This article contributes to the ‘cognitive turn’ in the study of ethnicity and national identity, which focuses on how individuals construct ethnic identity categories pertinent to social cohesion. Using Mannheim as a methodological and analytical guide, we show how examining ethnicity as a relational enactment devoid of a priori categorisations allows situational identities that intersect with classical sociological concepts other than ethnicity – namely generation, class, and citizenship – to emerge within and across typical ethnic categorisations. We draw on an analysis of micro-level interactions among 40 aging ‘black and minority ethnics’ (BMEs) engaging in small-group discussions and a large deliberative assembly held in London in 2011.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- United Kingdom
- documentary meaning
- national identity