Marking Race: Empire, social democracy, deindustrialization

Marc Matera, Radhika Natarajan, Kennetta Hammond Perry, Camilla Schofield, Rob Waters

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This joint-authored essay concludes the thematic issue ‘Marking Race’. Drawing on the authors’ individual essays and reviewing the wider literatures in the field of race and immigration, imperialism and decolonization, social democracy and the welfare state, and deindustrialization, the essay makes a series of proposals about what an analytical focus on race adds to our understanding of modern British history.

This essay sets out a series of proposals regarding how the history of race in late-twentieth-century Britain is understood. The authors seek to expand the frame for discussions of race in this era beyond the history of the New Right, migration controls, and Black Power. Borrowing Omi and Winant’s concept of ‘racial formation’, the authors point to the multiple racial projects operative in late-twentieth-century Britain, and connecting it up to a global imperial and post-imperial geography. Their discussion encompasses issues of structural change and economic management, labour rights, social provision and social control, and political representation. It engages many of the key areas of debate currently driving the research agenda of historians of modern Britain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)552–579
Number of pages28
JournalTwentieth Century British History
Issue number3
Early online date6 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2023

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