Good citizens? Ugandan Asians, volunteers and ‘race’ relations in 1970s Britain

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This articles uses the reception and resettlement programme of Ugandan Asians in 1972–3 as a lens through which to explore the intersection of post-colonialism and ideas of good citizenship, individual political engagement and voluntarism. Specifically, using a detailed exploration of the dynamics within Greenham Common Resettlement Camp, the article shows how relationships between (ex-colonial) government officials and the WRVS who ran the official side of the resettlement programme came into conflict with younger, more left-wing volunteers and expellees. As well as revealing the significance of (post) colonial attitudes and background among camp administrators and the associated attitudes to hierarchy and race, it also shows how a newer generation of anti-racist activists were beginning to challenge such attitudes. Through integrating its discussion of generational conflict among the expellees themselves alongside conflicts between the official camp administration, volunteers and wider voluntary services this article seeks to reveal some of the key social changes in early 1970s Britain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120–141
Number of pages22
JournalHistory Workshop Journal
Issue numberSpring
Early online date19 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018

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