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Who do We Think We Are?: Imagining the New Britain - Softcover

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9780140255980: Who do We Think We Are?: Imagining the New Britain
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To answer the question which is the title of this book, the author casts her critical gaze at the media, the education system and the police as well as at the casual racism of the male, white establishment, and British feminists. The complacency andisolationism of some Black and Asian communities come in for comment too. Food, fashion, music, the arts have all been changed irrevocably by the migrations of the last fifty years yet huge and influential areas of both private and public Britain refuse to acknowledge or accept our new and more complex present. But we can and must learn from each other. This book begins to tell us why.

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Regular columnist for the Independent, Yasmin Alibai-Brown's Who Do We Think We Are: Imagining the New Britain is a collection of overlapping essays covering a wide range of topics from the history of race-relations, immigration policy, education, liberal politics and feminism. Her guiding focus threads the concept of citizenship with the creation of an historically aware sense of national identity to which we can all ideally subscribe.

The real strength of the book can be found in the details-- not just the Historical detail concerning immigration, demographics, and social policy which is the backbone of the book--but the concrete present-day concerns of the individuals Brown interviews. Brown's spiritual home is the political left, so expect a swipe at the exclusionary tactics of the white male establishment and calls for the reform of British institutions. However, the analysis is sometimes hamstrung by the racial and ethnic categorisations she works with which are not always helpful for thinking through political questions of justice and citizenship.

What's unusual and important about this book is that Brown has the refreshing habit of dropping in unpalatable home truths about certain factions of the political left. "Feminists" Brown tells us, "need to stop regarding theirs as the only valid issue in the world". Of anti-racist initiatives we hear that "far too many inept and furious people got into racism awareness and anti-racist training ... and did more damage than if they had left the issue untouched" Who Do We Think We Are? a well written, astute, and provocative book. It is guaranteed to earn Brown some new friends and perhaps a few new enemies too. --Larry Brown

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  • PublisherPenguin
  • Publication date2001
  • ISBN 10 0140255982
  • ISBN 13 9780140255980
  • BindingPaperback
  • Number of pages336
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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780713994131: Who do We Think We Are?: Imagining the New Britain

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ISBN 10:  ISBN 13:  9780713994131
Publisher: Allen Lane, 2000
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9780415931120: Imagining the New Britain

Routledge, 2001
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