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The Sociology of Multiculturalism

3. Cultural Difference and British Identity

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about the multiculturalist perspective on British national identity and how cultural difference can be reconciled with ideas of Britishness, focusing in particular on: (i) the multiculturalist approach to national identity; (ii) right-wing nationalist notions of Britishness as solely relating to one culture; (iii) changes in wider social attitudes about what constitutes being “truly British”, including the decline in ethnic and religious criteria.


In this course, Professor Tariq Modood (University of Bristol) explores sociological approaches to multiculturalism and integration. In the first lecture, we think about traditional understandings of integration as being grounded in cultural, religious or national sameness. In the second lecture, we look at how the emergence of multicultural societies, such as modern Britain, challenge these older notions, and consider the nature of cultural difference. Next, we look at ideas of Britishness and the ways these have changed over time. In the fourth and final lecture, we consider how we can construct notions of British national identity which can accommodate cultural diversity.


Tariq Modood is Professor of Sociology, Politics and Public Policy at the University of Bristol. Over the last twenty-five years, he has worked on the theory and politics of racism, racial equality, and multiculturalism and secularism, with special reference to British Asian Muslims. Some of his more recent publications include Multiculturalism: A Civic Idea (2007) and (co-authored with G. Levey) Secularism, Religion and Multicultural Citizenship.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Modood, T. (2021, August 23). The Sociology of Multiculturalism - Cultural Difference and British Identity [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Modood, T. "The Sociology of Multiculturalism – Cultural Difference and British Identity." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 23 Aug 2021,

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