‘Stumbling on’: Race, class and England

macpherson_coverPublished in April 2000, this paper examines press coverage of the publication of the Macpherson inquiry report into the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence, particularly focusing on the articulation of shifting ideologies of ‘race’, class, and nation. The report was represented in much of the press as an attack on Englishness and as a capitulation by a cosmopolitan anti-English ruling elite to foreign concepts of anti-racism. Newspapers were able to articulate a notion of the common- sense tolerance and moderation of ordinary English values, against which the Labour government was introducing the alien and artificial language of ‘institutional racism’.

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