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Race and Multiculturalism in Postcolonial Britain

Questions to prepare for seminar:

  1. What is the different between ‘multiculturalism’ and ‘anti-racism’?
  2. Is Britain really a post-colonial nation?
  3. How has race and racism been articulated through gender?
  4. To what extent did multiculturalism become an accepted tenet of mainstream politics in the late 20th century and to what extent is this still the case?

Core Reading:

  • Paul Gilroy, There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack (London: Hutchison, 1987) [Introduction].
  • Tariq Modood, 'Is Multiculturalism Appropriate for the Twenty-First Century?' in Multiculturalism: A Civic Idea (Cambridge, 2007), pp. 1-20.
  • Hannah Jones, '"The best borough in the country for cohesion!": managing place and multiculture in local government', Ethnic and Racial Studies, 37:4 (2014), 605-20.

Further Reading:

  • Centre for Contemporary Culture Studies, The Empire Strikes Back: Race and Racism in 70s Britain (London: Hutchison, 1982)
  • Elizabeth Buettner, ‘Going for an Indian: South Asian Restaurants and the Limits of Multiculturalism in Britain’, Journal of Modern History 80:4 (2008), 865-901
  • David Feldman, ‘Why the English Like Turbans: A History of Multiculturalism in One Country’, in D. Feldman & J. Lawrence, Structures and Transformations in British History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011)
  • Panikos Panyani, ‘Immigration, Multiculturalism and Racism’, in J.M. Strange, F. Carnevali (eds.), Twentieth Century Britain: Economic, Cultural and Social Change (Harlow: Pearson/ Longman, 2007)
  • Goodyer, ‘Rock Against Racism: Multiculturalism and Political Mobilisation, 1976-1981’, Immigrants and Minorities 22:1 (2003), 44-62
  • David Goodhart, ‘Discomfort of Strangers’, Guardian 24 Feb 2004 [For a critique of multiculturalism from the right(ish).]
  • Kenan Malik, Multiculturalism and its Discontents (2014) [For a critique of multi-culturalism from (one current of) the Left. Excepts of the books are available here:].
  • Jamie Oliver, Jamie’s Great Britain (2011) [For some consumer multi-culturalism].
  • Hannah Jones, Negotiating cohesion, inequality and change: Uncomfortable positions in local government (Policy Press, 2013)
  • And for some contemporary research by sociologists at the University of Warwick: Go Home: Mapping the unfoldingcontroversy of Home Office immigration Campaigns’ (see link to pdf on next page)
  • There has been a range of recent works exploring ideas of 'belonging' in contemporary Britain, such as: Afua Hirsch, Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging (London, 2018); Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Who Do We Think We Are? Imagining the New Britain (London, 2001); Reni Eddo-Lodge, Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race (London, 2017); Nikesh Shukla (ed.), The Good Immigrant (London, 2016); Lisa Palmer and Kehinde Andrews (eds), Blackness in Britain (London, 2016); Akala, Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire (London, 2018).