What are we talking about? Who’s ‘we’ anyway?
However, as it is in the nature of Middle England to control, to conquer,
to absorb and to grow, the conquered territories become part of it: Middle
England itself is the engine of it’s own transformation. Its natural
(naturalised) population includes diverse groups of people who find their
own compass needles wavering, stubbornly and unexpectedly, hinting at another
North. They have another centre, and the certainty of it’s parallel
authority, at the same time as they exist as a product of Middle England.
They exemplify - they embody - the concept of double consciousness, that
state of being an insider and an outsider at the same time. There is no
question of their right to be here - they are part of the process through
which Middle England becomes itself. If Middle England wants to understand
its global, relational, present self, rooted in the consequences of history,
then it must understand how these people, these diverse groups, are part
Phrases that describe the condition of living among, being influenced by, to a greater or lesser extent, all manner of cultural influences of different origin, slip in and out of favour, by a slow process of semantic and social change.
Current now, ‘cultural diversity’ is still an arguable term, as anyone who has tried to debate its meaning, or the pragmatic application of strategies informed by its supposed meaning, will know. Francois Matarasso has a productive definition; by productive I mean it could be fruitful in producing new ways of doing things. To him, at least as I understand it, cultural diversity is inherent to the city as a site of meeting and exchange, and through the city, to the wider nation at large.