Contesting Culture

Contesting Culture : Discourses of Identity in Multi-Ethnic London

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This innovative 1996 study presents an account of the interaction of people from different ethnic backgrounds who live in Southall, the most densely populated, multi-ethnic ghetto in the London area. Breaking with the tradition of studying a single ethnic community, Gerhard Baumann treats Southall as a social field, in which various immigrant groups come to terms with one another and with the dominant, if distant, host culture. The people of Southall affirm ethnic distinctiveness in some contexts, but they are also engaged in rethinking their identities and in debating the meaning of their cultural heritage. This book is at once a vivid ethnographic account of an aspect of contemporary British life, and a challenge to the conventional discourse of community more

Product details

  • Online resource
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 10 b/w illus. 1 map
  • 1139166824
  • 9781139166829

Review quote

"...provides an important...view of identity formation, stressing its instrumental function over other aspects of identity production and negotiation." Kathleen Hall, Religious Studies Review "...this book provides one of the better starting points for discussions of ethnicity in contemporary Europe." David Beriss, H-Net Reviewsshow more

Table of contents

1. Introduction: the proceeds of research; 2. The argument; 3. A shared Southall culture?; 4. The dominant discourse applied: 'self-evident' communities of culture; 5. The dominant discourse denied: community as creation, culture as process; 6. 'Culture' and 'community' as terms of cultural contestation; 7. more