Heritage and ‘Race’

Authored by: Littler Jo

The Ashgate Research Companion to Heritage and Identity

Print publication date:  April  2008
Online publication date:  March  2016

Print ISBN: 9780754649229
eBook ISBN: 9781315613031
Adobe ISBN: 9781317043249


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‘Race’ appears in the title and body of this chapter in quotation marks, sometimes called ‘sneer quotes’, for a reason – to foreground the status of the term as a historical fiction which has had, and continues to have, very real and damaging effects. The concept of ‘race’ is widely discredited as a category, yet its remnants and legacies continue to shape our contemporary heritage, just as they continue to shape the landscape of contemporary culture more broadly. This chapter considers some of the key issues, contexts and debates that have, both explicitly and implicitly, structured the relationship between ‘race’ and heritage. It does so by providing a summary of different ways in which this relationship has historically been problematic, by outlining contemporary work in the field, and closes by attempting to point towards some possible future directions for research.

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