Alice Bloch · 4 SummaryJan 2014This is probably excellent as an undergrad sociology textbook covering various areas of British public life including housing education and the media each addressed by different authors although I d have liked detail on some of the topics It s an easy read perhaps so if ou re familiar with mild public sector speak Only chapter 4 is notably heavy on academic jargon and even then not on every single page Most of the authors take a recognisable British left wing perspective In recent weeks I d read some predominantly American radical material influenced by Critical Race Theory in comparison with which I d sometimes appear reactionary Bloch and Solomos book was a thorough reminder of the different specifics of the UK environment and that I m still further left than most of the British population surveyed in the various uoted opinion polls This was the most recent book I could find about these issues in the UK published in 2010 Evidence uoted is at best from studies done during the Blair Brown boom Given a serious recession and the Tory govt things have already changed than they had in the preceding four Sensemaking yearsHousingIfou re familiar with this area the chapter probably doesn t say much that s new regarding the UK it notes problems of discrimination in deprived social housing schemes especially outside the most multicultural areas of cities And that in a trend that repeats itself through the book Indian and "Chinese people are statistically doing better here in terms of home ownership and moving into prosperous areas than " people are statistically doing better here in terms of home ownership and moving into prosperous areas than other BME groups It was interesting and uite depressing to hear how far behind some other European countries are in terms of monitoring and understanding discrimination Germany for instance officially deals with and records many things only on the basis of whether people are German citizens or foreigners and makes it even difficult to gain citizenship uote from an Observer interview with Hanif Kureshi this weekend The racism of the 50s and 60s that we unlike France and Germany have grown out of was overt I always found monitoring forms slightly sinister but this book is reminding me of their good aspects Near universal discrimination against Traveller Romani people is noted across Europe and is still overt in Britain The Wikipedia page Antiziganism uotes surveys indicating that they experience a higher degree of racism in Britain than any other group even asylum seekers The authors implicitly suggest that and better council sites should be provided just as social housing is provided for the sedentary majority Over the last couple of decades I d become so used to news reports mentioning alternatives of illegal camps benevolent private landowners move into standard housing that such a humanitarian and sensible idea had not occurred to me for a long time Asylum SeekersNo political issue has made me so consistently angry and disgusted throughout my adult life as the way asylum seekers are treated in this country Labour were no better than the Tories If traumatised victims of serious violent crime or people who d fled constant justifiable fear of it which is what most asylum seekers actually are were involuntarily shunted around the most horrible bits of the country with no notice unable to put down roots made to live on a pittance of stigmatising
VOUCHERS HAD VIRTUALLY NO RIGHTS IN RELATION TO THEIRhad virtually no rights in relation to their and were not allowed to work the press would be up in arms It s almost like something from mid 1930s Germany Things weren t exactly perfect for refugees from the Second World War but officially they were recognised as heroic to some degree and helped in various ways The chapter essentially reiterates how it is and reminded me how even in a somewhat relevant job it was so difficult to do anything to help them other than be nice and possibly phone someone for them ou can tell a crappy landlord to fix the hot water that s been off for weeks but they know there s little that can be done to enforce it and no penalty A few things new to me or which I d forgotten the statistics showing the huge rise in numbers in the 90s due to wars so I could see why administratively it. In the 21st century new ethnic groups are forming faster than ever before and the role of race and ethnicity studies has evolved in response to this From policy issues around housing and crime through to debates about asylum and media representations sociologists must encounter and explore a vast range of issues in this ever changing fieldThis book gives an overview of the most important topi.
Was difficult In less multicultural areas some white people with racist tendencies assume every non white or foreign sounding person is an asylum seeker thanks to press hysteria and the government hard line and so hatred of asylum seekers contributes to general racism And this is common sense though I hadn t thought about it before even if an application is finally accepted a depressingly small percentage the way an asylum seeker has been treated in their earlier ears in the country contributes to long standing marginalisation for the less resilient ones The concept of social cohesion as effectively the new newspeak term for assimilation is also notedEmployment and classThis was the jargony chapter with uite a lot of neo Weberian cultural capital and dialectical and also the last one I read The pre recession stats show that Indian Chinese black mixed race and black African people were doing as well as white people in the job market Pakistani and Bangladeshi people were doing significantly less well than all the other groups The author critiues a variety of earlier analyses for not including racial dimensions when looking at social class or for blaming some groups for their predicament He is concentrating on immigrants who arrived in the 1950s 70s and their families Until the 1980s the majority including many well ualified people with professional experience abroad were stuck in manual work Indian and African Indian people are described as having often come from families with a longer history of entrepreneurship and thus had the skills to succeed soon after they stopped being impeded by heavy discrimination Anti racist efforts after the 1981 riots there seems to be something about ears ending in 1 and riots were particularly successful in the south of England and opened up non manual opportunities with public sector employers in a big way especially for black people Pakistani people being concentrated in the North and North West benefited less from these changes Many also came from peasant backgrounds and had of an uphill struggle to get into white collar employment or run businesses which made large profits often the men left factories that closed down and ended up as minicab drivers Of course there are significant exceptions who ve done very well Bangladeshi people often from similar backgrounds freuently ended up working in businesses run by family and friends despite being concentrated in the South East Islamophobia as an impediment to job market success for these two groups is also noted There were too many generalisations about family histories for my liking here but it was
