Race, nation and education—An overview of British attempts to ‘manage diversity’ since the 1950s

Article English OPEN
Shain, Farzana (2013)
  • Publisher: Education Inquiry
  • Journal: Education Inquiry (issn: 2000-4508, eissn: 2000-4508)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/edui.v4i1.22062
  • Subject: race, nation, prevent strategy, managing diversity, empire, post-colonial melancholia

This paper reviews the recent history of English education in connection with British state attempts to ‘manage diversity’. It offers a new analysis on points of coherence and tension between the role of education and state policies in relation to race and ethnicity. Drawing on the Prevent strategy as an example, the paper highlights the role that education has played in the construction of ethnic minorities as ‘problems’ to be managed or contained. It is argued that assimilation into a (superior) British culture has remained a constant theme (Grosvenor 1997), but has been more pronounced in periods of economic uncertainty and geopolitical dislocations (Gilroy 2004). The targets of containment policies have also changed, from African Caribbeans, predominantly, in the 1970s and 1980s to Muslims, in general, since then, but race (albeit re-coded through ethnicity, community and/or faith) has been a central reference point in state discourses on minorities.Keywords: race, nation, prevent strategy, managing diversity, empire, post-colonial melancholia(Published: 1 March 2013)Citation: Education Inquiry Vol. 4, No. 1, March 2013, pp. 63–85
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