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Identities, repertoires, cultural consumption

This book analyses how racism and anti-racism influence Black British middle-class cultural consumption. In doing so, this book challenges the dominant understanding of British middle-class identity and culture as being ‘beyond race’.

Paying attention to the relationship between cultural capital and cultural repertoires, this book puts forward the idea that there are three black middle-class identity modes: strategic assimilation, class-minded, and ethnoracial autonomous. People towards each of these identity modes use specific cultural repertoires to organise their cultural consumption. Those towards strategic assimilation draw on repertoires of code-switching and cultural equity, consuming traditional middle-class culture to maintain an equality with the White middle class in levels of cultural capital. Ethnoracial autonomous individuals draw on repertoires of browning and Afro-centrism, removing themselves from traditional middle-class cultural pursuits they decode as ‘Eurocentric’, while showing a preference for cultural forms that uplift Black diasporic histories and cultures. Lastly, those towards the class-minded identity mode draw on repertoires of post-racialism and de-racialisation. Such individuals polarise between ‘Black’ and middle-class cultural forms, display an unequivocal preference for the latter, and lambast other Black people who avoid middle-class culture as being culturally myopic or culturally uncultivated.

This book will appeal to sociology students, researchers, and academics working on race and class, critical race theory, and cultural sociology, among other social science disciplines.

Meghji Ali

large areas of sociology including the sociology of race and class, cultural sociology, and critical race theory. I look forwards by examining the paths that my work opens for future research. Black middle-class identities and cultural repertoires One of my main aims in writing this book has been to encourage us to think about the complexities and diversities within an understudied social group in Britain – the Black middle class. Prior to my research, British Black middle-class identity was understood through the lens of strategic assimilation.4 This former research

in Black middle class Britannia
Abstract only
Alan Warde
Jessica Paddock
, and
Jennifer Whillans

changing modes of provision, and an activity with considerable cultural and symbolic significance. It also throws light on key debates in cultural sociology in the twenty-first century, providing a means to test and elaborate theories of globalisation, cultural omnivorousness, cultural intermediation and aestheticisation. So why would sociologists not study it? Scholarly interest has risen in parallel with public interest which is reflected in media coverage and popular commentary. Yet eating out is still not a very popular sociological topic. The extent to which

in The social significance of dining out
Thomas Osborne

elements of some distinctions between modern cultural theory and other types of discourse such as cultural studies, cultural sociology and cultural anthropology; and also, more generally, to distinguish modern cultural theory from other ways of thinking about culture; the metatheoretical, the epochal or ‘culturological’, the anthropological, and the sociological. Then, reiterating some of the comments made in the introduction, we get on to our own sense of what modern cultural theory actually is, attempting – partly by way of Georg Simmel – to convey the antinomical idea

in The structure of modern cultural theory
Older people’s interest organisations and collective action in Ireland

The politics of old age in the twenty-first century is contentious, encompassing ideological debates about how old age is conceptualised and the rights and welfare entitlements of individuals in later life. Synthesising key theoretical writings in political science, social/critical gerontology and cultural sociology, the book provides an insight into the complexity of older people’s identity politics, its relationship with age-based social policy and how the power of older people’s interest organisations, their legitimacy and existence remain highly contingent on government policy design, political opportunity structures and the prevailing cultural and socio-economic milieu. The book situates the discussion in the international context and outlines findings of an Irish case study which explores the evolution of older people’s interest organisation in Ireland from their inception in the mid-1990s to the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century. The book is essential reading for policymakers and organisations interested in ageing, policy and the political process and for students of ageing, social policy and political sociology.

Abstract only
The cultural politics of popular film
Chris Beasley
Heather Brook

, readable fashion. Cultural politics By comparison, scholarship attending to the ‘cultural’ side of cultural politics is often conceived at some distance from the restricted conception of politics as concerned with nation-states and government, and instead is inclined to focus on modes of analysis usually associated with cultural 8 The cultural politics of Hollywood film sociology and/or cultural studies. Cultural sociology, by Clifford Geertz’s definition, is concerned with how meaning is framed. It is not limited to what people do, nor to particular institutional

in The cultural politics of contemporary Hollywood film
Open Access (free)
Postcolonial governance and the policing of family

Bordering intimacy is a study of how borders and dominant forms of intimacy, such as family, are central to the governance of postcolonial states such as Britain. The book explores the connected history between contemporary border regimes and the policing of family with the role of borders under European and British empires. Building upon postcolonial, decolonial and black feminist theory, the investigation centres on how colonial bordering is remade in contemporary Britain through appeals to protect, sustain and make family life. Not only was family central to the making of colonial racism but claims to family continue to remake, shore up but also hide the organisation of racialised violence in liberal states. Drawing on historical investigations, the book investigates the continuity of colonial rule in numerous areas of contemporary government – family visa regimes, the policing of sham marriages, counterterror strategies, deprivation of citizenship, policing tactics, integration policy. In doing this, the book re-theorises how we think of the connection between liberal government, race, family, borders and empire. In using Britain as a case, this opens up further insights into the international/global circulations of liberal empire and its relationship to violence.

Bussing, race and urban space, 1960s–80s

In 1960–62, a large number of white autochthonous parents in Southall became very concerned that the sudden influx of largely non-Anglophone Indian immigrant children in local schools would hold back their children’s education. It was primarily to placate such fears that ‘dispersal’ (or ‘bussing’) was introduced in areas such as Southall and Bradford, as well as to promote the integration of mostly Asian children. It consisted in sending busloads of immigrant children to predominantly white suburban schools, in an effort to ‘spread the burden’. This form of social engineering went on until the early 1980s. This book, by mobilising local and national archival material as well as interviews with formerly bussed pupils in the 1960s and 1970s, reveals the extent to which dispersal was a flawed policy, mostly because thousands of Asian pupils were faced with racist bullying on the playgrounds of Ealing, Bradford, etc. It also investigates the debate around dispersal and the integration of immigrant children, e.g. by analysing the way some Local Education Authorities (Birmingham, London) refused to introduce bussing. It studies the various forms that dispersal took in the dozen or so LEAs where it operated. Finally, it studies local mobilisations against dispersal by ethnic associations and individuals. It provides an analysis of debates around ‘ghetto schools’, ‘integration’, ‘separation’, ‘segregation’ where quite often the US serves as a cognitive map to make sense of the English situation.

Crafting a study on Britain’s Black middle class
Meghji Ali

particular social groups56 – cultural capital has a symbolic value just as much as it has a material value. While cultural capital is thus a societal resource, cultural repertoires refer to something entirely different. Indeed, whereas the notion of cultural capital stems from the sociology ‘of’ culture, cultural repertoires stem from ‘cultural sociology’.57 A cultural repertoire can be understood as a ‘“tool kit” of habits, skills, and styles from which people construct “strategies of action”’.58 Cultural repertoires thus refer to the ‘set of tools available to

in Black middle class Britannia
Martha Doyle

older people. Viewed from the perspective of cultural sociology, research on the subject of older people’s interest organisations could focus on the interrelated dimensions of framing, discourse, identity and emotion. Alternatively research on the phenomenon might incorporate theoretical insights from the field of political science and engage with pertinent issues, such as institutional structures, political processes and political threats and opportunity structures. This chapter represents a step towards filling this lacuna in the research by bridging the divide

in The politics of old age