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Identity, difference and social cohesion in contemporary Britain

Weedon, Christine Mary 2011. Identity, difference and social cohesion in contemporary Britain. Journal of Intercultural Studies 32 (3) , pp. 209-227. 10.1080/07256868.2011.565733

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This paper looks at questions of Britishness, identity and difference that have arisen as the UK has changed over the last 65 years, drawing on a range of source materials from the social, political and cultural spheres. It considers how racism and white ethnocentrism have helped shape both public debate and British black and South Asian experience as depicted in popular culture, literature and film, emphasising the role of this cultural practice in changing Britain. It addresses the ongoing debate about Britishness, cultural diversity and social cohesion with particular reference to developments since 9/11. The paper begins with a brief account of the history of migration and settlement in the post-Second World War period and looks at social and cultural responses to the issues that were raised by increased diversity in the UK. The paper argues that similar themes and issues continue to inform the cultural politics of race and ethnicity in the twenty-first century. The final section of the paper looks at how the cultural political agenda has responded to questions of diversity and social cohesion since 2001.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Uncontrolled Keywords: Britishness, Difference, Identity, Islamophobia, Racism, Social Cohesion
Additional Information: Special Issue: 'Does Discrimination Shape Identity? Identity Politics and Minorities in the English-Speaking World and in France: Rhetoric and Reality'
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0725-6868
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:23

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