Racism in the U.K.

  • Mike Cole
Part of the Marxism and Education book series (MAED)


In this chapter I begin by asking the question, “Why is it necessary to categorize racism?” I then consider older forms of British racism (colonial racism, antisemitism, and anti-Gypsy Roma and Traveller racism), before addressing myself to some newer forms (xeno-racism, anti-asylum-seeker racism, and Islamophobia). I argue that in contemporary Britain, there are a plethora of forms of racism. Given that contemporary British racism is multifaceted, and in order to set the scene for newer forms of racism, I begin by contextualizing them alongside older forms of racism, while also demonstrating that these older forms continue to flourish. For conceptual clarity I deal with color-coded racism, non-color-coded racism, and what I will call hybridist racism separately. I make use of the neo-Marxist concept of racialization, as outlined in the Introduction to this volume, and a newer concept of xenoracialization, to understand these multifarious forms of racism. I use the Gramscian concept of “common sense,” also outlined in the Introduction to assess how racialization interpellates popular consciousness. Central to these processes of racialization and xeno-racialization are the roles of the ISAs and the RSAs. I conclude with a consideration of contemporary counter-hegemonic resistance to racism.


Migrant Worker Asylum Seeker Jewish Community Institutional Racism Patrol Directive 
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© Mike Cole 2011

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  • Mike Cole

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