Suburban drifts: mundane multiculturalism in outer London

Watson, Sophie and Saha, Anamik (2013). Suburban drifts: mundane multiculturalism in outer London. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 36(12) pp. 2016–2034.



This article explores the ethnicization of London suburbs to challenge the growing public and political discourse of the ‘failure of multiculturalism’ mobilised by politicians in the UK and Europe, and even worse, the more pernicious rhetoric which blames multiculturalist policies for a whole raft of social ills including social exclusion, terrorism and urban riots. Through reviving the concept of multicultural drift deployed by Stuart Hall over a decade ago, to frame the experiences of three generations in two London suburbs, we reveal the much more subtle and ordinary ways in which multicultural diversity is simply a fact of life in London’s erstwhile predominantly white suburbs, a fact which makes a nonsense of David Cameron’s (and others) assertions.

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