Ethnicity and Inequality

Ethnicity and inequality

Ethnicity = someones cultural background or ethnic origin. They have unique values, language and customs distinguishing them from other ethnic groups.
Ethnic minority = the minority or smaller groups of a certain ethnicity. 

Inequalities are seen in many aspects of life or society, these being, employment, education,health and housing. 

Ethnic minority groups are effected by racist views, stereotypes and discriminating behaviour by many formal and informal agents of social control. 

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Ethnic inequality and education

Pakistani & black are less successful in school, sometimes due to the labelling and discrimination they can recieve. This means they cannot be socially mobile and move up the class ladder as they do not have the means in order to achieve high paying jobs. 

Mac An Ghaill 
Supports this view with ethnographic study. Some teachers hold racist views and students create survival strategies in order to respond to this racism. 
eg: forming close relationships and subcultures within schools. 

Becker -interactionist
When someone is labelled they will have sefl fulfilling prophecy and start acting up to their label, eg: when black boys are labelled as loud and troublesome in schools. 

However, most ethnic minority groups stay in education longer than white peers and more ethnic minority groups are entering higher education. 
And, those from a poorer background (measured by free school meals) do better in schooling than white peers. 

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Ethnic inequality and employment

Some ethnic minority groups suffer in the workplace, from pay to type of job available to them. 

- Chinese and indian ethnic minority earn more than any other ethnic ethnic groups.
- Bangladeshi and Pakistani earn the least of all ethnic groups.

Ethnic penalty
Minority ethnic groups are disadvantaged compared to white of the same age and socal capital. They face a disadvantage purely based on their ethnicity. 

Yi Cheung 
A higher proportion of young ethnic minority groups are entering the labour market compared to white population due to the age profile of ethnic minority being a lot younger. This may also link to the education system in which ethnic minority groups are rejected by schools and seek to work instead from a young age due to not having the qualifications, they have to start labour jobs. 

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Ethnic inequality and health

Minority ethnic groups disadvantaged in relation to health, more likely to have poorer health and develop diseases. 
eg: Indians, Pakistani's and Bangladeshi are more likely to have TB, liver cancer and      
Afro Carribbeans are more likely than other ethnic groups to be sectioned
      under MH act. 

Many of these health problems can be due to poor housing and a lower quality of life. 


40% of ethnic minority groups live in poor housing compared to 32% of white majority group. 
Poor housing means small, damp and overcrowded, causing health problems and problems with development and school. 


Bangladeshi and Pakistani more likely to live in poor housing dye to low income, high unemployment rates. 

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