Both Sides of the Line: Stuart Hall and New Ethnicities, then and now


Part memoir, part critical reflection, this essay traces the trajectory of one of the key concepts in Stuart Hall’s approach to issues of race and class. Drawing on the influential work of the Centre for New Ethnicities Research (UEL) in the 1990’s it examines how the theory of new ethnicities was put under empirical pressure through ethnographic research with communities in East London; it also looks at the innovative pedagogy of antiracist work with young people which was developed with direct input from SH. A detailed case study of one such intervention is presented. The continuing relevance of the key debates around multiculturalism and anti-racism during this period is highlighted in a concluding section which revisits the concept of authoritarian populism in the context of the Brexit vote and the shape shifting configurations of the ‘white’ working class as both backbone of the nation and race apart.

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