Social inequality: Topic 3A

patterns and trends of inequality and difference- ethnicity

  • Created by: Sasha127
  • Created on: 11-05-15 11:56

U.k population by ethnic group

  • white: 89%
  • mixxed2.2%

                                       Total minority population: 11%

  • asian/ asian british
  • indian: 1.7%
  • Pakistani: 1.8%
  • Bangladeshi:0.7%
  • Other asian:1%
  • Black or black british
  • Black caribbean: 1.6%
  • Black african:0.9%
  • Black other: 0.2%
  • Chinease: 0.4%
  • Other: 0.4%
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Ethnic groups

  • Ethnic groups are identified according to their distinctive cultural features. The members of an ethnic group usually have a shared sense of history, common cultural tradition and collective identity.
  • The Parekh report- all human beings have an ethnic group however in populr usage the term is often reserved only for minoritores.
  • Ethnicity is an attractive concept for sociologists as it draws attention to cultural and social features but its not easy to allocate people to ethnic groups as culture is spralling and untify and so is dificult to map the boundries where one culture begins and another ends. In practice reaserchers are faced with a choice of 'marker' some choose to classify based on territory- country of origin as they assume that people from the same country will normally share  common culture however many countries are culturally diverse. For example India may be sikhs, hindu's or muslims and concequently some sociologists think its more sensible to classify according to dominant culture or religeon rather than territory.
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  • Minority:  group of people distinguished by pyhsical or cultural characteristics subject to different and unequal treatment by the society in which they live and who regard themselves as victims of collective discrimination.
  • Sometimes racial minorities are numerical magorities. This was the case with the black population under apartide so we are dealling with issues of power as much as numbers. The concept of a minority implies hte existnce of a more powerful magority which manages to dominate or marginalise the minority.
  • In britian the term minority is used in a loose imprecise way and is usually interchangable with other terms such as ethnic, black etc. A composite term which is becoming more popular is BME black and minority ethnic population. But the Parakh report advises that minority should never be used in the sense of less important.
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  • Bowling- demonstrated through self report studies that ethnic minorities are no more criminals than the ethnic majority suggesting that higher crime rates, prosecution rates and prison populations in the ethnic minority population are subject to social constructionalsim.
  • Afro carribeans 7 times as likely to be stopped and searched.
  • Mcpherson report- police are institutionally racist 35% of black people beleive they will receive worse treatment by the police.
  • Racial harrasment incidents are widespread and under reported- only 5% of incidents are reported to the police.
  • Ethnic minorities are over represented throughout the criminal justice system from 'stop and search' to prison.
  • People from ethnic minorities made up 18% of the male prison pop and 24% of the female prison pop with black people alone making up 12% male and 18% female prison pop.
  • 89% of young black prisoners were sentenced for just 12 months compared to 75% of young white and 77% of asian prisoners.
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  • Bangladeshi, pakistani and black pupils will acheive less than other pupils at all stages of compulsory education.
  • Black caribbean children have equel if not higher ability than white children on entrance to school but black caribbean boys do least well at school.
  • In 2003 only 41% of **** pupils 37% of black pupils and 45% of bangladeshi pupils acheived 5 or more GCSE'S compared with 51% of white and 65% of Indian.
  • Afro caribb: 4 to 6 times more likely to be excluded than white pupils and 3 times as likely to be perminatly excluded. many of these excluded are of a higher or average ability although the schools see them as underacheiving.
  • Over half gypsy/ roma herritage and asian bangla groups were eligable for free school meals (indicator for low income)
  • Children who were elligable for free school meals were far less likely to acheive the expected outcomes for key stages 1-4.
  • In 2002 2000 ssylum seeking children didn't receive any formal education
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Sewell- argues that black inner city boys are unduly influenced by rapprers who socialise them into problematic values such as misogyny, mega consumerism, violence and gun culture.

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  • Infant mortality is 100% higher for afro caribbean and Pakistani mothers than white mothers
  • Pakistani and Bangladeshi people are five times as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes and 50% more likely to have a conorary heart disease than white people
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  • Brown and Grey- carried out experiments to see who got job interveiws. they sent applications with identical qualifications and experiences yet gave each candidate a "white name" and and "asian name" and a "black name". The white candidate got twice as many offers for interveiw
  • 1 in 8 ethnic minority people reported racial discrimination at a job interveiw.
  • The number of employment tribunal clims under race discrimination was 3,182 in 2001/2 almost double the number of cases in 1995. Stats demonstrate that race discrimination cases remain the least likely to succeed in all tribunal cases and thus the % chance of success is very low. The recent research indicated that only 16% of race discrimination cases win at tribeunals. This figure is startlyingly low when one has regard to the level fo apparent discimintion suffered by certain minorities at work.
  • Undemployment is considerably higher among ethnic minority commnities. In 2002 4.7% of white people of working age wer eunemployed on verage, among those from ethnic minorities it was nearly treble that at 14%. 16% pakistani and 21% bangladeshi.
  • The disparity is even greter among the young with 37% of Banglas aged 16-24 and 35% pakis unemployed compared to 11% white.
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Work 2

