chapter  1
26 Pages

Political Identities in a Multicultural Europe

National identity was sustained through monoculturalism, with the then Department of Education and Science doing little to respond to demands from within and beyond the education sector for a policy commitment to tackling diversity. This chapter focuses on three main phases to describe the construction of Britishness. Firstly, the period of immigration and deracialization of schooling, during which time educational policies were by and large not framed in a racially explicit way. Secondly, the chapter describes the racialization of education and concurrent emergence of the New Right under the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher. Finally, it examines the simultaneous development of citizenship education, the growth of European political and educational issues, and the rise of Muslimophobia in the wake of the attacks on the US, the US-British War on Iraq, and the London train bombings. Post-Windrush immigration waves from the Caribbean and, subsequently, from the Indian subcontinent mainly brought people to England from former colonies.