Symbolic boundaries and the negative classifications of the ‘Successful Other’ at the intersection of ethnicity, religion, gender, and refugeeness

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed


Our paper focuses on how members of the national ingroup respond when confronted with ‘successful others’ who challenge prevailing perceptions of immigrants and national belonging. We empirically investigate this through a case study on Alma Zadić, Austria’s Minister of Justice since January 2020. Her non-Austrian origin initiated a heated public debate on the legitimacy of an immigrant or refugee holding one of the country’s most important political positions. We analyse public discourse using interpretive analysis of online newspaper forum comments, employing the symbolic boundaries approach combined with the concept of negative classifications. The results reveal the cultural repertoires that members of the arrival society make use of when they negatively categorise an alleged newcomer of taking up a position that is considered exclusively reserved for the established. We contribute to the cultural sociology of social inequality and advocate for greater consideration of the intersectional entanglement of symbolic boundaries.

FachzeitschriftEuropean Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2024

ÖFOS 2012

  • 504001 Allgemeine Soziologie