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A House with Two Doors? Creole Nationalism and Nomadism in Multicultural London

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Abstract:

This article focuses on the limits of liberal discourses such as multiculturalism in an increasing global world. I focus on multicultural London and juxtapose Black British writer, Zadie Smith's novel, White Teeth to Stephen Frears' Dirty Pretty Things, to underline the multiple intersections between the status of coloured immigrants, their descendants, and migrant workers. The thin distinction between citizens and aliens disappears in the film that portrays their overlapping job occupations, spatial proximity, hence shedding light on the continuing significance of race in Britain today. While racism in Smith's liberal view can be combated through claims of citizenship, the film suggests that race, class, and immigrant statuses are an integral part of a capitalist system of exploitation. This comparison reveals different conceptualisations of this diverse population, one that is creole and argues for the recognition of diverse citizens' cultures, and another one that transcends national, gender and cultural perimeters.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14735780701293524

Publication date: April 1, 2007

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