Hidden Minorities and the Politics of ‘Race’: The Case of British Arab activists in London

Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Migration and Diaspora; Race and Ethnic Studies


This paper uses a case study of activists in London's Arab communities to address the marginalisation of certain groups in academic analyses of 'race' and ethnicity. Theorisation of 'race' has become increasingly sophisticated, emphasising the fluidity of racial identities and the contextual specificity of racial ideologies and racialised practices. Yet very few empirical analyses of 'race' stray from the rigid categories of 'race' and ethnicity found in censuses and other official sources. The implication is that only certain groups 'count' as 'racial' and should be analysed in terms of 'race'. Using evidence gathered from intensive interviews with Arab community activists, this paper attempts to challenge rigid conceptions of 'race' and, in so doing, to move discussions of 'racial politics' beyond standard black-white dichotomies.



© 2001 by Taylor and Francis

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