Echoes From the Past: the Racial View of Class

Malik, Kenan

Publisher:  Pandaemonium
Date Written:  18/08/2016
Year Published:  2016  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20045

How the Victorian elite saw class in racial terms. Malik challenges conventional ways of thinking about the historical roots of racial ideas, and demonstrates how much of racial thinking originated not in the context of perceptions of non-Europeans but to a large extent at home out of the relationship between the elite and the masses. And that is what makes this material important in thinking about contemporary discussions of the working class. Today, elite views of the working class are rarely racialized, at least in an overt fashion. Yet, many of the themes, especially about the character of the 'unrespectable' working class, remain, though they necessarily have to be expressed in a different language. What is of interest here is to understand what has changed as well as what remains the same in thinking about democracy and the working class.

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