Diverging paths
in Class, ethnicity and religion in the Bengali East End
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The final chapter begins by highlighting how this has been a history of segregation, and how this segregation has been encouraged both by Bengali political mobilisation and by mainstream politics. It then looks at why this matters, and at what can be done, developing a Marxist critique of multiculturalism and identity politics. It makes use of comparisons with earlier Marxist theory and practice, stressing the importance of maintaining a socialist materialist analysis while working sensitively with people of different cultures. It shows how the rare liberal critics of multiculturalism have exposed its inherent dangers, but not provided an alternative route that could lead to a fairer less prejudiced society; and it argues that this could be achieved by a new focus on economic structures and class-based politics.

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