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White Working-Class VoicesMulticulturalism, community-building and change$
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Harris Beider

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447313953

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447313953.001.0001

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Towards a definition of the white working class

Towards a definition of the white working class

(p.1) One Towards a definition of the white working class
White Working-Class Voices

Harris Beider

Policy Press

The first chapter explores the meaning of whiteness and working class starting from the incorrect premise that the white working class has been presented as a single, unified group, lacking in variation without regard to income, tenure or place. In the context of multiculturalism it is pitted against minority communities in a ‘clash of cultures’, as two suspect and problematic groups, competing for limited resources with the latter blamed by the former for their lowly predicament. The pathway to a definitive meaning of the white working class is cluttered and complex. In reality there is not one white working class but many with each shaped by economic, social and political factors as well as place. Policy and political narratives need to avoid the reductionism that leads to ascribing white working class communities with fixed cultural tropes that are a long way from reality.

Keywords:   complex definitions, reductionism, cultural framing

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