Slide 1

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Slide 1
Patterns of Prejudice
Debbie Weekes-Bernard
Head of Research
Social mixing and contact
• Quality of contact is important, but also social and political
narrative as well as structural inequality
• The characteristics of those mixing are important
• The space in which mixing occurs is also important
British Social Attitudes Survey
Generation 3.0
School Choice & Ethnic Segregation
Can narratives change attitudes?
Yes, but often only temporarily
The British Social Attitudes Survey reported that the percentage of
people who describe themselves as prejudiced has risen since 2001
Key Narratives…
contribute to increases in racial prejudice:
• Immigration
• Islamophobia
• Austerity
For example there is a relationship between those more likely to hold
racially prejudicial attitudes and their view on immigration
92% of those who report having some racial prejudice think immigration
should be reduced compared to 72% of those reporting no prejudicial
And characteristics?
• Those more likely than others to report the holding of prejudicial
attitudes are men, from both un and skilled manual occupations,.
• However the narrative effects of austerity/unemployment are
that an increase in unemployment by 1% leads middle aged highly
educated men in full time employment to self-report an increase
in prejudicial attitudes by 4.1 percentage points. (Johnston &
Lordan, 2014)
Why is location important?
• 54% of Londoners have a more positive view of immigration in
comparison to 28% in the rest of the UK.
London itself is an area which is clearly superdiverse - 37% of those
living in the city of London were born outside of the UK, which
compares to 13% across England and Wales and in the European
elections held earlier this year, UKIP support in the city was poor.
But the West Midlands, in which Birmingham is situated, has high
numbers of those reporting prejudicial attitudes – 35% compared to a
national figure of 25%
The West midlands however has high rates of unemployment and even
in Birmingham, outside of the city centre social mixing very rarely
takes place
“Young people don’t feel the difference. Older generations still feel like
we’re the foreigners in this country” Sudarshan, 70
Runnymede work in Birmingham – fine until events were held in
Handsworth Wood – Black Caribbean, 16%; Asian 51.5%
East Handsworth & Lozells – Black Caribbean 21.9%, Asian 60.1%
Birmingham – White British 53.1%, Pakistani 13.5%, Indian 6%, Black
Caribbean 4%
Unemployment high at start of recession in Ladywood, Sparkbrook &
Small Heath (Danny Dorling 2007)
Social mixing
• ethnic communities are becoming less, not more segregated and
minority ethnic groups are becoming less concentrated – those of
African descent for example are very dispersed
• schools were more ethnically segregated than the geographical
areas they were situated in
• Increased choice of school enables ‘flight’ to occur – parents who
can afford to do so move away from a minority ethnic ‘other’ –
parents and children with English as a second language, ethnically
segregated schools, diverse geographical spaces
• Parents from low socio-economic backgrounds choose local schools –
where these schools are situated in urban, ethnically diverse areas,
often these schools will include high proportions of minority ethnic
pupils schools
• Black children currently travel the furthest of all children to
attend school, often in schools that are majority white, perceived
to be ‘better’ but which are not necessarily so.
Mixing, and contact is important as is the quality, the frequency, the
characteristics of the individual mixing and the place in which mixing
Catchment areas for schools should be changed regularly to reflect both
ethnic and social mixing where possible, as migration, both international
and within the UK, changes the make-up of neighbourhoods and affects
the composition of pupil populations.
Generational contact is also important – older individuals from settled
communities learn much from younger people, particularly where this
youth is found within their own families. New attempts at enforced
mixing (social activities etc) may not necessarily be as successful for
older groups, but are not impossible
Urban areas can both promote and hinder mixing ie London and
Birmingham. Additional structural inequalities affect both opportunities
for mixing but also attitudes towards others. Unemployment, skills etc
are barriers.
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