Multiculturalism in the UK
...the status of several different ethnic, racial, religious or cultural groups coexisting in harmony in the same society...
Multicultural societies are often the product of migration, but may also be the stimulus for it, as persecuted groups leave a country to escape oppression. Migration of ethnic groups lead to the creation of multicultural societies. In most countries there is at least one minority group and, while they may be able to live peacefully with the majority, itis more likely that there will be prejudice and discrimination leading to tensions and conflict
There are significant numbers of migrants from toher parts of the world such as Germany, USA and Poland. Migration into the UK is so great that migrants are now classed as 'born abroad'. The largest ethnic minority is the Indian population at 27%, followed by the Pakistani population at 17% and 15% Black Caribbean. Small but signifcant ethnic minorities of Bangladeshi, Black African,and Chinese also live in the country
- 19th Century - Jews escaping persecuation in Russia and Poland. Irish escaping poverty in rural Ireland
- 1930's-40's - Jews/Poles escaping WWII or Facism
- 1940's-60's - Caribbean workers invited to help rebuild post-war Britain. Asians escaping poverty and seeking work in public services/textile industries
- 1970's - Ugandans escaping persecution and the Vietnamese escaping war
- 1980's-90's - Eastern Europeans refugees escaping from war and political unrest in Romania and former Yugoslavia
- 2000's - Economic migration from Esatern Europe caused by the enlargement of the EU
there has been a lack of resistacne to childhood disease among children of immigrants, and fears about immunisation. Literautre was produced in minority languages to inform people about immunisation benefits. As education standards rise, there are fewer concenrs.
Many ethnic monirty groups live in innner-city areas and there remains a higher concentration of communicable and transmittable disease due to the living standards in these areas.
Minorities in inner-city areas have led to schools, being dominated by one ethnic group, which has affected education requirements.
There is greater integrration in communities in Leicester and Bradford, where holiday patterns, school timetables and meals are modified to reflect the ethnic mix of the areas. This helps toenhance mutualunderstanding of culture, particularly emong the young.
Variation in the educational attainment of the different ethnic minorities is still being examined. there si evidence that black caribbean children under achieve compared to other ethnicities. Indian, Pakistani and Chinese ethnicites appear on average to be better than that of white children. Ofsted has statd that the white working class boys are the lowest achievers in school
Migrants are a source of cheap labour in low-paid constructions, transport or health service jobs, they tend to concentrate in the poorest housing. This is later reinforced by later migrants who seek their support and security.
Multiple occupancy of rented accomodation is widespread
Ethnic minorities have also been less successful in securing mortgage loans. THis has forced them to use less conventional, expensive financing which limits what they can afford. The prospect of an expensive mortgage on a substandard property in a deprived area has contributed to the low rate of owner occupancy among the ethnic minority population
Ethnic minorities have been discriminated against in access to local authority housing and tend to be disproportionally represented among council-house tenants. THis has led in some urban areas to the development of internal housing provision for members fo the groups -> the racialisation of residential space
Owner occupancy has increased and more wwealthy individuals have moved into suburban areas. Many members of ethnic minorities run small businesses and live in part of the same biulding. Despite this, geographical segration is clear, as is inequality. On average, Asian households are the largest of all groups, contain the most dependent children, are the most overcrowded and have the highest unemployment rates
Migrants account for 1/8 of the workforce, boosting economic output by £6billion. This labour is in unskilled.low-skilled work and a 2007 report concluded that 'migrants are filling jobs that natives will not do@. Employers prefer to employ immigrant workers because of their willingness to work for lower wages, put in longer hours, and have a better work ethic than UK-born workers.
Migration is often welcomed in peroids of econmic growth, but resented during economic recessions, when migrants are accused of taking jobs. In 2002, it was calculated that the nex tax contribution of migrants to the UK economy was £2.5billion per year. A 1% population incease through migration can lead to a 1.5% GDP increase
There is legislation on anti-racism, employment rights and equal opportunities to combat discrimination, prejudice and racism. However, the cost of stat benefits for migrant housing, education and unemployment may sill cause resentment and racial intolerance. Government policy of constructing centres for asylum seekers has caused concern and resentment among local residents
Language and Religion
New migrants can find it difficult to obtain employment and to integrate if the do not speak english. Second-generation migratn children, educated in the UK, grow up speaking Eglsih and have different aspirations to their parents. They are more likely to integrate, and this can cause tension within the ethnic group if they adopt the culture of the host country.
Migrants from the Indian subcontinent and parts of Asia, are likely to follow a different religion to the host population. THis may cause friction with employers and authoeirites when migrants wich to adgere to their own religous calenders and practices.
The home office has stated that an increasing number of immigrants are putting pressure on public services and some cheif constables are concerned about increased crime and disorder.
One concern is that multiculturalism is emerging in areas of the country with little/no experience. However, in most urban areas, ethnic groups are well integrated and have a high profile in the local community, with representatives in the local councils etc.
There are times when multiculturalism is viewed negatively: 7/7bombings in London 2005 or Glasgoc Airport in 2007 as both were carried out by home grown Islamic Fundamentalists
Many countries are tightening their rules on immigration and allocation of work permits. This makes it more difficult for both economic refugees and asylum seekers to enter. There has been growing pressure for external controls to restrict immigration into Europe now that movement within the EU is easier. Some people are concerned the Europe's traditional role as a place of sanctuary is being replaced by an altitude of hostility - it is becoming a fortress Europe repelling migrants
In January 2002, the UK government announced a scheme under which some workers would be allowed to enter the country depending on their educational qualifications, work experience and past earnings. Initially the migrants could stay for 1 year
In 2004, another 10 nations joined the EU. As the EU allows free movement of labour between its member nations, an increase in migration into the EU's more prosperous nations occured (mainly from Poland). When Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007, the UK government announced restrictions on movement from these countries. This was allowed under the accession treaty and was a clear change of policy
There is no way of knowing how many migrants come into the UK illegally, where they come from or where they come from