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Black Middle-Class BritanniaIdentities, Repertoires, Cultural Consumption$
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Ali Meghji

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526143075

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7765/9781526143082

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White spaces: consuming traditional middle-class culture

White spaces: consuming traditional middle-class culture

(p.53) 3 White spaces: consuming traditional middle-class culture
Black Middle-Class Britannia

Ali Meghji

Manchester University Press

In this chapter I look at spaces of traditional middle class cultural consumption. I argue that my participants construe these spaces as both physically and symbolically White. Physically, these spaces are dominated by White audiences and are sustained by microaggressions towards those defined as racialised outsiders. Symbolically, these spaces tend to exclude Black cultural producers and Black knowledges, identities, and histories in the cultural forms themselves. The White symbolic space is reproduced through creating a Black recognition gap. I then analyse how one’s position in the triangle of identity influences how they interact with White spaces. Those towards the ethnoracial autonomous identity mode self select out of these White spaces because they do not want to undergo the emotional labour required to move within such spaces. Those towards strategic assimilation still consume within these spaces in order to attain equal levels of cultural capital to the White middle class. Those towards the class-minded identity mode argue that these spaces are White not because of racism, but because of Black cultural myopia.

Keywords:   White spaces, Whiteness, Critical race theory, Race and class, Cultural sociology, Cultural capital, Recognition

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