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Race, Racism and Social WorkContemporary issues and debates$
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Michael Lavalette and Laura Penketh

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447307082

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447307082.001.0001

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In defence of multiculturalism?

In defence of multiculturalism?

Chapter:
(p.131) Seven In defence of multiculturalism?
Source:
Race, Racism and Social Work
Author(s):

Gareth Jenkins

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447307082.003.0008

Social workers are required to be aware of changing social contexts and their impact on service user communities. Many social workers writing about anti-racist practice in the 1980s would have followed Sivanandan’s (1982) critique of local authority ‘multiculturalism’. Sivanandan’s case was that too often policies of multiculturalism were reduced to a celebration of ‘steel-bands, samosas and saris’, whilst institutional and structural racism was ignored. But from a perspective contemporary, the attack on multiculturalism has shifted the political terrain. Multiculturalism is being used as a code word by politicians to attack migration and the pressence of minority communities in Britain itself – themes that are addressed in this chapter in a nuanced ‘defence’ of multiculturalism in the face of the present political assault.

Keywords:   Racism, Multiculturalism, Far-right politics, Institutional racism

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