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What has Britain's inglorious history of colonial exploitation got to do with the tranquil, green and pleasant environment of the village community that is typically taken to represent the quintessence of Englishness? Whiteness, Class and the Legacies of Empire is a personally mediated, reflexive ethnography of the historically influenced, geographically situated, embodied, classed and racially differentiated constitution of contemporary urban and suburban identities. It is grounded in the author's experience of the ways in which social identity is constructed and maintained via her ethnography of a village-like community, a post-industrial town and an inner-city locale, all of which are situated within close proximity to one another. The central focus is on how it is that White ethnicity is rendered invisible. What comes to light is a picture of contemporary people's conceptions of themselves conditioned by, and deriving from, the unknown and forgotten legacy of a colonial past that cannot be confined to the past.

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