Is Britain a Racist Society Essay

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Is Britain a Racist Society


Solomos and Back ( 1996 ) have argued that racism takes different signifiers in differing societal dealingss and at different points in history. Racism should non therefore, be regarded as an unchanging phenomenon. Racism is understood otherwise by different observers, for illustration Goldberg ( 1993 ) is of the sentiment that there needs to be a differentiation between racial favoritism and racism. He contends that racism is frequently expressed for its ain interest and those who are guilty of racism may non see it as such, it may merely be something they have heard while turning up and taken on board without truly understanding what it means. Racial favoritism on the other manus by and large refers to specific Acts of the Apostless. However, Solomos and Back ( 1996 ) maintain that there may be no clear spliting line between these two things and that the nature of the relationship between racism and favoritism may be far more complex than is first idea. The experience of those racialised minorities who settle in Britain has to be located in arguments about colonialism, post-war migration, altering labor markets and the different traditions and histories of assorted cultural groups ( Bilton et al, 1996 ) . This assignment will sketch the issues that have resulted in forms of favoritism that have emerged in Britain. It will so continue to inquire the inquiry whether it might be said that Britain is a racialist society. Race and ethnicity is a immense capable country and because of word restraints this paper will concentrate on the being of institutional racism. Institutional racism refers to ethnically based forms of favoritism that have become embedded into bing societal constructions and establishments ( Giddens, 2001 ) .

The European expansionism of the eighteenth and 19th centuries necessarily led them into contact with the racialised other, what Hall ( 1992 ) has termed ‘the West and the rest.’ Beliefs about the capacities of different people gave colonizers some kind of justification for the inequalities that existed in colonial societies. Western scientific discipline was a cardinal participant in specifying the construct of race, and how some races were inherently inferior to others. This parallels the justification of scientific discipline that gender and category inequalities were rooted in biological differences ( Gould, 1984 ) . This colonial definition still has branchings in that life opportunities and inequalities of wealth and position are still connected with race. At the same clip race remains a footing of individuality and of specifying difference and sameness ( Bilton et al, 1996 ) .

Forms of Immigration

The many different cultural groups in Britain and other industrialized states are the consequence of in-migration. While there have been members of other races in Britain for 100s of old ages, the 20th century has seen a important addition in the Numberss of people from cultural minorities who enter Britain. Britain is more than of all time before presuming the mantle of a multi-racial, multi-cultural society. The present state of affairs dates back to the terminal of the Second World War when there was a labour deficit in Britain. The response of the Government of the clip was to promote migration from members of Commonwealth states.

The 1948 British Nationality Act granted favourable in-migration rights to Citizens of Commonwealth states(Giddens, 4Thursdayerectile dysfunction. 2001:264). The labour deficit that existed after the Second World War meant that there were occupation chances for those people who decided to come to Britain and during the 1950s and 1960s Britain experienced a moving ridge of in-migration on an unprecedented graduated table.

Cashmore ( 1989 ) has noted that differences between black and white erupted into the racial force that took topographic point in London’s Notting Hill in 1958. There was no statute law on race favoritism and so it was non uncommon to happen landlords publicizing their belongings and stoping with the words no coloureds need apply. These issues highlighted in-migration and race dealingss as topics of contention. They prompted a figure of treatments within the cabinet whose response was to debate a figure of different steps to command the Numberss of West Indian, Indian and Pakistani immigrants to Britain ( Braham, Rattansi and Skellington, 1992 ) . Finally in 1962, amidst Enoch Powell’s ill-famed rivers blood address, the Commonwealth Immigrants Act was introduced and commonwealth immigrants were merely allowed entry if they satisfied a figure of standards. The justification for this act was that the immense inflow of commonwealth dwellers was lending to an economic crisis in Britain. However, as Cashmore ( 1989 ) observes the Act did non cover Irish immigrants but was directed specifically at black in-migration. What concerned politicians, the media, and the huge bulk of the white population was the Numberss of Commonwealth immigrants who were come ining the state.

