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Race, religion and British multiculturalism: The political responses of Black and Minority Ethnic voluntary organisations to multicultural cohesion

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Anoop Nayak


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This paper explores the contradictory politics of race, religion and multiculturalism in contemporary Britain. It is argued that a pan-European political consensus has emerged concerning the 'end of multiculturalism' where a liberal ethos is being supplanted by an authoritarian stance focused on securitization, risk and terror. Based on a qualitative investigation of thirty Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) and faith-based voluntary organisations in the Tyne and Wear conurbation of North East England, the paper divulges their grounded opinions on race, religion and multiculturalism. Groups disclose a high level of civic responsibility and commitment to community participation with an emphasis on integration rather than segregation. Discussions of race, religion and multiculturalism reveal many BME organisations are removed from the politics of decision-making and transfixed by the structures of whiteness that bind them, and to which they must respond. The paper concludes by considering the workings of whiteness in an attempt to displace the burden of cohesion that has come to settle upon BME and faith-based organisations in political debates on race, religion and multiculturalism in the present. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Nayak A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Political Geography

Year: 2012

Volume: 31

Issue: 7

Pages: 454-463

Print publication date: 01/09/2012

ISSN (print): 0962-6298

ISSN (electronic): 1873-5096

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/j.polgeo.2012.08.005


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