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3: Race and the New Politics

Seminar Questions:

  • Where does '1979' sit in a history of race in modern Britain?
  • Had Britain entered 'New Times' by the 1980s and if so was this the consequence of identity politics, culture, and technology more than party politics?
  • Did the new politics of individualism come as much from the left as from the right?
  • What light on these three questions is cast by the film My Beautiful Laundrette?

Primary Sources

Miles, 'The Clash: Eighteen Flight Rock...', New Musical Express, 11 December 1976

Chris Salewicz, 'Rock Against Racism Carnival: Victoria Park, Hackney, London', New Musical Express, 6 May 1978

Two articles from the (internal) International Discussion Bulletin of the Socialist Workers' Party, debating the nature of punk and its relationship to politics.

Article from 'The Record', the newspaper of the Transport and General Workers' Union. The article was written in response to an interview with the musician Eric Clapton in 'Melody Maker', and replaced the regular music review column in the trade union newspaper.

Key Reading:

Stuart Hall, ‘Brave New World’, Marxism Today, October 1988, 24-9.

Emily Robinson, Camilla Schofield, Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite and Natalie Thomlinson, 'Telling Stories about Post-War Britain: Popular Individualism and the 'Crisis' of the 1970s', 20th Century British History, 28 (2017), 268-304.

Matthew Hilton, Chris Moores and Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite, 'New Times Revisited: Britain in the 1980s', Contemporary British History, 2, 31 (2017), 145-65 (see also the articles in this special issue for further reading).

David Feldman, 'Why the English like Turbans: A History of Multiculturalism in one Country', in David Feldman and Jon Lawrence (eds), Structures and Transformations in Modern British History (2011), 281-302.

Randall Hansen, ‘Migration and Nationality in Post-War Britain’, pp.3-34 in Randall Hansen, Citizenship and Immigration in Post-War Britain (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).

Further Reading on Race:

Elizabeth Buettner, ‘“Going for an Indian”: South Asian Restaurants and the Limits of Multiculturalism in Britain’, Journal of Modern History , 80 (2008), pp. 865-901.

Matthew Francis, 'Mrs Thatcher's Peacock Blue Sari: Ethnic Minorities, Electoral Politics and the Conservative Party, c. 1974-1986', Contemporary British History, 2, 31 (2017), 274-93.

Stuart Hall, ‘From Scarman to Stephen Lawrence’, History Workshop Journal, 48 (1999), pp. 187-197.

Randall Hansen, Citizenship and Immigration in Post-War Britain (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).

Kathleen Paul, Whitewashing Britain: Race and Citizenship in the Postwar Era (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1997).

Kathleen Paul, ‘"British Subjects" and "British Stock": Labour's Postwar Imperialism’, Journal of British Studies, 34 (1995), pp. 233-276.

Kathleen Paul, "The Politics of Citizenship in Post-War Britain," Contemporary Record 6 (Winter 1992): 452-73

Camilla Schofield, Enoch Powell and the Making of Postcolonial Britain (2013)

Chris Waters, ‘"Dark Strangers" in Our Midst: Discourses of Race and Nation in Britain, 1947-1963’, Journal of British Studies , Vol. 36, No. 2, (Apr., 1997), pp. 207-238

Further Reading on the New Politics and New Times

Amy Edwards, '"Financial Consumerism": Citizenship, Consumerism and Capital Ownership in the 1980s', Contemporary British History, 2, 31 (2017), 210-219.

Matthew Francis, '"A Crusade to Enfranchise the Many": Thatcherism and the "Property-Owning Democracy', 20th Century British History, 23 (2012), 275-97.

Andrew Jones, 'Band Aid Revisited: Humanitarianism, Consumption and Philanthropy in the 1980s', Contemporary British History, 2, 31 (2017), 189-209.

Chris Moores, 'Thatcher's Troops: Neighbourhood Watch Schemes and the Search for Ordinary Thatcherism in 1980s Britain', Contemporary British History, 2, 31 (2017), 230-55.

Daisy Payling, 'City Limits: Sexual Politics and the New Urban Left in 1980s Sheffield', Contemporary British History, 2, 31 (2017) 256-73.

Lucy Robinson, ‘Putting the Charity Back into Charity Singles: Charity Singles in Britain, 1984-1995’, Contemporary British History, 26 (2012), 405-25

Lucy Robinson, Gay Men and the Left: How the Political got Personal (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007).

Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite, 'Discourses of "Class" in "New Times"', Contemporary British History, 2, 31 (2017), 294-317.

Alex Mold, ‘Making the Patient-Consumer in Margaret Thatcher’s Britain’, Historical Journal, 54 (2011), 509-28

Matthew Worley, ‘Shot by Both Sides: Punk, Politics and the End of “Consensus”’, Contemporary British History, 26 (2012), 333-54