Numbers of observers and anti-racist candidates have declared British in-migration policy as racialist and discriminatory against non-whites ( Skellington, 1996 ) . The 1981 British Nationality Act tightened the conditions under which those from the former commonwealth states could come in Britain they could no longer register as British citizens after five old ages but had to use for naturalization ( Giddens, 2001 ) . Legislation has tightened farther in 1988 and 1996. The cultural minority population of Britain is now in surplus of three million people with highest concentrations in London and the West Midlands ( Owen, 1992 ) . Giddens ( 2001 ) contends that while Black and Asiatic groups are discriminated against as a whole compared to white people, there are besides differentiations between groups and these are seeable in employment forms. In the countries of in-migration and employment it would look that colored cultural minorities do endure favoritism and experience more disadvantage than white groups.

Racism and Employment

Many of the occupations that the post-war new reachings took on were low position, low paid occupations frequently with long hours and displacement work. Rex and Tomlinson ( 1979 ) contend that a double labor market exists in Britain. The primary labor market consists of better paid work with on the occupation preparation, the secondary labor market on the other manus has small occupation security and few if any chances for preparation and publicity. In a 1960s study the Policies Studies Institute found that the bulk of immigrants worked in manual occupations. Discrimination on the footing of race was common and even those who were qualified to make better occupations ended up working in mills or on the conveyance system. Many employers refused to use workers who were non white ( Giddens, 2001 ) . During the economic recession in the 1980s the PSI found that apart from African Asian and Indian work forces, the unemployment rates were twice every bit high among cultural minorities as they were among white workers. During the 1970s an increasing figure of work forces from cultural minorities became freelance. More late Britains cultural minorities, while still enduring from inequalities in wage and publicity vary in their businesss ( Madood et al,1997 } .

Modood et Al ( 1997 ) has noted that there are still a disproportionately big figure of Pakistani and Bangladeshi work forces in manual occupations. At the same clip Asiatic tally concerns and stores are found in about every British town and metropolis and are still turning. They are more likely to be freelance than Whites. Tariq Modood ( 1991 ) has argued difficult work, along with the support of household and community is what has led to this economic success.

In their survey of Punjabi Sikhs who had settled in Leeds Ballard and Ballard ( 1977 ) found that there was a strong component in first coevals immigrants to keep the peculiarity of Sikh civilization. Second coevals retained an fond regard to their parent’s civilization but acted in more Westernised ways outside the place. They besides had a greater involvement in philistinism and educational issues. Some Muslims served in the British Army during the First World War and settled in the UK. Again, the size of the community increased during the in-migration of the 1950s and 1960s. Many of them found work in the Millss and mills of the Midlands and the North of England. The most disadvantaged in the labor market are immature Caribbean work forces. They earn less than other groups and are twice every bit likely as their white opposite numbers to be unemployed. Even African male alumnuss who may hold the same makings as white male alumnuss are seven times more likely than Whites to be unemployed ( Berthoud, 1999 ) . However, Iganski and Payne ( 1999 ) have argued that in recent old ages certain colored groups have achieved economic success. Their findings suggest that this success is due to postindustrial restructuring and that such alterations in the labor market are stronger than racial favoritism and disadvantage.


This paper poses the inquiry of whether Britain is a racialist society. In making this there was a concentration on institutional racism, that is to state racism that has, unwittingly or non, go embedded in the societal construction. Patterns of in-migration and consecutive authorities response to these issues tend to propose that British in-migration policies are racist. Forms of employment have besides been racialist and have led some observers to reason that the British labor market operates on two degrees one of which is non easy accessible to cultural minorities. More recent research, nevertheless, tends to propose that although racialist policies do be in the labor market, the alterations that de-industrialisation and globalisation have brought are destabilising institutional racism in employment.

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