Britishness and ‘the outsider within’: tracing manifestations of racist nativism in education policy in England
Racist nativism is a concept which helps us understand the relationship between racialisation and nativism. It is used here to examine cultural values perpetuated by media and political discourse as alien to British values in constructions of Britishness. This paper will consider with interest racist nativism revealed in the construction of Islam and, by association Muslims, as (members of) a non-Christian religion of non-Western tradition; and the speaking and speakers of languages other than English. This provides a contextual frame through which to examine education policy from early 2000s to the present day in order to trace how this racist nativism is manifested within and across policy development in England, thereby attributing significant institutional symbolic value. Manifestations of racist nativism are revealed in the quantity, force, focus and tone of the policies, but also, and perhaps most importantly, in deletions and absences, which this paper concludes is suggestive of a state-mandated racial epistemology of ignorance (Mills, 1997).
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