lundi 28 octobre 2013

Ethnicity & Minorities (II)

During the two world wars, hundreds of thousands of men from across the Empire fought for Britain. India alone provided 1.3m soldiers for the First World War, 138,000 serving on the Western Front.
During the Second World War, almost 60,000 British merchant seamen came from the sub-continent. Some of the men stayed in Britain during the inter-war years, forming small communities in ports.
Bengali seamen, known as Lascars, went to work in Scottish collieries but were subjected to racial prejudice.
They were not the only ones. There were no clear rules on immigration but officialdom appeared not to approve.
Government feared the impact of black faces in white Britain - not least after race riots in 1919.

At the end of the Second World War there were work shortages in Europe and labour shortages in Britain. The government began looking for immigrants.
Some 157,000 Poles were the first groups to be allowed to settle in the UK, partly because of ties made during the war years. They were joined by Italians but it was not enough to meet the need.
Many men from the West Indies had fought for the "mother country" but returned to civilian life with few opportunities.
Their sense of patriotism, coupled with the need to find work, steered them towards the UK.
Despite an apparent official reluctance to allow immigration from the fast-disappearing empire, the government could not recruit enough people from Europe and turned to these men.
On 22 June 1948, hundreds of men from the West Indies were brought to London. 

On June 22 1948, former troopship the Empire Windrush docked in the port of Tilbury, Essex with nearly 500 passengers, mostly from Jamaica, on board. The arrival of the ship marked the beginning of large-scale West Indian immigration to Britain, changing the country's social landscape forever.

Many had returned to rejoin the RAF. Others had been encouraged by adverts for work.
The day marked what would become a massive change to British society - the start of mass immigration to the UK and the arrival of different cultures.
1950 – 1971
As mass immigration continued in the 1950s, so did the rise of racial violence and prejudice. Many areas including Birmingham, Nottingham and west London experienced rioting as white people feared the arrival of a black community.
On one hand, these men and women had been offered work in a country they had been brought up to revere. On the other, many were experiencing racial prejudice they had never expected.
Legislation had allowed people from the Empire and Commonwealth unhindered rights to enter Britain because they carried a British passport.
Under political pressure, the government legislated three times in less than a decade to make immigration for non-white people harder and harder. By 1972, legislation meant that a British passport holder born overseas could only settle in Britain if they, firstly, had a work permit and, secondly, could prove that a parent or grandparent had been born in the UK.
In practice, this meant children born to white families in the Empire or the former colonies could enter Britain. Their black counterparts could not.
While government was tightening the entry rules, racial tension meant it had to try to tackle prejudice and two race relations acts followed.
In 1945, Britain's non-white residents numbered in the low thousands. By 1970 they numbered approximately 1.4 million - a third of these children born in the United Kingdom.
1972 – 1979
The government had greatly restricted immigration by the 1970s, but had not stopped it altogether. Some 83,000 immigrants from the Commonwealth settled in the UK between 1968 and 1975, largely through gaining work permits or obtaining permission to join relatives.
The most significant immigration of the decade came in 1972 when the Ugandan dictator General Idi Amin expelled 80,000 African Asians from the country, families who had been encouraged to settle there during the days of Empire. Many held British passports and, amid a major crisis, the UK admitted 28,000 in two months. 
Ugandan Asians deported by President Idi Amin 40 years ago built their new lives in Britain

In 1976 the government established the Commission for Racial Equality, the statutory body charged with tackling racial discrimination.
In 1978 Viv Anderson became the first black footballer to be selected for the full England team and went on to win 30 caps.
The 1980s
By the 1980s Britain's immigration policy had two prongs. Firstly, there were strict controls on entry.
Secondly, the state said it would protect the rights of ethnic minorities. Critics suggested that the two prongs gave conflicting signals on the place of the immigrant communities - and their British-born children - in society. As manufacturing declined, work permits were harder to get unless you had specialist skills or professional trading.
This meant that the largest immigrant groups were Americans (to banking and industry), Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans making use of family-ties entry rules, and South Asian men and women entering the medical professions.
The riots of 1981 were largely sparked by racial issues. In Brixton, the spiritual home of Britain's afro-Caribbean community, youths rioted amid resentment that the police were targeting more and more young black men in the belief that it would stop street crime. Similar riots followed in Liverpool and the Midlands. The subsequent Scarman Report found that "racial disadvantage is a fact of current British life".
On 11 June 1987, the face of British politics changed when four non-white politicians were elected at the same General Election. Today there are 12 non-white MPs. Campaigners say that equal representation would require at least 55 black MPs in the House of Commons.
The inquiry into the police's handling of the 1993 murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence led directly to new anti-discrimination legislation passed in 2000.
In the years following the fall of the Iron Curtain, a new movement of people began, some fleeing political persecution, others seeking a better life in western Europe.
The growth of asylum seeker applications contributed to a new growth of immigration to the UK. Between 1998 and 2000, some 45,000 people arrived from Africa, 22,700 from the Indian sub-continent, 25,000 from Asia and almost 12,000 from the Americas. Some 125,000 people were allowed to settle in the UK in 2000.
But the rise in asylum seeker arrivals has seen a rise in racial tensions.
In May 2002 the far-right British National Party won three local council seats, a year after racial tensions and were blamed for riots in northern towns. The government's plans for a new nationality and immigration legislation, including a possible citizenship test, sparked new controversy.
Fifty years after the start of mass immigration to the UK, questions are still being asked about whether or not the UK can become a multi-ethnic society at ease with itself - or whether there is still a long road to be travelled.

