Paul Thomas
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All white?
Englishness, ‘race’ and ethnic identities
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This chapter provides a brief context of non-white ethnic minority communities in relation to the debates about national identity and belonging. It discusses the key political developments under New Labour that have raised questions about the national affiliation of such minority communities. The chapter focuses on the national identity of Muslim communities, using empirical evidence to suggest more general realities about the possibility of shared and inclusive national identity/ies. It also focuses on the 7/7 London bombings of 2005 and subsequent terror plots that have suggested a profound antipathy to national identity amongst some young Muslims. The chapter draws on the understandings of Britishness and Englishness held by young Muslims in the context of wider debates over cohesion, segregation and racial tension. It suggests that, potentially, conversations on Englishness can truly be focused on belonging to place and space, rather than 'race'.

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These Englands

A conversation on national identity


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