Why are white people expats when the rest of us are immigrants?

Why are white people expats when the rest of us are immigrants?

A recent Guardian article poses this question, how do you feel about it, are you an expat or an immigrant?

I dont understand that either..Lables are not helping humanity..

For me an expat is someone that goes to a country to work for a certain period of time,and an immigrant is a permanent move to another country.

Mawuna Remarque Koutonin has axes to grind I suspect. No doubt being on the receiving end of racist slights has been her life experience.

Technically I am an expat here in France because I am not in my own country, I am also an immigrant, in that I emigrated from my country to be here. In CPAM I was referred to correctly as an immigrant by an official there. I pay taxes here, I am in the system here, and I am an immigrant, because this is not my country of origin.

I happen to be white.

I really do not think in France today it matters if I am black or white, I will be referred to as an expat, or an immigrant.

The thing that really distresses me, is calling refugees from other countries migrants, when they are not. They would in many cases prefer to be at home, if were not for that fact that their lives are at risk there.

To me an expat is anyone living outside his native country. Immigrants are people seeking permanent resident and citizenship. Expats may be immigrants or 10 year Resident Visa holders not seeking citizenship as my Brazilian wife and I as an American. We love being expats in France.

Same here, I don’t feel like an ex-pat of any country.
I shall always remain Dutch, but I live here, my life is here in France.
The saying “wherever I lay my head, that’s my home” is my mantra!

It has to be all about WHERE you are. Or at least this is how it should be... simply in lexicographical terms. If you are out of the country you were born in those people back HOME regard you as an ex-pat. If you are arriving somewhere else or somewhere new you are a migrant (that sounds like 'on the move) to those newly around you... And you're an immigrant if you have set up home away from your place of birth.

It is up to those who you have left behind or those you are joining as neighbours and their media which/who add the embellishment or tarnish because the words themselves do seem to be developing a caste.

Regressed for sure. We are a few years gone but changing attitudes penetrated even the heart of supposedly liberal, wishy-washy domains like universities. My OH saw that there was an offer of 35% of a year's salary for people to leave their posts as part of a cutback. She put in for it, had to argue to be accepted because as a senior academic with a good research track record they wanted her to stay. The fact was they were making people like her into machines, units of work and productivity that had to be self-administered which took a lot of paperwork time, do extra teaching beyond contract because of the cutbacks and reduce research without losing rating so that funding would not be lost. So she quit. It has got worse according to people we are still in touch with. Nobody is treated as a human being, simply a unit of outputs that are measured rather than the people's qualities. How can anybody bear that? OK, having an income keeps people in and sometimes salaries are good enough to buy loyalty and silence.


whilst agreeing with you on colour and class, trying to think it doesn't exist is being unrealistic. I personally left the UK because of the Class attitude (at the time) where a lower-class white WAS discriminated against by the class system. Note I was officialy designated as C-class in official research terms so it wasn't imaginary.

So for me at least is was a real issue and the major reason for my expatriate life.

It may have been my own sensitivity, but on the only time I went back to the UK to try and work, I found that although and maybe the overt class system had, diminished - eg regional accents on the BBC etc., prejudice was alive and kicking against 'returning expats' who were regarded with extraordinary arrogance as 'being out of touch' by those whose world was confined to the Central Line tube!

Fortunately my 'being out of touch' led to contracts elsewhere, and where as long as you didn't 'bung on side' as they called it in Australia, I managed very well. I have met many Brits in my travels who still carried around their superior 'God is an Englishman' attitude - and to be perfectly honest I still see this in much of the rants against Europe (and expats) emanating from Britain today. I found it as offensive in days gone by as I do today.

Interesting you refer to the 'Human Resources Management'. Has anybody ever considered how appalling a name that is? Once upon a time we had Staff, then Personnel, but now the modern day worker is a 'human resource'. How far have we progressed or regressed?

I have been mulling this over and note that I have always referred to myself as an expat when living in countries on a contract basis, but when I went to Australia to ostensibly live for the rest of my life I thought of myself as a 'Migrant' and was considered one by the rest of Australia who with the exception of the aboriginals were all the same. Oddly I can't recall the term 'immigrant' being used until the 'illegals' started to arrive.

Possibly it was a convenient way of identifying them from the legal Migrants?

My only contact with 'refugees' was via some Russian friends, whose grand-parents had been White Russians, and ditto (but with associated reasons) with some Ukrainians. Very often we would have dinners or barbecues with up to 10 or more original Nationalities attending. Interesting times as none were trying to change Australia, but to fit in without losing their own cultural heritage, and it worked.

Well we all know what changed that don't we?

Do you need some socks?

