The Public Identities of the Black Middle Classes: Managing Race in Public Spaces

Rollock, Nicola; Gillborn, David; Vincent, Carol and Ball, Stephen. 2011. The Public Identities of the Black Middle Classes: Managing Race in Public Spaces. Sociology, 45(6), pp. 1078-1093. ISSN 0038-0385 [Article]

No full text available

Abstract or Description

Drawing on data from a two-year ESRC-funded project into The Educational Strategies of the Black Middle Classes,1 this article examines how middle class blacks negotiate survival in a society marked by race and class discrimination. It considers respondents’ school experiences, marked as they are by incidents of Othering and racism and explores both the processes by which they came to an awareness of their status as racially minoritized and how they made sense of and managed such incidents. The majority of our respondents have made the transition from working class to middle class during their lifetimes. It is argued that these early formative experiences of racism and this class transition have facilitated the development of a complex set of capitals upon which middle class blacks are able to draw in order to signal their class identity to white others therefore minimizing the probability of racial discrimination.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


black middle classes, cultural capital, double-consciousness, public identities, racism

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies


1 December 2011Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

13 Jul 2018 15:14

Last Modified:

13 Jul 2018 15:14

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


Edit Record Edit Record (login required)