The murder of Stephen Lawrence led to the widest review of institutional racism seen in the UK. Sections of the white working-class communities in south London near to the scene of the murder, however, displayed deep hostility to the equalities and multiculturalist practice of the local state and other agencies. Drawing on extensive ethgraphic research, this book relates these phemena to the 'backlash' to multiculturalism evident during the 1990s in the USA, Australia, Canada, the UK and other European countries. It examines these within the unfolding social and political responses to race equalities in the UK and the USA from the 1960s to the present in the context of changes in social class and national political agendas. This book is unique in linking a detailed study of a community at a time of its critical importance to national debates over racism and multiculturalism, to historically wider international ecomic and social trends.
Roger Hewitt is Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Urban and Community Research, Goldsmiths College, University of London. He has published widely in the fields of racism, language and cultural processes and is the author of White Talk, Black Talk: Inter-racial Friendship and Communication amongst Adolescents (Cambridge, 1986).