Where has all the racism gone? Views of racism within constabularies after Macpherson

Simon Holdaway, Megan O'Neill

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    22 Citations (Scopus)


    Drawing on evidence from a study of Black Police Associations in English and Welsh constabularies, this article addresses perceived changes in the articulation of racialized relations within the police during the years following Lord Macpherson's Report about the police investigation of Stephen Lawrence's murder. Association officials argued that overt racism has been replaced by covert racism, evidence of which is, by definition, difficult to establish. Black Police Association officials’ and senior officers’ views of this change are discussed. Sources of evidence of covert racism are described and analysed, often related to Macpherson's definition of ‘institutional racism’. The wider implications of the article for the study of race and ethnicity are then discussed, with particular reference to Brubaker's recent work on ethnicity as cognition, which underpins the analysis of all the data gathered.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)397-415
    Number of pages19
    JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • Racism
    • racialisation
    • ethnicity
    • police
    • black police associations
    • Macpherson


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