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					Evidence of Ethnic

An overview of writing on
 ethnicity and inequality
          Facts about ‘race’
• 7.1% of the population belongs to an ethnic minority
• Most of these people live in urban areas
• The ethnic minority population is growing faster than the
  whole society because they are generally younger in age.
• The largest single group of ethnic minority people are
  Indians, followed by Pakistani and then Black Caribbeans.
• Most of those who consider themselves to belong to an
  ethnic minority community are in fact, British because they
  were born in Britain.
• They are claimed to have ‘hybrid culture’ which is a mix of
  their home culture and British culture.
    1965 Race Relations Act
• This banned discrimination on the grounds of race, colour
  or ethnic or national origin in public places.

• It made it illegal to incite racial hatred in writing.

• It set up the Race Relations Board to respond to

These laws were clearly ineffective:
   – Racism is not illegal in private and racism still occurs.
   – The onus is on the victim to prove that racism
   The 1968 Race Relations
• This extended the previous Act to include: employment,
  housing and the provision of services.

• There was very little discrimination ever proved, few cases
  were won, and most were related to advertising!

• The Police were exempt from this Act and investigated
  themselves in cases of complaints.

• It was generally seen as an expensive and toothless waste
  of time.
   The 1976 Race Relations
• This introduced the idea of indirect discrimination which
  mean that employers could not set up ‘blinds’ to cover
  blatantly racist policies.

• It set up the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE). See
  their Website at <>.

• There are limited resources and few prosecutions. It is
  difficult to prove that people are motivated by racism.

• Race relations legislation is controversial and generally
  not especially helpful except in changing attitudes.
         Immigration control
• Many writers claim that immigration controls have been
  used unfairly to discriminate against non-white immigrants
  whereas those from Australia and European countries
  have been accepted into the UK without control.
• In 1993 the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act was
  actually designed to limit immigration and reduce the
  number of asylum seekers.
• It acted to remove the right of appeal against the decision
  to deport people.
• Asylum seekers also lost their right to housing.
• There were a number of incidents which embarrassed the
  government over the implementation of the laws.
          The Cantle Report
• Race riots occurred in British cities in 2001.
• The main rioting was in the North and associated with
  Asian communities in Bradford, Oldham and Burnley.
• The Cantle Report was produced in December in that year.
• It claims that there is racial segregation between the
  communities and increasing distance between the groups.
• It argues for increased integration between groups.
• The Home Secretary, David Blunkett suggested:
   – Immigrants should learn English
   – They should take a loyalty oath to the UK
• Official figures for January 2001 show that unemployment
  rates for ethnic minority men is twice that for white men.
• The ethnic minority groups which are most likely to be
  unemployed are Black Caribbeans and Black Africans at
  nearly four times the average rate.
• The group least likely to suffer unemployment is Indian
  men. Possibly because these are likely to be middle class
  in terms of education.
• The trends are exaggerated in the case of women.
  Bangladeshis and Pakistanis are unemployed at a rate of
  23.9% which is five times the average for all women.
       Crime and Criminality
• Black males are more likely to go to prison than all males.

• This does not apply to all ethnic minorities – but it does to
  African Caribbeans.

• Only 0.3 judges come from ethnic minority backgrounds
  and 0.1% of senior barristers are black.

• The rates of execution in the USA for non-white people are
  twice what could be expected from their rates of
  representation in the community.
 Black crime and sociology
• Demography – blacks are younger in age distribution than
  the general population and rates of crime are also much
  higher than among young people.
• Racism – the police are racist. This is supported by the
  Scarman Report and the McPherson Report into the
  Stephen Lawrence case.
• Resistance to imperialism – criminality is a form of
  resistance and a political stance. This is a Marxist view
  and the evidence to support it is poor.
• Marginalisation – Black people are marginal to mainstream
  society and cannot achieve their aspirations to wealth via
  the normal channels because of the racism of society.
  They turn, therefore, to crime.
           Michael E Brown
• There are three types of ethnic conflict:
   – Systemic conflict occurs when groups live close to one
     another. Groups may launch attacks to gain advantage.

   – Domestic conflict relates to groups who feel
     vulnerable and they attempt to break away from the
     more powerful people who will submerge their culture.

   – Perceptual explanations relate to how groups are
     trained to relate to each other.
                 John Rex
• Rex believes racism to be based on belief

• Rex suggests that people justify their racist
  beliefs with dubious logic. The hate comes first,
  then the rationalisation.
                David Mason
• Institutional racism as a term has been used in five
  different ways:

   – Conspiracy where people are seen to deliberately set
     out to discriminate.
   – Structural Marxist where the racism is a consequence
     of state policy.
   – Unintended racism results from badly designed or
     ethnocentric policies.
   – Colonial racism where minority groups take on low
     status work.
   – Political opportunism where racism policies are seen
     as popular.
                  Paul Gilroy
• Establishing a separate cultural identity is a significant
  form of resistance to capitalism and to racism in imperial
• This was once done by African Caribbeans through dance,
  music, art and sport.
• However, in post modern society, many people are
  adapting and adopting black cultural styles as a form of
• It offers people a variable identity but disenfranchises
  black people from ownership of their own culture – hence
  the drive to keep developing new styles that black people
  can own as their styles become adopted by the
             John Beynon 1986
•   There are eight possible causes of Inner City ethnic rioting:
     – Unemployment
     – Deprivation
     – Racial disadvantage
     – Racial discrimination
     – Political exclusion
     – Powerlessness
     – Distrust of police
     – Hostility to police

     It is these which cause race rioting in cities, though often a
         single event may trigger the actual riot.
            Heidi Safia Mirza
• Black women experience inequalities of gender and race.
• Females work hard in school and have values of
• This is because families are matriarchal and girls accept
  that they will be primary carers for their children.
• Black girls are very high achievers but books on ethnicity
  do not acknowledge that male and female patterns of
  achievement are different.

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