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Black middle-class Britannia

Identities, repertoires, cultural consumption

By Ali Meghji

Black middle-class Britannia
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  • Price: £85.00
  • ISBN: 9781526143075
  • Publish Date: Oct 2019
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Paperback +
  • Price: £85.00
  • ISBN: 9781526156082
  • Publish Date: Apr 2021
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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  • ISBN: 9781526143099
  • Publish Date: Oct 2019
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information

    Description

    This book analyses how racism and anti-racism affects Black British middle-class cultural consumption. In doing so, it 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, Meghji argues that there are three modes of black middle-class identity: strategic assimilation, ethnoracial autonomous, and class-minded. Individuals within each of these identity modes use specific cultural repertoires to organise their cultural consumption. Those employing strategic assimilation draw on repertoires of code-switching and cultural equity, consuming traditional middle-class culture to maintain equality with the white middle-class in levels of cultural capital. Ethnoracial autonomous individuals draw on repertoires of 'browning' and Afro-centrism, self-selecting traditional middle-class cultural pursuits they decode as 'Eurocentric' while showing a preference for cultural forms that uplift black diasporic histories and cultures. Lastly, class-minded individuals draw on repertoires of post-racialism and de-racialisation, polarising between 'Black' and middle-class cultural forms. Black middle class Britannia examines how such individuals display an unequivocal preference for the latter, lambasting other black people who avoid middle-class culture as being culturally myopic or culturally uncultivated.

    Reviews

    'A tour de force with original arguments, empirical richness and theoretical ambition, all presented in a beautifully crafted written narrative.'
    Les Back is a Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London

    'Black middle-class Britannia offers a fascinating portrait of race and class in contemporary London. Using the cultural world as a site to examine inequality, Ali Meghji shows how racial and class boundaries are both understood and navigated in varying ways depending on the identities of middle-class blacks. While some see the existence of middle class blacks as evidence that Britain is now color-blind, Black middle-class Britannia provides a timely and in depth counterpoint to this view.'
    Patricia A. Banks, Associate Professor of Sociology, Mount Holyoke College

    Contents

    Acknowledgments
    1 Introduction: Taking off the colourblind goggles: Crafting a study on Britain's Black middle class
    2 Towards a triangle of Black middle class identity
    3 White spaces: consuming traditional middle class Culture
    4 Constructing and using Black cultural capital
    5 Revisiting race and nation: double consciousness, Black Britishness, and cultural consumption
    6 Race, class, and culture in the British racialised social system
    Appendix: Building a reflexive case study of the Black middle class
    References

    Author

    Ali Meghji is a Lecturer in Social Inequalities in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge

    Black middle-class Britannia

    By Ali Meghji

    Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

    Paperback £21.00 / $30.95

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