Race and class in Britain: a critique of the statistical basis for critical race theory in Britain: and some political implications.

Hill, Dave (2009) Race and class in Britain: a critique of the statistical basis for critical race theory in Britain: and some political implications. Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, 7 (2). ISSN 1740-2743

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Abstract

In this paper I critique what I analyse as the misuse of statistics in arguments put forward by some Critical Race Theorists in Britain showing that `Race‟ `trumps‟ Class in terms of underachievement at 16+ exams in England and Wales. I ask two questions, and make these two associated criticisms, concerning the representation of these statistics: 1. With respect to `race‟ and educational attainment, what is the validity of ignoring the presence of the (high achieving) Indian/ Indian heritage group of pupils- one of the two largest minority groups in England and Wales? This group has been ignored, indeed, left completely out of statistical representations- charts- showing educational achievement levels of different ethnic groups. 2. With respect to social class and educational attainment, what is the validity of selecting two contiguous social class/ strata in order to show social class differences in educational attainment? (1) At a theoretical level, using Marxist work (2) I argue for a notion of `raced‟ and gendered class, in which some (but not all) minority ethnic groups are racialised or xeno-racialised) and suffer a `race penalty‟ in, for example, teacher labelling and expectation, treatment by agencies of the state, such as the police, housing, judiciary, health services and in employment. I critique some CRT treatment of social class analysis and underachievement as unduly dismissive and extraordinarily subdued (e.g. a critique I make of Gillborn, 2008a, b, 2009a, b, c). I offer a Marxist critique of Critical Race Theory from statistical and theoretical perspectives, showing that it is not `whiteness‟, a key claim of CRT, that most privileges or underprivileges school students in England and Wales. This analysis has policy implications regarding school/ school district/ national education policies, and also wider social and economic policies such as social cohesion, exclusion/ inclusion, and addressing wider economic and power inequalities in European societies (Booth, 2008; Toynbee and Walker, 2008; Hill, 2009a, 2009b; Hill and Kumar, 2009). Accepting the urgent need for anti-racist awareness, policy and activism- from the classroom to the street- (3) I welcome the anti-racism that CRT promulgates and analyses, while criticising its over-emphasis on `white supremacy‟- and its statistical misrepresentations.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:School of Health and Education > Education
ID Code:5055
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Deposited On:21 Apr 2010 09:47
Last Modified:14 Oct 2013 10:00

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