Dr Ben Pitcher, Reader in Sociology, featured in the third and fourth episodes of My Albion, a BBC Radio 4 documentary exploring ideas about race and national identity through the songs, stories and symbols of British folk culture.
Dr Pitcher was interviewed about his current book project on the uses of prehistory in contemporary culture, and the ways in which stories about the ancient human past can challenge racially exclusive ideas about identity and belonging.
Talking about belonging to land, Dr Pitcher said: “If you hold to a racially exclusive conception of national identity that says belonging has to be rooted in a long unbroken lineage of inhabitation by so-called indigenous white people then no you can’t belong.
“But if you follow that logic, you’re not going to find many people who belong, certainly not the British Royal Family, certainly not most of the inhabitants of multicultural Britain. Belonging is about being, it’s experiential, it’s about an experience of being in a particular place.”