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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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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 24 July 2021

Hospitality beyond Good and Bad

Hospitality beyond Good and Bad

(p.184) 5 Hospitality beyond Good and Bad
British Multiculturalism and the Politics of Representation

Lasse Thomassen

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter on the concept and practice of hospitality goes back to the time around the millennium and the first years of the New Labour government. It takes a novel – Nick Hornby’s How to Be Good – as its object of analysis. The chapter is about identity, inclusion and exclusion, but it is more about ‘us’ (White, liberal middle-class, etc.) than about those marked as exotic others, those whom multiculturalism is usually taken to be about. Through an analysis of the novel’s treatment of hospitality and charity, the chapter shows how a certain liberal subjectivity is central to the scene of British multiculturalism. As with equality, recognition and tolerance, hospitality is always caught in a tension between unconditionality and conditionality, between openness and closure. The chapter uses Jacques Derrida’s deconstruction and his work on hospitality and the gift as its theoretical basis.

Keywords:   exclusion, gift, homelessness, hospitality, inclusion, Jacques Derrida, liberalism, Nick Hornby

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