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'So, you're from Brixton?': the struggle for recognition and esteem in a multicultural community

Howarth, Caroline (2002) 'So, you're from Brixton?': the struggle for recognition and esteem in a multicultural community. Ethnicities, 2 (2). pp. 237-260. ISSN 1468-7968

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Abstract

This article examines how the struggle for recognition and esteem permeates everyday experiences in the context of young people growing up in Brixton, south London, UK. It begins with a brief history of Brixton and an explanation of the qualitative methods (focus groups and interviews) and thematic analysis used in the research. The findings are then discussed in three sections. The first section illustrates how identity is constructed through and against the representations held by others within particular social contexts. Focusing on the varying strategies that different young people adopt in constructing a positive identity reveals the salience of racist representations in the social construction of Brixton. The second section examines the effects this can have on the self-image and self-esteem of many in the study, looking in particular at strategies used to contest negative versions of blackness. This points to the racializing and gendering within the (re)production of local youth identities. The concluding section illustrates how some young people collaboratively develop the social and psychological resources to protect themselves against the prejudices of others. Together, this material reveals how social relationships and institutional cultures empower/disempower Brixton's youth in their collaborative struggle for recognition and esteem. This allows us to consider how new multicultures address, incorporate and resist new racisms and prejudices towards a locality.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://etn.sagepub.com/
Additional Information: © 2002 SAGE Publications.
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Sets: Departments > Social Psychology
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2007
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/2435/

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