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Title: Contested spaces of Britishness : constructions of race, place and belonging in suburban London
Author: Higgins, N.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2004
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Focusing on the politics of race, this thesis critically analyses suburbia as a site in which postcolonial (re)negotiations of identity are occurring. Typically, Britain’s suburbs have not been conceived of as multicultural places but have instead been stereotyped as the homogenous and culturally inert bastions of the white middle classes. The association of Black groups and the inner urban has meant that the study of race and attempts to redefine Britishness and Englishness in the context of postcolonial immigration have primarily concentrated on such areas to the exclusion of the alternative forms of identity that are being constructed and contested through life in other places like the suburbs. This research challenges such constructions. Considering the suburbs as a site of cultural (re)production within modernity and a locate in which ideas of self, other, place and nation are worked through, the thesis combines in-depth, semi-structured ethnographic interviews with ‘white’ and ‘Asian’ residents of the West London suburb of Northolt with historical analysis of local newspapers to interrogate the forms of identity and place being negotiated through residence in this locality and the positioning of race within these negotiations. My empirical observations also incorporate a substantial methodology in which I focus on my recruitment of interviewees and argue that the procedure is a neglected element within ethnographic research but is one that needs politicising, having important implications for the way in which we conceive and write grounded theory research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available