Like most things language evolves, and expat now generally means, in most peoples eyes, a person from abroad who is living (doesn't matter whether working, retired, or living off private means) in a country other than their place of birth. In the history of the Empire many British people went to live and work abroad. If they came from wealthy families often the heir stayed in the UK whilst younger members of the family joined the Army, or Church and many went into business, be it trading, or producing, or growing. Virtually the whole of the UK benefited from that process. Some people in the UK certainly felt that "colonials" as they were then called were of inferior status, and retiring colonials often did not want to return to the UK on retirement as they could not afford to live on the same income and in the same style in the UK. In many ways it was something of a golden age. I have many friends who were born in and lived in far flung outposts of the Empire. In fact my own parents lived in Bermuda a place with, at the time, remarkably strict social codes. Everything you wore or did as an expat was examined in detail and commented on if just slightly different to the accepted norm. In Bermuda the dress code was immaculately pressed white shirts, ideally with epaulettes to give that military look, ironed dark blue shorts (some with turn ups), and long blue socks up to the knees with highly polished black brogue shoes. Cocktail parties were every night, same people, just different houses. Topics were golf, fishing, boats, money. The only times that "natives" were discussed was when your house was burgled, and that was pretty frequently. I am talking about 50 years ago, maybe a little less, but I believe it hasn't changed that much. I don't really regard Brits in France as expats in the same category. Most of us were brought up after the colonial era, or at the very end of it. We moved to Europe and by the time we did so we were in the Union for heaven's sake, that wasn't really abroad, where the flying fishes play. I had a great uncle, never met him, Welsh who was a missionary in China, problem was he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and got beheaded by some angry peasants in the Boxer revolution. He was an expat. Going to Brico Depot (British owned) and getting your Marmite from the local supermarket just doesn't really cut the mustard.

I’m pleased to see At least the below from Wikipedia keeps class out it!

just like I’m saddened to to see a colour distinction made in James Discussion title!

Neither Class or Colour are important and I don’t understand why people mention ‘their class’ whatever form they think it takes!

Expatriate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Expatriate

An expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing, as an immigrant, in a country other than that of their citizenship. The word comes from the Latin terms ex (“out of”) and patria (“country, fatherland”).

‎Background - ‎Trends in expatriation - ‎Human resource management of …

Expats normally work in a foreign country and are paid in the currency of their country of residence, as opposed to third nationals and locals.

I think it's really interesting, Steve, that you hadn't heard the term before. Yup, I'm middle class, southern English, although I don't generally call myself an expat. And when I originally arrived here with my parents in 1973, one thing they were desperate to do was avoid the expat community. Very shortly after we arrived, we had a visit from the local Vicar to invite us to worship (we didn't) and a Frightfully Nice couple turned up and invited us to tea. I kid you not, we had very thin cucumber sandwiches sitting on the perfect lawn next to the tennis court and they complained you couldn't get the staff any more. We didn't go back.

Expat is a term that originated in late colonial days, used by the white upper/middle class British to refer to those who had emigrated - it was slightly derogatory. These were monied people, not working people, but often they moved abroad because they could no longer afford to live to the same standards in Britain, after the first world war etc. And after all, they'd left Britain, dammit! Not a good show, don't you know. To be said with best British Major accent.

Those (upper/middle class monied) people who had emigrated took to referring to themselves as ex-pats, compared to other Brits., I think because culturally they continued to retain a strong identity with Britain. Also, I'm sure, they used it to differentiate themselves from the working class at the time. If you were a manual or domestic worker who left Britain seeking work, you were an emigrant, not an expat.

But we're all immigrants to France.

I think the ex pat thing is a middle class term, I come from a working class background in Liverpool and the only pepole who call themselves expats are my middle class friends I never evn heard the term before…

I don't have any problem with being an immigrant. I am one!

Doesn't bother me what I'm called (as long as it's not English...only joking!) I work on the basis that they'll need my skills and knowledge sometime...and yup, I think Froomie will Le Tour again....and stay away from Hennebot if your an English female driver....Mr n' Mrs Barguill are not too happy.....x

Depends how you see yourself. For me an expat is someone who is living abroad - posted on business perhaps or retired to the sun - BUT considers that home is the country s/he came from and can always go back to. An immigrant is someone who is trying to make a new home in a new country.

I was born and brought up in the North of England. When I was young I worked in India for 2 years and it was clear that I would return "home" to UK at the end of my posting. So I was a British expat in India. Indian friends suggested that I stay, settle down, marry etc. - if I had done so I would have become an immigrant.

In 1986 I moved to France with my family and have been here ever since. I am an immigrant. It doesn't really have anything to do with citizenship. Some immigrants are citizens of their new country, others not.My personal case is complicated by having had dual British/French nationality before I came here, but that didn't make me a French expat in UK!

When French people comment on my accent and ask me where I'm "from", I reply that I'm French, I'm from Perpignan. After all, I've lived here longer than anywhere else.

It certainly has nothing to do with colour - but of course words mean what you want them to mean. Some people are proud to be called expats - others consider it an insult!

Classic comedy Brian..