‘”White Lives Matter Burnley!” The “White Working Class” and racialised resentment in the M62 Corridor region’
This presentation presents analysis from the recent book, Race, Space and Place in Northern England: The (M62) corridor of Uncertainty (with Shamim Miah and Pete Sanderson, Palgrave 2020). It draws on empirical research data from the M62 Corridor region of the North of England to directly and critically engage with the claims that there is now a ‘White Working Class’ that understands both its own identity and its economic and political marginalisation in explicitly racialised terms. Here, sections of the region’s majority White communities appear to feel that they are a marginalised, second-class status group. The presentation will critically discuss the internal and external factors involved in such shifting community identifications, and feelings of ‘unfairness’. This will include the extent to which local and national policies have reflected or indeed led such shifts in identifications, and the relational nature of these identifications and the perceptions and experiences driving them. It also discusses the political manifestations of this ‘White Working Class’ in the region.
Paul Thomas is Professor of Youth and Policy and Associate Dean (Research) in the School of Education at the University of Huddersfield, UK. Paul’s research focusses on how multiculturalist policies such as Community Cohesion and the Prevent counter-terrorism strategy have been understood and implemented by ground-level policy-makers and practitioners, particularly educationalists such as youth workers, community workers and teachers, and experienced by communities. It has led to books such as, Youth, Multiculturalism and Community Cohesion (Palgrave, 2011) and Responding to the Threat of Violent Extremism: Failing to Prevent (Bloomsbury, 2012), as well as articles in many leading journals. Paul is a qualified Youth and Community Worker, and previously worked for the Commission for Racial Equality in the North of England.