Crossing the Line ? White young people and Community Cohesion

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Thomas, Paul ; Sanderson, Pete (2013)

The emergence of community cohesion as a British policy priority has represented a discursive shift in approaches to race relations, the emphasis on ethnic diversity downplayed in favour of commonality, shared values and the promotion of national identity. Central to community cohesion has been a focus on ‘contact’ as a way of overcoming ‘parallel lives’, and the need for communities to take responsibility within processes of contact and dialogue. The political focus, echoing past assimilationist discourses, has been on an alleged lack of integration on the part of Muslims; by contrast little attention is paid to how white working class young people view the contact central to cohesion strategies. This paper draws on case study evidence from Oldham and Rochdale, Greater Manchester to interpret the limited support the young white respondents have for, cross-ethnic contact, and the relevance of class experience to these views.
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