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Rodney Barker

distinctions within the group. Where one sits, whether one sits or serves, all construct identities and distinctions of superiority or inferiority. The hall of a college or a City of London livery company sets its members off from the world outside. But, at the same time, ‘high table’ is more distinguished than the commoners’ table, and wily humility can conspire to achieve the former whilst appearing to choose the latter: ‘When thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou

in Cultivating political and public identity