‘Race’, Space and Multiculturalism in Northern England: The (M62) Corridor of Uncertainty – with Professors Pete Sanderson and Paul Thomas

21st October 2020. We were pleased to welcome authors Pete Sanderson (Professor of Education, Department of Education and Community Studies) and Paul Thomas (Professor of Youth and Policy, School of Education and Professional Development), from University of Huddersfield, to present key arguments and concerns from their new book: ‘Race’, Space and Multiculturalism in Northern England: The (M62) Corridor of Uncertainty (authors: Shamim Miah (Senior Lecturer at the School of Education), Pete Sanderson & Paul Thomas).

The book challenges the narrative of the M62 corridor region of Northern England as a ‘failed space of multiculturalism’, drawing on a historically-contextualised discussion of ethnic relations to argue that multiculturalism has been more successful and locally situated than these assumptions allow.

In particular, we examine the interplay between ‘race’, space and place to analyse how profound economic change, the evolving nature of the state, individual racism, and the local creation and enactment of multiculturalist policies have all contributed to shaping the trajectory of ethnic/faith identities and inter-community relations at a local level. In doing so, we analyse both change and continuity in discussion of, and national/local state policy towards, ethnic relations, particularly around the supposed segregation/integration dichotomy, and the ways in which racialised ‘events’ are perceived and ‘identities’ are created and reflected in state policy operations.

The session was chaired by Adrian Favell, PI of the Northern Exposure project, and the talk was followed by responses from Nadeem Mir QPM, from Integrate Todmorden, and Adrian Favell.