Meghji Ali
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Towards a triangle of Black middle-class identity
in Black middle class Britannia
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In this chapter, I argue there are three modes of Black middle-class identity, with individuals towards each identity mode adopting specific cultural repertoires. First is the identity mode labelled strategic assimilation. Here, individuals adopt repertoires of code-switching and cultural equity; they switch identities when around the White middle class, and strive to consume dominant cultural capital to achieve a cultural equity with White middle-class people. Second, there are those towards the ethnoracial autonomous identity mode. They reject the strategy of code switching through their repertoire of browning, and through their repertoire of Afro-centrism they prioritise consuming cultural forms which give positive representations of Black diasporic histories, knowledges, and identities. Lastly are those towards the class-minded identity mode. They adopt repertoires of post-racialism – arguing that we are ‘beyond racism’ – and de-racialisation, seeing themselves as ‘middle class’ rather than Black.

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Black middle class Britannia

Identities, repertoires, cultural consumption


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