The aim of this part of the book is to examine some key social institutions, both as sites of contested interpretations of race and ethnicity and, relatedly, as mechanisms for structuring very real and, between groups, widely divergent, lived experiences. The three social institutions of the family, education and work shape our lives in significant ways in terms of identity, cultural allegiances and material conditions. I shall look at the ways in which all three have become the focus of political struggle. There are definite cultural processes involved in defining the norms of these institutions. How these are established, contested, defined and redefined, by whom and with what consequences, are the core questions to be addressed over the next three chapters.