Living in mixed communities makes ethnic minorities feel British

Diversity and the Civic Spirit in British Neighbourhoods: An Investigation with MCDS and EMBES 2010 Data

From Sociology

People from minorities are more likely to feel part of Britain when their neighbours are from different ethnic backgrounds, this study highlights. Researchers in this most comprehensive study of community cohesion yet, analysed data from two surveys on 4,391 British people, 3,582 of them from ethnic minorities. They found that when minorities lived in highly diverse areas, where there were few people from their own ethnicity, this did not lessen their trust in neighbours, their willingness to help neighbours, or how often they took part in civic action such as joining local groups. Minorities living in these areas were also about five percentage points more likely to identify with Britain as a whole than those who lived among people mainly from their own background.  “Diversity does not appear to have a significant nega­tive effective on civicness among minorities,” say the researchers. “Diversity plays a positive role in the formation of feelings that transcend the respondent’s own ethnicity.” They suggest that “if anything, diversity should be encouraged to cement the integration progress of migrants.”

Abstract

Recently, there has been a proliferation of studies investigating the relationship between diversity and outcomes such as social cohesion and civic mindedness. This article addresses several common problems in this field and, using data for British neighbourhoods, elaborates on the experiences of both white British and ethnic minority respondents. We conclude that, if anything, diversity should be encouraged to cement the integration progress of migrants and foster stronger identification with Britain in the second generation. Deprivation at the neighbourhood level along with individual factors such as fear of crime is a much stronger predictor of deterioration of the civic spirit than diversity. Bridging contacts have the expected strong positive association with cohesion outcomes; and contrary to policy concerns no strong negative impact is observed for associational bonding among minority ingroupers.

 

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Article details
Neli Demireva and Anthony Heath
Diversity and the Civic Spirit in British Neighbourhoods: An Investigation with MCDS and EMBES 2010 DataSociology 0038038513516695, first published on January 31, 2014 doi:10.1177/0038038513516695Neli Demireva and Anthony Heath
Diversity and the Civic Spirit in British Neighbourhoods: An Investigation with MCDS and EMBES 2010 Data
Sociology 0038038513516695, first published on January 31, 2014 doi:10.1177/0038038513516695

 

 

     
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