Meghji Ali
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White spaces
Consuming traditional middle-class culture
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In this chapter, I look at spaces of traditional middle-class cultural consumption. I argue that my participants construe these spaces as both physically and symbolically White. Physically, these spaces are dominated by White audiences and are sustained by microaggressions towards those defined as racialised outsiders. Symbolically, these spaces tend to exclude Black cultural producers and Black knowledges, identities, and histories in the cultural forms themselves. The White symbolic space is reproduced through creating a Black recognition gap. I then analyse how one’s position in the triangle of identity influences how they interact with White spaces. Those towards the ethnoracial autonomous identity mode remove themselves from these White spaces because they do not want to undergo the emotional labour required to move within such spaces. Those towards strategic assimilation still consume within these spaces to attain equal levels of cultural capital to the White middle class. Those towards the class-minded identity mode argue that these spaces are White not because of racism, but because of Black cultural myopia.

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Black middle class Britannia

Identities, repertoires, cultural consumption


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