Explaining Ethnic Differences: Changing Patterns of Disadvantage in Britain

Explaining Ethnic Differences: Changing Patterns of Disadvantage in Britain

Explaining Ethnic Differences: Changing Patterns of Disadvantage in Britain

Explaining Ethnic Differences: Changing Patterns of Disadvantage in Britain

Synopsis

This book focuses on the changing terrain of ethnic disadvantage in Britain, drawing on up-to-date sources. It goes further than texts that merely describe ethnic inequalities to explore and explain their dynamic nature. It suggests that the increasing diversity of experience among different ethnic groups is a key to understanding continuing and emerging tensions and conflicts.Explaining ethnic differences:provides up to date data and analysis of ethnic diversity and changing patterns of disadvantage in Britain; covers key areas of social life, including demographic trends, education, employment, housing, health, gender, and policing and community disorder; is written by leading experts in the field; addresses issues of urgent public importance in the context of recent community disorder and the resurgence of the far right. The book is essential reading for policy makers in central and local government; academics, postgraduate students and advanced undergraduates in the social sciences; social work, health, education and housing professionals; and criminal justice personnel.

Excerpt

The Cities Programme was set up in 1997 by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) – with the support of the (now) Office of the Deputy Prime Minister – to chart the changing circumstances of uk cities and in particular to explore the relationships between economic competitiveness, social cohesion and governance. It undertook a wide range of studies using different methodologies in many communities, within the uk and in Europe. Much of the work of the Programme can now be found in a variety of academic and more popular publications, including the book of the Programme, City matters (http://cwis.livjm.ac.uk/cities). One important part of the Programme’s work was devoted specifically to the role and contribution of different ethnic communities and groups to uk cities and the challenges and opportunities they faced in those cities. For example, our research looked at patterns of education, training and labour market issues, especially for young people, in both the under-performing North and the booming South of England. It explored issues of ethnic entrepreneurship. and it commissioned research on issues of identity, community, citizenship and rights.

The Cities Programme was particularly pleased to support the seminar on which this volume was based. We believed it important to explore in detail the range and diversity of experience of different ethnic groups in different regions in modern Britain. It was obvious to everyone that some groups in some places were doing well. But others were facing persistent discrimination and disadvantage, a fact underlined by the disturbances experienced in a range of northern cities in 2001. This volume was not intended to specifically explore the causes and consequences of those disturbances, although some authors do so. Rather it was intended to look behind those events to identify the nature and sources of the persistent patterns of ethnic and class disadvantage in Britain. the seminar brought together leading researchers in the field with many of the senior policy makers from a range of government departments responsible for shaping and delivering policies in these areas. We were excited by the dialogue that took place on that day. We are equally excited by the prospect of sharing the perspectives and contributions from that day with a wider audience. We look forward to a robust debate about this book’s arguments and prescriptions.

Professor Michael Parkinson Director esrc Cities Programme June 2003

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