. We conclude that these two strands could be integrated further in policy and practice. This would promote an inclusive rather than exclusive culture of 'others' through the notion of everyday hospitality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-104
Number of pages23
JournalContemporary Wales
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


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