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White Working-Class VoicesMulticulturalism, community-building and change$
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Harris Beider

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447313953

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447313953.001.0001

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date: 19 August 2017

A reactionary voice: nuanced views on multiculturalism

A reactionary voice: nuanced views on multiculturalism

Chapter:
(p.117) Five A reactionary voice: nuanced views on multiculturalism
Source:
White Working-Class Voices
Author(s):

Harris Beider

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447313953.003.0005

Based on the two substantive research projects conduced in in four different locations across England this is the first of two chapters that provide a grassroots perspective on multiculturalism and change that appears to be at odds with the commonly held view that white working class communities are collectively supporters of extreme right wing politics and opposed to multiculturalism. The chapter shows that the far larger theme of disconnection at both national and local levels. Politics and politicians had failed to provide public goods and services in the wake of troubling economic times. Jobs had been lost, housing was difficult to access and unaffordable, and public sector cuts had been made to local services. Immigration was not a consistent factor in these grassroots conversations. On occasions it was raised as an issue that compounded challenges experienced by white working class communities. People were proud to belong to multicultural communities and spoke about their own family histories of ethnic diversity as well as the lived experienced of working and living alongside different types of groups.

Keywords:   grassroots experiences, multiculturalism, immigration, community, political disconnection

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