Multiculturalism 'not to blame' for failed sense of community

Mar 29, 2011

A research team led by Dr. Laia Bécares from The University of Manchester reveals that neighbourhoods with higher ethnic diversity are associated with higher rates of social cohesion, respect for ethnic differences, and neighbours of different backgrounds getting on well together.

The research, mainly funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, found that deprivation, not multiculturalism, was the root cause of fragmented communities.

The paper -published next month in Urban Studies - challenges critics of British multiculturalism – including most recently Prime Minister David Cameron.

The results were calculated from an analysis of almost 25,000 respondents from the 2005 and 2007 Citizenship Surveys.

The paper also shows that as area deprivation gets worse, so do reports of social cohesion, respect for ethnic differences, and people getting on well together.

And in further recent research, Dr. Bécares shows that the mental health of people with an ethnic minority background improves in diverse areas when adjusted for deprivation.

“Politicians seem to link racial tensions to the perception that ethnic minority people and newly arrived migrants are not integrated into their host culture,” Dr. Bécares said.

“But our findings show it is not neighborhood ethnic profile but neighbourhood deprivation which erodes in England.”

The results were found for Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Black African and White British people.

She added: “Our study complements other research which shows that multiculturalism hasn’t failed: segregation in the UK is not increasing, and Muslim people are as likely to report they feel British as people from other minority religions.”

Explore further: A two generation lens: Current state policies fail to support families with young children

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Diversity or deprivation -- what makes a 'bad' neighborhood

Sep 15, 2010

What people think about their neighborhood is much more strongly influenced by deprivation than by the degree of ethnic mixing in the area, according to new research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, carried ...

Race bigotry falling in Britain

Nov 24, 2008

Racial prejudice in Britain has been declining sharply in Britain since the 1980s thanks to the greater tolerance of younger generations - according to a new study.

Diversity in primary schools promotes harmony

Jul 24, 2008

For the first time, children as young as 5 have been shown to understand issues regarding integration and separation. The research, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), confirms that the ethnic composition ...

Recommended for you

Scholar tracks the changing world of gay sexuality

Sep 19, 2014

With same-sex marriage now legalized in 19 states and laws making it impossible to ban homosexuals from serving in the military, gay, lesbian and bisexual people are now enjoying more freedoms and rights than ever before.

User comments : 0