Hilary Pilkington
Search for other papers by Hilary Pilkington in
Current site
Google Scholar
‘Second-class citizens’
Reordering privilege and prejudice

This chapter considers how EDL activists construct notions of ‘self’ as devalued and discriminated white working class through the narrative of ‘second-class citizens’. Expressions of resentment and injustice, and its links to class and racialised identities, are traced through the literature on the backlash to multiculturalism in the UK. This is followed by a detailed exploration of accounts by respondents of their experience of injustice and the ‘preferential treatment’ afforded to ethnic minorities in terms of access to benefits, housing, and jobs. This injustice is perceived to be institutionalised through a ‘two-tier’ justice system, which, respondents claim, allows ‘them’ to get away with things and fails to protect or recognise injustices towards ‘us’. The chapter also shows how EDL activism is experienced as a mechanism for resisting this perceived second-class citizen status. This is accomplished through a discursive re-ordering of privilege and prejudice in which ‘we’ are seen as the discriminated and those in power are dismissed as liberal elite ‘do-gooders’ who have little understanding of the everyday worlds ‘we’ inhabit.

  • Collapse
  • Expand

All of MUP's digital content including Open Access books and journals is now available on manchesterhive.


Loud and proud

Passion and politics in the English Defence League


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 617 76 7
PDF Downloads 472 81 4