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London voices, London livesTales from a working capital$
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Peter Hall

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861349842

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861349842.001.0001

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Melting the Pot

Melting the Pot

(p.407) Chapter Fourteen Melting the Pot
London voices, London lives

Peter Hall

Policy Press

London is one of the most racially and culturally diverse cities in the world. Over the last four decades, the once almost homogenously white and European population has become a bewildering rich mosaic of colours, creeds and culture. But when it comes to looking at the neighbourhoods where Londoners live their lives, it gets a little more complicated. In some places of London, racist behaviour is prevalent while in some places, racism is subtle and half-hidden. This chapter discusses the incidence of racism and discrimination in some areas of London, particularly in the traditionally white working-class areas in east and south-east London. In some areas of London, there are prejudices all over: of one non-white group against another, of Afro-Caribbeans against Africans, of Caribbeans from one island or island group against another. There is also anti-white feeling and the old-fashioned racism of whites against non-whites. But, when viewed closely, this prejudices and forms of racism get more complex. A lot of it concerns children and schools, and it proves to be less racially based than cultural: parents are worried that traditional European schools are being overwhelmed by other cultures and that the culturally-balanced schools will change. While old-fashioned racism of whites against blacks has proliferated in certain working-class areas and other forms of racism have proliferated elsewhere, many parts of London have never seen such issues. Many places have accommodated change and many are still part of the constant process of dynamic change.

Keywords:   London, Londoners, racist behaviour, racism, discrimination, prejudices, old-fashioned racism, anti-white feeling

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