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Title: Local heroes : an empirical study of racial violence among Asian and white young people
Author: Webster, Colin Scott
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 1997
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This thesis extrapolates from a six year area study of delinquency and victimisation among Pakistani, Bangladeshi and white young people in the North of England. In focusing on inter-ethnic violence between Asian and white adolescents and young adults in a specific locality, the study was struck by both the normality of violence in everyday life and its racialisation. Racial violence occurs when young people come into contact at the symbolic boundaries which surround 'colour coded' territories. These boundaries and territories shift and change as a result of attempts by different ethnic groups - white and Asian - to establish, defend and extend their neighbourhoods. As a result of these processes of attempting to create safe areas through the control of territory and public space, racial violence in the area declined, in the context of an unfolding story of Asian vigilante activity to defend Asian areas against incursions by white racists. The unintended consequence however, was that areas were further racialised, and social and racial segregation between ethnic groups was compounded. Young people, in achieving a modicum of community safety on the basis of an agreed racialisation of public space, reinforced and confirmed local forms of racism. Finally, because of Asian defence of their areas, racial violence became constructed as something which mainly happens to white young people. These and other findings, problematised accepted policy and academic understandings and definitions of racism and racial violence. An alternative theoretical framework for interpreting the empirical data offered ways of conceptualising racial violence that emphasised its specificity within and between different ways of conceptualising racial violence that emphasised its specificity within and between different British localities. Indeed, much of the empirical data points to the need to understand racisms in their specificity and locality rather than in terms of a monolithic understanding of 'racism' which reduces all different 'race' encounters to instances of a general and ubiquitous racism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available