Adapted from the BBC "Short History of Immigration"

Ethnicity and Minorities (1)

Ethnicity and Minorities in Britain (1)
Definition of keywords and concepts:

·         Race: A group of common origin with common genetic characteristics.
·         Racialism: Belief that race is important in determining human behaviour.
·         Racism: Self-identification with race and hostility to other races.
·         Ethnicity: Common consciousness of shared origins and traditions. Ethnic from ethos meaning tribe or nation
 Differences between ethnic minorities (EM) are cultural and not biological
Ethnic identity is often linked to national, linguistic and religious identity though not in any consistent manner.
It tends to be concerned with ethnicity rather than race, since
Most social science hypotheses are not racial even if we do use the term race casually to distinguish between people on the basis of colour.
Whilst measurement of ethnicity is on the basis on self-identification, measurement of race is clearly problematic.
Coexistence of Ethnic Groups
Groups live apart, either by minority choice or majority imposition.
Disappearance of cultural and other distinctions and restrictions of movement and marriage between ethnic groups
  Segregated Assimilation: Minorities may be assimilated, but not equally into all sections of society (Portes, Economic Sociology of Immigration, 1995)
 e.g. to middle-class or to under-class Integration
  Coexistence of different groups with different values with some degree of segregation but not complete assimilation.
  Integration maybe restricted to certain spheres (public/private)
Multiculturalism: diversity of groups which are expected to remain culturally distinct and differences may even be supported by the state.

Ethnicity and Political Participation
  Ethnic minorities are less likely to participate in protest politics on average.
  This is partly due to these groups having less of the resources etc. that facilitate participation generally.

Political participation levels of minorities in Britain are slightly lower than those of Whites :  partly explained by registration rates (due to citizenship and temporary status).

Ethnicity and Vote Choice: Britain
  Minorities consistently vote around 80% Labour from 1974 to 2001.
However, the Labour vote among ethnic minority dropped, especially among Pakistanis; probably due to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
Also evidence of sensitivity of ethnic minorities to candidate ethnicity (e.g. Bradford in 1997).
Generational differences are important among minorities:
First generation immigrants being less likely to vote but more Labour if they do than 2nd or 3rd generation immigrants.
Ethnic Minority Candidates and MPs in Britain:
Increase in EM representation in 2010 due to Tories placing more candidates as part of a ‘modernisation’ drive.

EM still represent just 4% of House of Commons for over 8% of electors.

mardi 15 octobre 2013

An Introduction to Britain

Where is Britain?
Britain is part of an island lying off the western coast of Europe, comprising the main territory of the United Kingdom.
The name Britain goes back to Roman times when they called England and Wales "Britannia" (or "Britannia Major"). The Roman province of Britannia only covered the areas of modern England and Wales. The area of modern Scotland was never finally conquered.
Great Britain is the official name given to the two kingdoms of England and Scotland, and the principality of Wales.
Great Britain is made up of:
  • England - The capital is London.
  • Scotland - The capital is Edinburgh .
  • Wales - The capital is Cardiff.
Great Britain is divided into small regions called counties.
England Wales England Scotland
The term Great Britain was first used during the reign of King James I of England (James VI of Scotland) in 1603, to refer to the separate kingdoms of England and Scotland. on the same landmass, that were ruled over by the same monarch. Despite having the same monarch, both kingdoms kept their own parliaments.
Is Great Britain the same as the UK?
No, Great Britain and the United Kingdom refer to different areas.
Great Britain is very often, but incorrectly, used as a synonym for the sovereign state properly known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or the UK for short.
If you look at the full name of the UK, you will see that the UK includes "Great Britain AND Northern Ireland".

Great Britain
Great Britain
United Kingdom
Great Britain is a political term which describes the combination of England, Scotland , and Wales , the three nations which together include all the land on the island. It is also a geographical term referring to the island on which the greater parts of England, Wales and Scotland are situated.

Why and how does England dominate the UK?
England is the biggest country in the UK. It occupies most of the southern two thirds of Great Britain. The total area of England is 130,410 sq km (50, 352 sq mi). England contains about 84% of the UK population.
The capital, seat of government, and the largest city in the United Kingdom is London.
London is also is the capital of England.
All of Great Britain has been ruled by the UK government in London since 1707. (In 1999 the first elections to the newly created Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales took place leaving England as the only part of the Great Britain with no devolved assembly or parliament.)
The English language comes from England.
As its name suggests, the English language, today spoken by hundreds of millions of people around the world, originated as the language from England, where it remains the principal tongue today.
English is the official language of the UK and the first language of the vast majority of the population. Both Wales and Scotland have their own languages but English is spoken in both countries more.
Most of the world assumes that British people are "English" unless specified otherwise.
This of course is wrong. British people can be Scottish, Welsh, Irish (living in Northern Ireland) or English. The Scots and the Welsh are proud of their separate identities and tend to be more forward about referring to themselves as Scottish or Welsh.

 Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland lies in the northeast of the island of Ireland, covering 5,459 square miles (14,139 km²), about a sixth of the island's total area.
Northern Ireland is the second most sparsely populated part of the UK after Scotland, with 317 people per square mile (122 per square kilometer).
History of  Northern Ireland
In 1801 the whole of Ireland became part of the United Kingdom, with the adoption of the name the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
After years of civil war, Ireland became a republic in 1921. At this time, Britain negotiated with Ireland to keep the six counties in the north-east of Ireland. These six counties now make up what is known as Northern Ireland. The southern part of the island is the Republic of Ireland, or Eire.
1927 - The current name of the UK, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, was adopted.
History of the conflict in Northern Ireland

A Centuries-old Conflict

The history of Northern Ireland can be traced back to the 17th century, when the English finally succeeded in subduing the island after successfully putting down a number of rebellions.  Much land, especially in the north, was subsequently colonized by Scottish and English Protestants, setting Ulster somewhat apart from the rest of Ireland, which was predominantly Catholic.

The Nineteenth Century

During the 1800s the north and south grew further apart due to economic differences. In the north the standard of living rose as industry and manufacturing flourished, while in the south the unequal distribution of land and resources—Anglican Protestants owned most of the land—resulted in a low standard of living for the large Catholic population.

The Twentieth Century

Political separation of Northern Ireland from the rest of Ireland did not come until the early 20th century, when Protestants and Catholics divided into two warring camps over the issue of Irish home rule. Most Irish Catholics desired complete independence from Britain, but Irish Protestants feared living in a country ruled by a Catholic majority.

Government of Ireland Act

In an attempt to pacify both factions, the British passed in 1920 the Government of Ireland Act, which divided Ireland into two separate political entities, each with some powers of self-government. The Act was accepted by Ulster Protestants and rejected by southern Catholics, who continued to demand total independence for a unified Ireland.

The Irish Free State and Northern Ireland

Following a period of guerrilla warfare between the nationalist Irish Republican Army (IRA) and British forces, a treaty was signed in 1921 creating the Irish Free State from 23 southern counties and 3 counties in Ulster. The other 6 counties of Ulster made up Northern Ireland, which remained part of the United Kingdom. In 1949 the Irish Free State became an independent republic.

"The Troubles"

Although armed hostilities between Catholics and Protestants largely subsided after the 1921 agreement, violence erupted again in the late 1960s; bloody riots broke out in Londonderry in 1968 and in Belfast in 1969. British troops were brought in to restore order, but the conflict intensified as the IRA and Protestant paramilitary groups carried out bombings and other acts of terrorism. This continuing conflict, which lingered into the 1990s, became known as "the Troubles."
Despite efforts to bring about a resolution to the conflict during the 1970s and 80s, terrorist violence was still a problem in the early 90s and British troops remained in full force. More than 3,000 people have died as a result of the strife in Northern Ireland.

the slides of the course can be viewed here:

British Institutions

The slides on British Institutions can be viewed here :

Otherwise, you can find out more about the constitutional mornarchy by viewing Lecture 5 and the passing of a bill by viewing Lecture 6  presented by Prof. Dominique Vinet, Université de Montesquieu Bordeaux IV.
The website also proposes quizzes and exercises related to the different parts of the lecture.

Social Classes 1

Everything was said in class about the origin of the social class system in the UK!

- About the impact of the Industrial Revolution on social classes:
- To find out more about social class in the Victorian period visit theThe Victorian Web 
These slides illustrate the history of the working class during the industrial revolution (October 22nd Session). 

In the slides below you'll find figures about the social background of MPs and Members of Cabinets

If you want more information about the history of the class system, remember that ISLAIN Library is on the 4th floor!

Social Classes II

Social mobility in Britain

Here's what the figures of the latest OECD report across the world show:

• Britain has some of the lowest social mobility in the developed world - the OECD figures show our earnings in the UK are more likely to reflect our fathers' than any other country.

• Social mobility hasn't changed since the 1970s - and in some ways has got worse.

• 24% of vice-chancellors, 32% of MPs, 51% of top Medics, 54% of FTSE-100 chief execs, 54% of top journalists, 70% of High Court judges …went to private school, though only 7% of the population do.

• Education is an engine of social mobility. But achievement is not balanced fairly - for the poorest fifth in society, 46% have mothers with no qualifications at all. For the richest, it's only 3%

• Parental influence still makes a big difference to a child's education in the UK, especially compared to other countries - in fact in the UK the influence of your parents is as important as the quality of the school

• There is a strong link between a lack of social mobility and inequality - and the UK has both. Only Portugal is more unequal with less social mobility

• If you are at the top, the rewards are high - the top 1% of the UK population has a greater share of national income than at any time since the 1930s

Adapted from DataBlog May 2012