‘Muslim is the new black’ - new ethnicities and new essentialisms in the prison

Earle, Rod and Phillips, Coretta (2013). ‘Muslim is the new black’ - new ethnicities and new essentialisms in the prison. Race and Justice, 3(2) pp. 114–129.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/2153368713483322

URL: http://raj.sagepub.com/content/3/2/114


Drawing from a recent qualitative study of identity, ethnicity and social relations in two English prisons the authors reflect on the Stuart Hall’s formulation of a new ethnicities paradigm. Using a vignette case study and the comments of a range of prisoners they consider how persistent patterns of racism are reproduced and challenged in the prison and beyond. British and penal historical and cultural contexts are provided to facilitate an empirically informed discussion of plural and evolving racisms, new ethnicities and Islamophobia. An argument is presented that suggests a thinly theorised understanding of ethnicity is assuming the status of a falsely benign orthodoxy, one that shrouds the familiar and painful injuries of racism.

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