  • Afro carib graduate is more than twice as likely and an african 7 times as likely to be unemployed than a white graduate.
  • Ethnic minoritoy men are over represented in the service sector- the distrobution industry (including restaraounts and retail) is the largest single source of service sector jobs for men from ethnic minority groups employing 70% bangla and 58% chinease men. only 17% white and 19% black men work in this industry. ( labour market trends)
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Ethnic dieversity

  • It would be misleading to regard ethnic minorities as perpetual losers in the job market. Data gathered from the census and Labour Force survey provide clear signs of absolute and relative progress b most ethnic minority groups in the past decade.
  • Modood- concluded that economic differences between minority groups have become more important than the black and white divide leading to reaserchers to reject the racial dualism model which depicted a simple division between all ethnic minoritories on one hand and the white majority on the other.
  • Cabinet office report- the old picture of white success and ethnic minority underperformance is now out of date.

Instead of the blanket veiw of all ethnic minorities as victims theres an increasing recognition of ethnic diversity, some minority groups are still struggling in the face of economic adversity and discrimination but others have moved a considerable distance along hte path to economic prosperity.

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Summerises some of the key reaserch findings on ethnic minority variations.

  • Those born in britian have better overll labour market performence (in terms of pay and employmant rates) than those born abroard. Nevertheless they still do relatively worse overall than their white peers.
  • Big differences in the labour market performances of ethnic minority groups- bangla and **** communities do relitively badly while the chinease and indian communities do relatively well. The gains made by the afro carib commnity seem to hve stagnated among young men but not young women.
  • Indians on average are doing almost as well as whites in terms of employment rates, occupational status and earnings however they still contain a substantial number of people who are on low incomes and vunerable to unemployment.
  • Black caribbeans have made uneven progress. Black children have higher rates of poverty and this is due to living in lone parent families however black lone parents are more likely than white to have paid jobs. Black women in general are more likely to work full time and earn slightly more than white women.
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Wadsworth 2

the deepest poverty is found among **** and bangla families. Their plight was documented in the cantle report- which followed the outcome of the asian riots in 2001 in towns in the north of england. The report described "parallel lives" of **** and bangla communities cut off from the mainstream by a combination of language problems, racial discrimination and persistent poverty.

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The ethnic penalty

  • Heath and Mc Mahon- coined the term "ethnic penalty"  to refer to all the sources of disadvantage that ma lead to an ethnic minority group to fare less well than similaraly qualified whites.
  • Cabinet office report- all ethnic minoritories suffer an ethnic penalty even after like for like analysis theres still a significant unexplained gap between whites and minorities in terms of their work situations and job rewards. After taking account of all potentially relevant factors (e.g differences in age qualifications and geographical area. This gap may be caused by radical discrimination or posibly is the result of some other yet unidentified factors.
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Problems of interpretion

When considering ethnic disadvantage in more detil its helpful to bear in mind some of the problems involved in handling ethnic data:

  • Information gap: In many cases theres just not enough detailed info available. Large scale studies are useful but few and far between
  • Limitations of sample size: Ethnic minorities are only 8% of the total pop of england and so surveys based on random sampling will usually contan small numbers and a small sample size is a weak basis for making generalisations so some surveys deliberatly over sample ethnic minorities. Another solution used by the anual albour force survey is to group results for a number of years rather than take results from one year alone.
  • Classifications- how are people assigned to ethnic groups? Reaserchers use different classification systems making it difficult to compare their findings. The cencus and labour force survey now share the same classification list asking people to identify their own ethnic group from a list of 11 categories but this is a large number of cattegories to handle with ease and reaserchers sometimes combine them in different ways.
  • Ethnic diversity: The ethnic minority population of Britian isn't only small its extreemly diverse. Generalisations which aplly to some ethnic groups e.g indians may not aply to others e.g black carribeans
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Problems of interpretation 2

  • Internal diversity: theres diversty within ethnic minority groups as well as between them. There are class divisions whithin every groups ad all groups contain a broard range from the least to most prosperous.
  • Like for like comparisons- Where possible comparrisons should be on a like for like basis. Some ethnic groups have "younger" age profile than other and young people tend to earn less than older people so its less misleading when comparing groups to control for age diffferences.
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  • Even in comtmporary britian where anti discrimination legislation has been passed members of ethnic minorities may find themselves the victims of radical predudice and race discrimination. For example some reaserchers argue
  • - teachers have low expectations of black pupils which underminds the pupils confidence and motivation to acheive. Also ethnic minorities are unfairly treated by employers who refuse to recruit or promote them due to their merits. So it can be an uphil struggle for ethnic minorities to establish themselves in an enviroment which steryotypes or marginalises them.
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