White Backlash and the Politics of Multiculturalism

White Backlash and the Politics of Multiculturalism

The 1993 murder of Stephen Lawrence, an 18-year-old black student, led to the widest review of institutional racism seen in the UK and revealed that nearby white working-class communities displayed deep hostility to multiculturalist practices. This book examines this phenomena within the context of changes in social class, evolving national political agendas and responses to race inequalities in the UK, the United States and elsewhere from the 1960s to the present.


"Hewitt provides a nuanced view of how the complexities of racial, class, and multicultural politics play out locally. Hewitt's theoretical apparatus ... provides extraordinary analytic purchase for disentangling the political salience of race and for understanding how competing narratives are generated and connected to various sites of power. This is clearly a must-read for scholars of racism and British politics, but those exploring migration, urban politics, political culture, and contentious politics in general will find much here of exceptional value. Given Hewitt's clear narrative and elegant prose, the book is also surprisingly accesible for advanced undergraduate courses in a manner atypical of many substantive theoretical contributions."
Perspectives on Politics, Jillian Schwedler, University of Maryland

"The book makes a significant contribution to understanding the complexities of cultural diversity in the industrial nations today and should be widely consulted." - Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare