"Are you thinking what we’re thinking?” Immigration, multiculturalism and the disavowal of racism in the run-up to the 2005 British general election

Pitcher, B. 2006. "Are you thinking what we’re thinking?” Immigration, multiculturalism and the disavowal of racism in the run-up to the 2005 British general election. Social Semiotics. 16 (4), pp. 535-551.

Title"Are you thinking what we’re thinking?” Immigration, multiculturalism and the disavowal of racism in the run-up to the 2005 British general election
AuthorsPitcher, B.
Abstract

The overt expression of racist discourse in the public realm is today—even in the case of far-right organizations like the British National Party—avoided at all costs. Yet approaches by competing political parties to the “populist” issue of asylum/immigration in the months preceding the 2005 General Election were clearly informed by negative ideas of racial difference.

This article sets out to describe the conceptual logic and rhetorical structures of political discourses of cultural pluralism underwritten by the spectre of racism. This “official multiculturalism” is in large part shared by mainstream political parties and national news media, and is predicated on the self-conscious disavowal of racism and racist intent, while simultaneously serving to attack or problematize the existence or behaviour of certain racialized groups, both within and without the nation.

I argue that such interventions increasingly circulate around definitions of legitimate cultural citizenship; that is, on ideas of civil society predicated on normative models of belonging to multicultural Britain. I will consider how the electoral campaigns of both Labour and Conservative parties were carefully constructed with a view to their reporting in the news media, and the extent to which such discourses of (multi)cultural citizenship publicly disavow—yet remain strongly marked by—exclusionary concepts of racialized difference.

JournalSocial Semiotics
Journal citation16 (4), pp. 535-551
ISSN1035-0330
Year2006
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/10350330601019892
Publication dates
Published2006

Related outputs

Race, Nationalism and Landscape Belonging: Stonehenge on the Summer Solstice
Pitcher, B. 2018. Race, Nationalism and Landscape Belonging: Stonehenge on the Summer Solstice. in: Stringer, B. (ed.) Ruality Re-Imagined: Villagers, Farmers, Wanderers, Wild Things Novato, CA ORO Editions. pp. 160-171

The Touch of Iconoclasm
Pitcher, B. 2018. The Touch of Iconoclasm. European Journal of Cultural Studies.

Race, Debt and the Welfare State
Pitcher, B. 2016. Race, Debt and the Welfare State. New Formations. (87), pp. 47-63.

Belonging to a different landscape: repurposing nationalist affects
Pitcher, B. 2016. Belonging to a different landscape: repurposing nationalist affects. Sociological Research Online. 21 (1), p. 8.

The Politics of Multiculturalism: Race and Racism in Contemporary Britain (second edition)
Pitcher, B. 2015. The Politics of Multiculturalism: Race and Racism in Contemporary Britain (second edition). Ben Pitcher.

Consuming race
Pitcher, B. 2014. Consuming race. London and New York Routledge.

The cultural politics of being a knob
Pitcher, B. 2013. The cultural politics of being a knob. in: Bennett, P. and McDougall, J. (ed.) Barthes' "Mythologies" Today: Readings of Contemporary Culture London Routledge.

Policing the crisis, or, why we love The Wire
Bramall, R. and Pitcher, B. 2013. Policing the crisis, or, why we love The Wire. International Journal of Cultural Studies. 16 (1), pp. 85-98.

Race and capitalism redux
Pitcher, B. 2012. Race and capitalism redux. Patterns of Prejudice. 46 (1), pp. 1-15.

Radical subjects after hegemony
Pitcher, B. 2011. Radical subjects after hegemony. Subjectivity. 4 (1), pp. 87-102.

Developing transnational race theory: a place for CRT?
Pitcher, B. 2011. Developing transnational race theory: a place for CRT? in: Hylton, K., Pilkington, A., Warmington, P. and Housee, S. (ed.) Atlantic Crossings: International Dialogues on Critical Race Theory Birmingham C-SAP/Higher Education Academy. pp. 197-207

Race and racism after anti-racism
Pitcher, B. 2011. Race and racism after anti-racism. Kritikos: an international and interdisciplinary journal of postmodern cultural sound, text and image. 8.

Obama and the politics of blackness: antiracism in the "post-black" conjuncture
Pitcher, B. 2010. Obama and the politics of blackness: antiracism in the "post-black" conjuncture. Souls. 12 (4), pp. 313-322.

White no longer
Pitcher, B. 2010. White no longer. Souls. 12 (4), pp. 354-357.

The politics of multiculturalism: race and racism in contemporary Britain
Pitcher, B. 2009. The politics of multiculturalism: race and racism in contemporary Britain. Basingstoke Palgrave Macmillan.

The global politics of multiculturalism
Pitcher, B. 2009. The global politics of multiculturalism. Development. 52 (4).

Q&A with Jasbir Puar
Puar, J., Pitcher, B. and Gunkel, H. 2008. Q&A with Jasbir Puar. Darkmatter. (3).

The materiality of race theory
Pitcher, B. 2008. The materiality of race theory. Darkmatter. 2.

Editorial: Racism in the closet: interrogating postcolonial sexuality
Gunkel, H. and Pitcher, B. 2008. Editorial: Racism in the closet: interrogating postcolonial sexuality. Darkmatter. (3).

Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/926z1/-are-you-thinking-what-we-re-thinking-immigration-multiculturalism-and-the-disavowal-of-racism-in-the-run-up-to-the-2005-british-general-election


Share this
Tweet
Email