Racial Prejudice Declines in Britain

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     W o r l d     T r e n d s          &    F o r e c a s t s




Society
Racial Prejudice Declines in Britain
Increased heterogeneity spurs increased racial tolerance.




A     mong Britons born early in the
      last century, interracial mar-
      riage may still be considered
taboo, and a white man working for
a black boss is unthinkable. But to
                                                “Cohort replacement is a slow pro-
                                                cess, and significant levels of hostil-
                                                ity to ethnic minorities remain even
                                                in the youngest cohorts surveyed
                                                here,” he notes.
younger generations, such things
barely rate a shrug of the shoulders,
                                                Breaking the “Hate Circuit”
according to a study by the Univer-                                                                     Acceptance of interracial marriage is
sity of Manchester.                               While increased exposure to other                     more common among younger genera-
   In his study of British social atti-         races in a society may offer a simple                   tions, according to a recent British study.
tudes, sociologist Rob Ford found               explanation for increased tolerance,
that just 25% of people born in the             hatred is a complex phenomenon,                        individuals to heroic and evil deeds.”
1970s opposed marriage between                  with both social and physical under-                      In studying both love’s and hate’s
white relatives and ethnic minorities,          pinnings.                                              impacts on brain activity, the re-
compared with 60% of people born                  Neurobiologists at University Col-                   searchers found intriguing differ-
in the 1910s; attitudes toward one’s            lege London have identified activity                   ences. Both are all-consuming pas-
boss have followed a similar trend.             in distinctive areas of the brain                      sions, Zeki notes, but “whereas in
   “We are becoming a more tolerant             among individuals shown images of                      romantic love, the lover is often less
society,” says Ford. “The attitudes of          someone they hate. Dubbed the                          critical and judgmental regarding the
older cohorts reflect the fact that             “hate circuit,” these portions of the                  loved person, it is more likely that in
their perceptions were shaped by                brain are separate from other areas                    the context of hate the hater may
growing up in an ethnically homoge-             of the brain associated with fear,                     want to exercise judgment in calcu-
neous Britain before mass immigra-              threat, and danger.                                    lating moves to harm, injure, or
tion began. Those cohorts express       
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: Among Britons born early in the last century, interracial marriage may still be considered taboo, and a white man working for a black boss is unthinkable. But to younger generations, such things barely rate a shrug of the shoulders, according to a study by the University of Manchester. In his study of British social attitudes, sociologist Rob Ford found that just 25% of people born in the 1970s opposed marriage between white relatives and ethnic minorities, compared with 60% of people born in the 1910s; attitudes toward one's boss have followed a similar trend. While increased exposure to other races in a society may offer a simple explanation for increased tolerance, hatred is a complex phenomenon, with both social and physical underpinnings.
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