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British Multiculturalism and the Politics of Representation$
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Lasse Thomassen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474422659

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474422659.001.0001

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Hegemony, Representation and Britishness

Hegemony, Representation and Britishness

Chapter:
(p.12) 1 Hegemony, Representation and Britishness
Source:
British Multiculturalism and the Politics of Representation
Author(s):

Lasse Thomassen

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474422659.003.0002

This chapter lays out Ernesto Laclau’s theory of discourse and hegemony as the theoretical framework that, together with Jacques Derrida’s deconstruction, guides the analyses of the cases studied in the book. The chapter engages with the existing literature on the contemporary representations of Muslims in Western society in order to explain how the position developed in the book – that representation is constitutive – differs from that literature. To help illustrate the implications of the theoretical framework, the chapter uses Gordon Brown’s discourse of Britishness and illustrates the theoretical points with examples from his writings and speeches and with the citizenship tests introduced by New Labour.

Keywords:   Britishness, discourse, Ernesto Laclau, Gordon Brown, hegemony, Jacques Derrida, representation, Muslims

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