Race and Class

Kalwant Bhopal, Chantelle Jessica Lewis, Nasar Meer, Imogen Tyler

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Understanding their relationship in society.

This event takes place at the British Library.

In recent years, public discourse on ‘the left behind’ and ‘the white working class’ has approached concerns with race and class in silos, overlooking their interdependence in all parts of our society. 

In this panel convened by the journal Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, in collaboration with the British Library, leading social scientists renew the conversation on what we can take the relationship between race and class to mean today in Britain and globally. 

A key objective is to bring both a historical and contemporary perspective to an understanding of how and why race and class operate sociologically, including the ways they are intersected by gender, and how this can help us understand and address the challenges and conflicts of the current context.

With Professor Kalwant Bhopal (Birmingham University), Dr Chantelle Lewis (Oxford; Surviving Society) Professor Imogen Tyler (Lancaster) and chaired by Professor Nasar Meer (Edinburgh).

Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power is a journal published six times a year that explores the formation and transformation of racial, ethnic, national, transnational and postcolonial identities in the contemporary world.

Bar open from 18.00.

Kalwant Bhopal is professor of education and social justice and director of the Centre for Research on Race and Education at the University of Birmingham. Kalwant’s research focuses on the achievements and experiences of minority ethnic groups in education. She has conducted research on exploring discourses of identity and intersectionality examining the lives of Black minority ethnic groups as well as examining the marginal position of Gypsies and Travellers. Her research specifically explores how processes of racism, exclusion and marginalisation operate in predominantly White spaces with a focus on social justice and inclusion. Her research on this area has been used to inform policy-making in higher education, particularly the development of the Race Equality Charter mark. Her book, White Privilege: the myth of a post-racial society was published by Policy Press in 2018. Her new book (with Martin Myers), Elites and the making of privilege: exploring race and class in global educational economies will be published by Routledge later this year.

Chantelle Jessica Lewis is a public sociologist, broadcaster and event director. Her research is situated at the intersections of socio-historical analysis; politics, Black feminism, family studies and racism studies. She is co-host and co-founder of the Surviving Society podcast and the Deputy Director of Leading Routes (see #BlackinAcademia events & campaign). She is currently a Junior Research Fellow in Black British studies at Pembroke College, and TORCH's Race and Resistance Research Programme, University of Oxford. Her intellectual project is primarily focused on collaborative scholarship and dialogical knowledge production; as well as the democratisation of generative modes of understanding and navigating education. As a scholar with multiple neurodiverse traits, she is passionate about inclusive education and creative scholarship produced beyond the written word.

Nasar Meer is Professor of Sociology in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. He is Co-Investigator of The Impacts of the Pandemic on Ethnic and Racialised Groups in the UK (UKRI, 2021–2023) and Principal Investigator of the Governance and Local Integration of Migrants and Europe’s Refugees (GLIMER) (JPI ERA Net/Horizon-2020). He was a Commissioner on the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s (2020–2021) Post-COVID-19 Futures Inquiry, and a Member of the Scottish Government COVID-19 and Ethnicity Expert Reference Group. He is author of The Cruel Optimism of Racial Justice (Policy Press 2022), Citizenship, Identity & the Politics of Multiculturalism (Palgrave 2015, 2nd edition) and Race and Ethnicity (Sage 2014).

Imogen Tyler is Professor of Sociology at Lancaster University. Her books include Stigma: the Machinery of Inequality (2020); The Sociology of Stigma (2019, edited volume); Revolting Subjects: Social Abjection and Resistance in Neoliberal Britain (2013). Imogen is currently working on a new project that seeks to develop a global social theory of enclosures for the 21st century. Drawing on her community work with anti-poverty activists and reparative historical research with a local Black history group and arts organisations, this project explores how fresh historical perspectives on enclosures might produce new insights into the fractious contemporary politics of race and class.

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Name: Race and Class
Where: Entrance Hall
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546