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Changing directions: young people and effective work against racism

By Paul Thomas and Tom Henri


This article explores effective approaches against racism in work with young people, and the relevance of new policy agendas in the UK. Since the 2001 disturbances, the UK has controversially prioritised 'Community Cohesion', with the accusation that this new direction represents the 'death of multiculturalism'. Drawing on empirical evidence from a project established to work with the racist views of White children in Leeds, and from youth work in Oldham, it explores how such work positively disrupts the public realm and re-thinks the previous framework of 'anti-racism'. It is suggested that anti-racist educational policies and practice have created a moral code which young people can either subscribe to or be punished by and that by failing to engage within a framework of inclusion and openness with young people who express racist views, educationalists risk alienating them from a positive recasting of those views. The article argues that the failure of past policies as one form of multiculturalism has promoted the alienation of those most in need of intervention regarding racism, and that 'Community Cohesion', as actually practiced at ground level, can offer a productive way forward to engage with racism within more intersectional understandings of youth identity and its formation

Topics: H1, HT
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2011
OAI identifier:

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