‘Race’, Culture and Representation: The Changing Contours of Identity Politics

  • Therese O’Toole
  • Richard Gale
Part of the Palgrave Politics of Identity and Citizenship Series book series ( CAL)


In the previous chapter, we considered the ways in which the state enshrines a variety of models of youth participation, and the implications this has for ethnic minority young people’s political engagement. In particular, we examined how Birmingham and Bradford have developed divergent models of participation for young people in the form of their respective youth parliaments. Left largely implicit in our discussion of these models was the issue of how institutions of the state, at both local and central levels, inscribe and enact particular constructions of the identities of the groups they target in their policies and initiatives. In this and the following chapter, we address the political connotations of changing ethnic and cultural identity categories, exploring how specific categories of identity become lodged in the political and operational machinery of the state, and the implications this had for young people’s political identity formation and mobilisation. Given their centrality to the emerging research literature, we position the chapter in relation to recent developments in the theorisation of black identity politics, focusing in particular on the overlapping notions of ‘new ethnicities’ (Hall 1996[1989], 1999; Gilroy 1993), ‘hybridity’ (Werbner and Modood 1997), and ‘intersectionality’ (Young 1990; Collins 1998, 2000).


Ethnic Minority Criminal Justice System Ethnic Identity Racialised Identity Identity Politics 
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Copyright information

© Therese O’Toole and Richard Gale 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Therese O’Toole
    • 1
  • Richard Gale
    • 2
  1. 1.University of BristolUK
  2. 2.Cardiff UniversityUK

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