Contemporary Grammars of Political Action among Ethnic Minority Young Activists

Therese O'Toole, Richard Gale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Despite public and media attention to ethnic minority young people’s political engagement in recent times, often expressed in crisis narratives about disengagement, disaffection or extremism, there has been little consideration of the range, or distinctive forms, of political action among ethnic minority young people. The purpose of this article is to address this by presenting qualitative research on political activism among ethnic minority young people in Birmingham and Bradford. We find evidence for ‘new grammars of action’ and highly ‘glocal’ (as distinct from transnational and diasporic) political orientations among the activists with whom we worked, as well as the significance of religious (as distinct from ethnic) identities in informing some activists’ political engagements. We conclude that, while there is evidence for changing political subjectivities, there is a need to take account of the interplay between old and new grammars of political action.
Translated title of the contributionContemporary Grammars of Political Action among Ethnic Minority Young Activists
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126 - 143
Number of pages17
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010

Structured keywords

  • SPAIS Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship


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