Event: The St Paul’s riots: From ‘mindless mob’ to ‘conscious crowd’

Event details

Thursday 15 October, 2020

M Shed, Bristol

The violent disturbance in the St. Paul’s area of Bristol on 2 April 1980 is regarded as iconic. It heralded the beginning of a decade or more of unrest in English cities.

It is also central to the modern history of Bristol, marking a moment where issues of institutional and popular racism were forced into the media spotlight. National and local government bodies were obliged to search for explanations and generate policy responses.

Many contemporary reports in the media of the ‘St. Paul’s riot’ described the actions of an ‘immigrant’, ‘mob’ of ‘black youths’ who were ‘going wild’ in the ‘chaos’ of a ‘race riot’.

Using both written, visual and oral sources Roger Ball will re-examine the event and outline how this racialised and outmoded representation of the ‘crowd’ was challenged in its aftermath by ground-breaking, and now seminal, social-psychological research focussing on the concept of social identity.

Speaker: Dr Roger Ball is a Research Fellow at the Regional History Centre, UWE Bristol

This is a UWE Regional History Centre talk in partnership with M Shed seminar series. Part of our Black History Month programme of events.

This lecture is an example of social identity analysis.