Managing race relations’ tensions in multicultural societies: a case study of Bradford in Britain.

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Managing cultural differences has become a top priority in many western mult icultural societies. Issues of intercultural harmony and social stability loom large in the rhetoric of political governance. Discourses of social cohesion and national unity seem to replace those of multiculturalism and cultural diversity. In this article, I study the discursive consideration of such issues within Britain in general and Bradford city in part icular. A critical interpretive perspective is used to scrutinize the linguistic and the discursive strategies employed by a local race-related report Community Pride not prejudice (2001). It is suggested that such report reflected a growing official tendency to prioritize social unity over cultural diversity. It is perceived as the hegemonic dominant reading of the nature of race relat ions in contemporary Britain at the beginning of the 21st century. Yet, not hegemony is final. Thus, the dominant ideological inscriptions of the report were also read and decoded differently. Community Pride not prejudice was an official narrative of how ethnic residential segregation contributed immensely to the failure of race relations in Bradford. Nevertheless, other counter-narratives questioned its ideological assumptions and revealed its agenda-setting nature. The outcome of such hegemonic and counter-hegemonic readings of the situation was mult iple and polyphonic discursive formations so indicative of the pluralistic nature of a society like that of Britain.



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