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08 Mar 2011
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£64.00
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9780230251953
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Since the 2001 'race riots' in the north of England, and the 7/7 London bombings, Britain has appeared to reject multiculturalism. It has instead prioritized a new policy of 'Community Cohesion' that calls for a focus on common needs and shared British identity, rather than on ethnic and religious differences. This has proved a controversial agenda, apparently downplaying the reality of racism and ethnic diversity, and leading to one critic calling it 'the death of multiculturalism'. Little evidence has emerged so far on what Community Cohesion actually represents, but this book addresses that deficit by drawing on empirical research around work with young people to analyse the meaning and practice of British Community Cohesion policies, youth identities in racially-tense areas, and government's attempts to 'prevent violent extremism' amongst young Muslims. It concludes that Community Cohesion is a new phase of multiculturalism, not its death.


Description

Since the 2001 'race riots' in the north of England, and the 7/7 London bombings, Britain has appeared to reject multiculturalism. It has instead prioritized a new policy of 'Community Cohesion' that calls for a focus on common needs and shared British identity, rather than on ethnic and religious differences. This has proved a controversial agenda, apparently downplaying the reality of racism and ethnic diversity, and leading to one critic calling it 'the death of multiculturalism'. Little evidence has emerged so far on what Community Cohesion actually represents, but this book addresses that deficit by drawing on empirical research around work with young people to analyse the meaning and practice of British Community Cohesion policies, youth identities in racially-tense areas, and government's attempts to 'prevent violent extremism' amongst young Muslims. It concludes that Community Cohesion is a new phase of multiculturalism, not its death.


Reviews

"[Thomas] questions the singular policy emphasis of academics on difference rather than commonality...and that ethno-racial social processes need to be understood locally as well as nationally, and in terms of their actual practice rather than seen through an ideological lens. These insights are usefully extended in discussions of class, gender, and territory in ethno-racial relations among young people." - Contemporary Sociology
 
"An important and much-needed contribution to the debates about multiculturalism...I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in developing a critical understanding of this contested territory" - Youth & Policy

"[It] makes a contribution to the literature on community cohesion by challenging myths and assumptions about key debates and terms, and by problematizing the boundaries of 'progressive' critiques and actions against ethnic inequalities and racism...this book also provides an important historical policy background to these debates" - Sociological Review


Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Community Cohesion – A New British Policy Agenda
The Emergence of Community Cohesion
Going with the Flow? International Comparisons
Community Cohesion – The Death of the British Model of Multiculturalism?
Myths and Realities – Community Cohesion in Practice
Community Cohesion – More than Ethnicity?
Unwilling Citizens? Muslim Young People and Identity
White Young People and Community Cohesion – The Refusniks?
A Contradiction to Community Cohesion? The Preventing Violent Extremism Agenda
Conclusion – Community Cohesion as a New Phase of British Multiculturalism
Bibliography


Authors

PAUL THOMAS Senior Lecturer in Youth and Community Work at the School of Education and Professional Development, University of Huddersfield, UK. Previously he was Youth Campaigns Officer at the Commission for Racial Equality in the north of England, and worked for a national voluntary sector youth work organisation.