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A pub for England: Race and class in the time of the nation

Singh, Amit; Valluvan, Sivamohan; Kneale, James; (2024) A pub for England: Race and class in the time of the nation. European Journal of Cultural Studies 10.1177/13675494231225742. (In press). Green open access

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The pub is often romanticised as a site of idyllic English ‘working-class’ sociability that is now under threat. Such melancholic invocations of the pub’s plight are invoked amid the wider resurgence of a racialised English nationalism that makes particularly effective claims to a ‘white working-class’ and their putatively ‘left-behind’ anguish. This article challenges such dominant accounts, juxtaposing such racially defensive readings of the working-class pub against the otherwise overlooked phenomenon of England’s ‘desi pubs’ (Indian-run pubs) through recourse to David Jesudason’s Desi Pubs as well as drawing upon the accounts of the founder of Glassy Junction, a historic desi pub in Southall. Importantly, this overdue engagement of ‘desi pubs’ is considered not through frameworks of race and nation alone but also within conjunctural webs of capitalist stratification and subjectivity. Ultimately, we argue that attentiveness to desi pubs helps draw out convivial modalities of working-class sociability that exist outside of both otherwise ascendant racial and nationalist grievance frames and the sanitised but also prohibitive consumerist webs of aspirational distinction and individualism.

Type: Article
Title: A pub for England: Race and class in the time of the nation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/13675494231225742
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/13675494231225742
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2024. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Keywords: Conviviality, desi pub, Englishness, nationalism, pub, race, whiteness, working-class
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10186807
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