Politics, Policy and the Discourses of Heritage in Britain

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9780230581883: Politics, Policy and the Discourses of Heritage in Britain
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The book examines a wide range of issues pertinent to cultural policy, and takes as its focus the intersection of heritage with recent calls for social inclusion. Despite attempts to mitigate instances of exclusion, newer policies continue to lean towards the predictable melding of cultural diversity with tendencies of assimilation. This is because all too often such policies fall back on limited representations of heritage, thereby constraining the different ways in which it may be imagined and articulated in social life. Significantly, this has allowed for the discursive and material projection of a white, middle-class past as universal and grounded in common sense, not only nationally but internationally as well. More worrying still is the projection of this vision into the future, as if by inevitable progression the same cultural symbols will be valued then as they supposedly are now. This book seeks to expose these tendencies while at the same time underscoring the consequences for any nation attempting to assert herself as multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious.

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'The diversity of contemporary societies, Britain among them, raises pressing and profound questions concerning social inclusion and exclusion and the dangers of equating multiculturalism and plurality with assimilation. Politics, Policy and the Discourses of Heritage in Britain, with its timely and carefully nuanced call for more complex narratives and representations of heritage as a medium of cultural policy, is essential reading for academics and policy-makers concerned with the ways in which heritage can both impede but also articulate the realisation of diverse and plural societies.'
- Brian Graham, Emeritus Professor of Human Geography, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland
 
'This timely volume is a significant theoretical contribution to contemporary heritage studies, and the critique of the Authorised Heritage Discourse. It is based on extensive empirical research, informed by wide reading in the social sciences, methodologically innovative and relentlessly and intelligently critical of modern heritage policy. Its focus on heritage policy and social inclusion in Britain will set the agenda on studying heritage policy not only in Britain but internationally. Politics, Policy and the Discourses of Heritage in Britain must be on the bookshelf of anyone with an interest in heritage, cultural policy and social inclusion.'
- Laurajane Smith, editor, International Journal of Heritage Studies, School of Archaeology and Anthropology, Heritage and Museum Studies, Australian National University


Book Description:

An exploration of the dominant and elite conceptualization of heritage found in policy, where the policy sector has attempted to meet the challenges of diversity, multiculturalism and inclusion

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9781349369119: Politics, Policy and the Discourses of Heritage in Britain

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