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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

You Can't Put Me In A Box: Super-diversity and the end of identity politics in Britain

This paper attempts to map out just how diverse Britain is, both in terms of who lives in Britain and how they identify themselves.

Britain is not only more diverse than ever before but that diversity itself is growing more diverse. Today, identities are more complex and fluid than they used to be, reflecting shifting interests and allegiances. For those of us interested in equality, this new situation presents some difficult challenges. While inequality and discrimination manifest themselves along all-too-familiar lines, identity-based campaigns seem dated.

This paper explores how discrimination and disadvantage do not map easily onto orthodox 'strand-based' frameworks and assesses the shortcomings of current approaches to understanding and tackling discrimination and disadvantage. While we aim for this to be a paper that provokes rather than answers questions, we conclude with some implications we see for policymakers, data collectors and others.