Class Or Culture: The “Marginalised” White Working Class.

June 18, 2013 in Politics by Tony Wright

ChavisKate Green MP has agreed to host a meeting in the House of Commons on the marginalization of the working class in society over the last two to three decades – and that was documented so well in Owen Jones book “Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class.”

Much debate has gone on over how we give a voice to marginalised communities so their voice is heard in the public square but many from right and left believe that in this the white working class has been neglected. Reports from both Rowntree and Runnymede have addressed this issue.

To what extent are white working-class communities a forgotten group disconnected from policy and politics and in our quest for a diverse and inclusive society have we neglected this group and at what cost? Speaking at this meeting will be

Kate GreenKate Green MP is currently shadow spokesperson for Equalities and prior to her election was Chief Executive of the Child Poverty Action Group, and before that Director of the National Council for One Parent Families (now Gingerbread). She is a long standing campaigner against poverty and inequality and chairs the all-party parliamentary group on poverty.

Harris BeiderHarris Beider is Professor in Community Cohesion at iCoCo moving from the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS) at the University of Birmingham. His main research interests include ‘race’, housing and community renewal. He has managed and undertaken research projects for CLG, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, and wrote their report on the “White Working Class. Views of Neighbourhood, Cohesion and Change.”

Gillian EvansGillian Evans studied social anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies In 2006, Gillian published “ Educational Failure and Working Class White Children in Britain”, based on her PhD research about the post-industrial docklands of Southeast London. The book generated national debate about the position of the white working classes in Britain, and Gillian went on to publish further work about the relationship between social class, race, ethnicity and multiculturalism in Britain.

Can economics alone deliver cohesion or do we need to develop a deeper understanding of identity and diversity in order to develop effective policies that include all? This will be the central theme of this meeting.

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