ABSTRACT

A number of issues and questions have emerged from both my research and teaching which have influenced the themes and issues around which this book has been written. Questions which are important in any writing context; for example, what is the point of the book, who is it for, and who has the expertise to write it, all take on a particular significance in the context of writing about ‘race’. In my own case, I have regularly been asked to justify my own role both as an academic and teacher. What kinds of knowledge make up, or should make up, the academic study of ‘race’? What role should a teacher, in my case a white teacher, play in courses on ‘race’ and ethnicity? What should be the focus of such courses? Should she/he be primarily concerned with racism and racial inequality (however these terms are defined) or something else? How far should courses expect students to think about themselves, as black, Jewish, British Asian, or in non-racial/ethnic terms? What role should ‘non-white’ student experience play in the course?