an interesting analysisPolicing and CrimeStarts by noting the findings of the Stephen Lawrence inuiry including aims of anti racist policinginteresting analysisPolicing and CrimeStarts by noting the findings of the Stephen Lawrence inuiry including aims of anti racist policing people in the force being less gung ho in the use of stop and search and taking racist crime seriously The report put Britain ahead of the US in recognising the subtleties of institutional racism and understanding that racist crime was also about whether the victim understood it as racistThree major issues *are noted street crime and gang culture predominantly among oung black *noted street crime and gang culture predominantly among oung black criminality associated with recent migration various types of gangsters and fraudsters from all over the world as well as crime against asylum seekers and economic migrants especially in less mixed areas and Islamic fundamentalist terrorism One notable point is that whilst ss declined after the Lawrence inuiry it went up again after consultation with black community leaders in the mid 2000s who seem to have regarded it as a necessary evil following a spate of shootings among teenagers The De Menezes case and similar "Problems Need No Introduction "need no introduction anyone who s been vaguely aware of British news in the last decadeAt many points throughout the book it s implicit how different some areas of England are which I would agree with having seen some of these myself The difference between multicultural metropolises with mixed working class communities much like the people in Attack the Block and the starkly divided towns of Lancs and Yorks comes through here Bradford Burnley and the like are described as. Cs that affect the making of race and ethnic relations in contemporary societies It goes beyond general definitions to explain exactly how and what these issues and debates can tell us about modern society Using research and statistics to shed light on the most cutting edge issues the book takes each major topic in turn and helps readers to think through race and ethnicity on the basis of the. Simmering I ve never heard so much "Racism Openly Stated By Otherwise Nice People "openly stated by otherwise nice people around there mostly working class white people who when they could see the posh lefty bird was shocked blamed it on Asians keeping to themselves and not mixing Particular Asians they got to know through work or study seemed to be respected and seen as not part of that self segregating mass but lasting friendships did not appear to be attempted outside it by either side The chapter ends with obvious depressing predictions for a recession increased extremism on both sides hostility to economic migrants when there are fewer jobs property crime and government cuts that could affect policing as well as other areasHealth ServiceThis area suffers from a paucity of research often the author resorted to uoting his own earlier work or to findings from America although their healthcare and demographics are uite different The only substantial recent material was from the 2001 census in which people were asked for to tick an ethnicity and a description of their general health the numbers for poor and fair are given Much of the chapter discussed how other limited British research often by medics and now nearing 20 ears old was keen to place people into racialised groups vaguely defined than those used in other public sector stats and assume that differences were due to genetics or lifestyle factors such as traditional diets He adjusts various findings for socio economic factors Which sounds fairly sensible but not being a statistician I couldn t comment on the methodology Other considerations disregarded by the generalising authors of those studies included differences between first second and third generation immigrants who often grew up in very different conditions Discrimination or difference in making referrals was mentioned although oddly not the effects of people having to use overstretched primary services in deprived communities Also smaller recent studies are uoted in showing the effects of discrimination and associated factors on healthEducationOne of the
Authors Is David Gillborn One Of Theis David Gillborn one of the UK academics to apply Critical Race Theory The discussion reminded me how ridiculous British school statistics are not being a parent it s a long time since I as a very geeky kid took much notice of them in the papers Formats of testing and recording change every few ears making it very difficult to compare across time A similar pattern to employment is shown
In Terms Of Which Groups Are Doing Better And Whichterms of which groups are doing better and which although black children seem to be worst off here The authors discuss apparently widespread institutional racism in schools in the form of harsher punishments and placing into lower sets particularly for black boys when often white or indian children with euivalent offences or marks would be leniently treated or put in a higher set Gillborn says even some black teachers do this and implies the Stephen Lawrence findings haven t filtered down to many schools I talked about this with a friend who has taught in very mixed urban schools in deprived areas in the present one most of the staff are Black British and Asian and race issues do not appear to be a problem He explained that the education system currently does not apply a uantifiable crimepunishment formula but looks to teach individuals with differing expectations for each one depending on their motivation abilities etc It s possible to see the good sides of that but also how discriminatory teachers and schools could misuse it MediaAlready seems a bit out of date as there isn t much consideration of the internet Does though indicate how people s news sources are diffuse than when it was just 4 channels and the paper Also seems rather rose tinted to see most news media as anti racist with the exception of a few uotes from the Mail and the Sun though this was from the boom ears I had no idea that some countries restricted access to many foreign satellite TV channels which are freuently watched by people with foreign heritage apparently the UK is exceptional for making these availableIdentity Public Opinionto finishA note on terminology Sathnam Virdee autho. Most recent thinking in the field Each chapter explains a range of theoretical and conceptual perspectives whilst approaching complex ideas in an accessible and insightful wayWritten and edited by recognized experts in the field Race and Ethnicity in the 21st Century will be an essential point of reference for researchers and practitioners and key reading for all students of race and ethnici.