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Welcome to our website for the course ‘Life in the UK: Exploring British Culture’

This project seeks to understand the value located in a range of arts/cultural activities to refugees, a group new to British cultural life who are often marginalised from ‘mainstream’ cultural activities, but who are simultaneously expected to adopt a hegemonic national identity of Britishness and henceforward espouse British cultural values.

Every Wednesday morning from January to April 2014 we meet at the Brighton Minority Ethnic Community Partnership near to Brighton railway station.

Arts and Humanities Research CouncilThis is a research project that is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

It forms part of the AHRC Cultural Value research cluster.

Background to the research

Refugees are a group who typically have experienced forced migration, oftentimes related specifically to their own – often fiercely defended – cultural activities and values in their country of origin. This migratory biography makes for a complex, rich contribution to how we think about the value of arts and culture, and cultural expression, in the UK today.

We aim to investigate the standpoint of refugees on British cultural values, benefitting from their ‘outsider within’ perspective. British cultural values are not unitary, nor are they precisely definable, they are shaped and refined by participation and engagement. We will seek to identify the components of cultural value embedded in a set of typically British arts and cultural pursuits, based in and around the city of Brighton. We want to examine carefully what constitutes the experience of involvement in the arts and cultural sphere, so we will also be collecting information on the cognitions and emotions that are attached to such experiences.

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