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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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White, working-class and racist?

White, working-class and racist?

(p.61) Three White, working-class and racist?
White Working-Class Voices

Harris Beider

Policy Press

This chapter will reflect on the way that white working class perspectives on multiculturalism and change have been represented in popular culture; in both film and television, as activists in key political events such as the 1958 Notting Hill Riots and the 1968 ‘Rivers of Blood’ by Enoch Powell, and within music genres of Punk and 2tone. Interestingly the popular portrayal shows how difficult it is to anchor a definitive position for white working class communities. In film and television they have alternated to being comedic, heroic and tragic whilst at Notting Hill and Rivers of Blood white working class voices were framed as unreconstructed and violent racists. In the latter examples of Punk and 2Tone the narrative is of white working class communities–black and white–coming together to celebrate difference and taking on vested interests.

Keywords:   cinematic representation, 1958 notting hill riots, enoch powell, punk, 2tone

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