The Art of Being Black : The Creation of Black British Youth Identities: The Creation of Black British Youth Identities

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Clarendon Press, May 2, 1996 - 222 pages
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The Art of Being Black explores how young black Britons create their cultural identities. Claire Alexander rejects the common tendency to view black communities in terms of conflict, or as the focus of a problem; she offers a fresh exploration of the strengths and ambiguities of black youth representations as they are imagined and lived through, focusing in particular on community, `class', social life, and masculinity. Young black men have been typecast as hostile and culturally confused, alienated from their parents and from society; as `folk devils' (the stock images of the black mugger, the Rastafarian drug dealer, the rioter, the Yardie), creating problems for society in general. To get a truer view, Dr Alexander spent twelve months as `one of the boys' in a group of young black Londoners; the resulting highly personal, in-depth, and very readable study counters the usual image of ethnic identity as fixed and immutable. Drawing on contemporary debates about culture and ethnicity, this book offers the close observation and informed analysis needed to bring to life theories of black cultural identity.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Race Ethnicity and the Struggle
10
The Aim of this Book
17
The Players
25
Work
71
Social Life
102
The Peer Group
131
Attitudes to Women
156
Conclusion
187
Bibliography
200
Index
207
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