New Book: Racism, Class and the Racialized Outsider

Published: 17 June 2014

Professor Satnam Virdee's new book offers an original perspective on the significance of both racism and anti-racism in the making of the English working class.

Professor Satnam Virdee's new book, offers an original perspective on the significance of both racism and anti-racism in the making of the English working class. While racism became a powerful structuring force within this social class from as early as the mid-Victorian period, this book also traces the episodic emergence of currents of working class anti-racism. Through an insistence that race is central to the way class works, this insightful text demonstrates not only that the English working class was a multi-ethnic formation from the moment of its inception but that racialized outsiders - Irish Catholics, Jews, Asians and the African diaspora - often played a catalytic role in the collective action that helped fashion a more inclusive and democratic society. 

Publisher's webpage: Racism, Class and the Racialized Outsider (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).


"A remarkable study of the interplay between racism and anti-racism in shaping the contours of working class organization and struggle in England. It is a nuanced and sophisticated contribution both to the empirical account of this historical trajectory, and to our theoretical understanding of the mutually constitutive character of race and class." - Erik Olin Wright, Vilas Distinguished Professor, University of Wisconsin, USA, and Past-President, American Sociological Association.

"A serious and conceptually sophisticated analysis of key aspects of racism and anti-racism in the contemporary environment. Its combination of history and sociology makes it somewhat unique and it has no obvious competitor at the present time." - John Solomos, Professor of Sociology, University of Warwick, UK

"Virdee's inspiring and historically wide-ranging account of the hidden role played by racialized minorities in the formative moments of English labour history sets a new benchmark in work on race and class." - Verity Burgmann, Professor Emerita, Monash University, Australia 

"This pathbreaking and cogently written book is a major contribution to our historical understanding of racism and working class politics in England." - Rodolfo D. Torres, University of California, Irvine, USA

First published: 17 June 2014

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