Black Workers and BME networks organising against racism in the NHS workplace

Carter, Nigel Geoffrey (2018) Black Workers and BME networks organising against racism in the NHS workplace. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.


This research, conducted against the backdrop of neoliberal NHS austerity cuts and the Health and Social Care Act 2012 accelerating privatisation and outsourcing of NHS services, investigates the political differences and similarities of two forms of Black and minority ethnic self-organisation challenging racism in the NHS workplace. Based on case studies of two organisations – a local NHS BME Network and a local UNISON Black Self-Organised Group – the research explores the hypothesis that BME Diversity Networks may be seen as more effective ‘collective voices’ than trade union Black Self-Organised Groups for promoting race equality in the NHS workplace. The research documents the local NHS BME Network’s affiliation to the independent NHS BME Network, capturing a moment in time - 2012 -2018 - when the activism and lobbying of NHS Black workers led to the implementation in 2015 of the NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard. As an empirical qualitative study of a relatively under-researched group of BME NHS support workers and Allied Health Professionals, along with BME nurses, the thesis makes a contribution to knowledge by foregrounding the voices, agency, and everyday lived experience of BME workers challenging racism in the NHS workplace. The research uses a Black Radical Tradition theoretical framework drawing on scholars applying Marxism to conceptualise modes of ‘resistance and accommodation’ in anti-racist Black politics. The concept ‘racial capitalism’ is also linked to race and class theories of Black self-organised resistance to racism in the UK context. The research makes a theoretical contribution by applying the concept of ‘common sense neoliberalism’ alongside the concept of ‘racial capitalism’ to consider the implications of forms of race equality which, in aligning with neoliberal corporate diversity management agendas, operate to privilege Black professional middle class identities whilst marginalising Black working class perspectives.

Carter-Nigel_Thesis-resubmission_July-2020.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0.

Download (1MB) | Preview


Downloads per month over past year

Downloads each year

View Item View Item