This book debates these questions and explores the concept of identity and how its different meanings and interpretations impact upon community policy. The chapters bring together leading academics, policymakers, think-tank representatives, and community workers to debate the connections between ethnic diversity, identity, and community cohesion.

Cohesive Identities: The Distance between Meaning and Understanding

Cohesive identities: The distance between meaning and understanding
ClaireAlexanderLondon School of Economics and Political Science

Identity Nurtured and Dismantled

In 2000, the Runnymede Commission on The Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain published ‘a vision for Britain’ as a ‘community of communities’ – a place ‘in which all citizens are treated with rigorous and uncompromising equality and social justice, but in which cultural diversity is cherished and celebrated’ (CFMEB, 2000: 15). Six years on, the ground has shifted subtly, but decidedly, in political and policy terms away from this pluralist vision of Britain as a multicultural mosaic, and in favour of a reinvigorated and assimilative national project captured in the notion of ‘community cohesion’. David Blunkett, as Home Secretary, has insisted on ...

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