British Cultural Identities

British Cultural Identities

British Cultural Identities

British Cultural Identities


analyzes contemporary British identity from the various and changing ways in which people who live in the UK position themselves and are positioned by their culture today. Each chapter covers one of the seven intersecting themes:* place and environment* education, work and leisure* gender, sex and the family* youth culture and style* class and politics* ethnicity and language* religion and heritage.


A book about British cultural identities immediately raises a number of questions: Whose Britain? Whose culture? Whose identity? Do a majority of people in the UK any more think of themselves in terms of being British anyway?

British Cultural Identities is aimed at people interested in these questions. It approaches the idea of British identities through contemporary practices and activities: not through institutions or economics, but through culture. The book is written in a clear, accessible style, making it especially useful to the student, at home or overseas, who wishes to be introduced to the variety of British experiences at and after the year 2000. In both the first and the second editions, it has aimed to be a different kind of book about the contemporary UK: one which looks at Britain in not sociological or historical but cultural terms. Each chapter is clearly structured around key themes, has a timeline of important dates, a list of recent cultural examples, and a section of questions and exercises. The book is illustrated with photographs and tables throughout.

All the contributors to this collection outline the plurality of identities found across the UK at the start of the twenty-first century. The essays begin from the belief that identities are the names we give to the different ways we all are placed by, and place ourselves within, our culture. The contributors have been asked to think of culture as the practices and beliefs that people encounter and share - events, ideas, and images that shape their lives everywhere and every day. The introductory chapter deals with ‘Britain now’: with the issues being discussed in Britain at the start of 2002. The remaining seven chapters cover intersecting areas: gender and the family; religion and heritage; places and peoples; youth culture and age; class and politics; language and ethnicity; education, work, and leisure.

The chapters are organised in the following way. At the beginning of each one you will find a timeline, usually of the most significant dates for

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