chapter
18 Pages

Introduction

Race and class distinctions within black communities in the United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK) must be understood as being predominantly constituted within and by the two dominant social class language games, a black bourgeoisie and underclass, created by the class divisions and social relations of production of global capitalism or the capitalist world-system. This Marxist dialectical perspective stands against contemporary postmodern and post-structural theories, which focus on local formations, heterogeneity, the diverse, the subjective, the spontaneous, the relative, and the fragmentary as the basis for understanding the constitution of black identities and consciousnesses in the US and UK. The latter positions, we argue in this work, are also the product of class division and social relations of production in late postindustrial capitalist development and organization. As a result, they fail to adequately address the issues regarding the origins and basis for the constitution of black identities and consciousnesses in America and the UK. Using a variant of structuration theory, what we are calling phenomenological structuralism, this work, against contemporary postmodern and post-structural theories, seeks to off er a dialectical understanding of the constitution of black American and British life within the class divisions and social relations of production of the global capitalist world-system while accounting for black social agency.