P005 The Road to Nowhere: Reimagining the English North-South Divide

In Saskia’s talk from a Royal Geographical Society conference in April (her first time speaking at an academic conference!), she looks at how Englishness, ‘race’ and class have played out in debates around Brexit. Taking David Goodhart’s book ‘The Road to Somewhere’ as an influential example, she discusses how the division the British media has made between the Northern ‘white working-class’ and the London ‘metropolitan elite’ plays into racist nationalism by positioning white people as English and people of colour as ‘other’. Saskia argues that we need to challenge these racialised understandings of Englishness, in part by reimagining the English North-South divide and questioning the dominance England’s capital plays in national life.

Listen on SoundCloud:

References:

Davies, W. (2016). Thoughts on the Sociology of Brexit. The Brexit Crisis: A Verso Report. London: Verso.

Dorling, D. (2016). Brexit: the decision of a divided country. BMJ, 354, i3697.

Emejulu, A. (2016). On the Hideous Whiteness of Brexit. The Brexit Crisis: A Verso Report. London: Verso.

Gilroy, P. (2004). After Empire: Melancholia or Convivial Culture? London: Routledge.

Gilroy, P. (2006). Multiculture in times of war: an inaugural lecture given at the London School of Economics. Critical Quarterly, 48(4), 27–45.

Goodhart, D. (2004). Too diverse? Prospect [Online]. Available at: https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/too-diverse-david-goodhart-multiculturalism-britain-immigration-globalisation [Accessed 1 November 2017].

Goodhart, D. (2013). The British Dream: Successes and Failures of Post-war Immigration. London: Atlantic Books.

Goodhart, D. (2017a). The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Goodhart, D. (2017b). White self-interest is not the same thing as racism. Financial Times [Online]. Available at: https://www.ft.com/content/220090e0-efc1-11e6-ba01-119a44939bb6 [Accessed 5 November 2017].

Massey, D. (2007). World City. Cambridge: Polity.

Shields, R. (1991). Places on the Margin: Alternative Geographies of Modernity. London: Routledge.

Virdee, S. (2014). Racism, Class and the Racialized Outsider. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Virdee, S., & McGeever, B. (2017). Racism, Crisis, Brexit. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 0(0), 1–18.

Ware, V. (2008). Towards a Sociology of Resentment: A Debate on Class and Whiteness. Sociological Research Online, 13(5), 1–15.