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Exit, Voice or Accommodation? Diversity and the White Working Class in England and Wales Eric Kaufmann and Gareth Harris, Birkbeck College

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Presentation on theme: "Exit, Voice or Accommodation? Diversity and the White Working Class in England and Wales Eric Kaufmann and Gareth Harris, Birkbeck College"— Presentation transcript:

1 Exit, Voice or Accommodation? Diversity and the White Working Class in England and Wales Eric Kaufmann and Gareth Harris, Birkbeck College;

2 Community and Closure 'The distinctiveness of cultures and groups depends upon closure and, without it, cannot be conceived as a stable feature of human life. If this distinctiveness is a value, as most people…seem to believe, then closure must be permitted somewhere.' – Michael Walzer, Spheres of Justice (1983)

3 Exit, Voice, Accommodation Voice = White opposition to immigration and/or Far Right voting (Closure 1) Exit = ‘White Flight’ or Avoidance (Closure 2) Accommodation = White acceptance of diversity, immigration, ethnic change (No closure/transformed closure) ESRC project: How are exit, voice, acc. related?

4 Conceptual Frameworks Dominant Ethnicity Political Demography Ethnic Status

5 White + Working Class. Why? Ethnic identity more important source of identity for dominant ethnic group members of lower economic status (i.e. Ulster Protestant working class; Oriental Jews; poor ‘redneck’ whites or Afrikaners) – Yiftachel 1999; Roediger 1991 Less mobile identify with more ascribed rather than achieved characteristics. Ontological security bound up with locality, ancestry. – Durkheim 1893; Parsons 1951; Giddens 1991; Skey 2011 Research generally finds greater opposition to ethnic change and ethnic equality among working-class whites

6 Data and Methods Methods: Quantitative and Qualitative Quantitative First, then qual, then back to quant Today mainly on quantitative findings to date Sources: ESRC datasets, i.e. BHPS, Understanding Society, ONS LS, also Citizenship Survey

7 ONS Longitudinal Study The permission of the Office for National Statistics to use the Longitudinal Study is gratefully acknowledged, as is the help provided by staff of the Centre for Longitudinal Study Information & User Support (CeLSIUS). CeLSIUS is supported by the ESRC Census of Population Programme (Award Ref: RES-348-25-0004). The authors alone are responsible for the interpretation of the data. Census output is Crown copyright and is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.

8 Exit

9 ‘White Flight’ in England? A number of leading geographers (Catney and Simpson 2010; Finney and Simpson 2007; Simon 2009) suggest that both whites and minorities leave dense, poor areas for leafier more attractive places But even they do not deny that ethnic preference plays some role One question we seek to answer is how much of a role ethnicity plays BOTH in decisions about whether to leave, AND where to move to. ‘Avoidance’ and ‘Flight’

10 Counterurbanisation? Source: Finney 2011Source: Catney and Simpson 2010

11 Counterurbanisation Method Wards % White Quintile 1755498 Quintile 272687 Quintile 328873 Quintile 418057 Quintile 510234 Total885091 Simpson (2007) argues that both whites and nonwhites are leaving poor urban areas at similar rates. ‘Counterurbanisation’ thesis. Yet even here, there is evidence of some ethnic difference.

12 Moved Out in 2000- 2001: Wards% WhiteWh BritishMinoritiesWH OtherWhite Irish Quintile 17554981.1%4.7%3.2%1.5% Quintile 2726875.4%6.4%7.7%4.1% Quintile 3288736.8%6.0%8.1%5.6% Quintile 4180577.0%4.6%7.8%3.8% Quintile 5102346.1%2.9%13.1%3.2% Total885091 Source: Office for National Statistics. 2001. ONS Longitudinal Study.

13 Counterurb. theory explains Why but not Where Most people move because younger, married, wealthier, better educated Move to leafier, better areas White British are only somewhat more likely than minorities to leave an area that is under 50% white (t= 3.38) But White British move to much whiter areas than minorities (‘white avoidance’ rather than white flight)

14 Predictors of Quintile Shift, 1991-2001 (excluding area controls for ethnicity, density, poverty) Source: Office for National Statistics. 2001. ONS Longitudinal Study.


16 Trends in Ethnic Residential Mobility, England, 1991-2001 Whites and minorities leaving poor urban minority areas for economic reasons, but: – Minorities, especially if poor, prefer to remain in diverse areas – Whites, especially working class, married, homeowners, prefer to avoid diverse areas Minority spread matches white ‘flight’ and avoidance, leaving segregation little changed

17 Most Urban Areas Only DecileMinorityWhite 165.5% 269.2% 364.8%70.3% 465.8%68.3% 561.9%67.1% 663.6%67.5% 765.2%67.3% 865.8%68.8% 973.8%70.3% 1089.4%68.2% Most Deprived Areas Only DecileMinorityWhite 173.6% 270.8%71.3% 359.7%73.7% 462.5%68.2% 569.0%65.5% 656.1%66.2% 760.2%66.6% 864.0%69.0% 971.3%70.5% 1090.6%68.5% Removing Counterurbanisation, We Find Minority Preference to Remain in Areas of Concentration Source: Office for National Statistics. 2001. ONS Longitudinal Study.

18 Voice: Opposition to immigration Citizenship survey 2006 to 2011 Do you think the number of immigrants coming to Britain nowadays should be… Majority view, consistently over 80% since 2005 amongst white UK-born population Regional distribution fairly evenly spread amongst regions of low/high diversity bar Greater London

19 Percentage of white respondents who favour a reduction by a lot and little (combined) and a lot in migration by class Source: Aggregated Citizenship Surveys 2007/2008/2009/2010/2011 N= 32340

20 Demographic: opposition to immigration Working class respondents no more likely to be opposed to immigration than middle class, although class is significant when restricted to extreme responses Being older, with low educational achievement and longer residence, make opposition to immigration more likely

21 Classed distinction in drivers

22 Attitudes: Opposition to immigration Perceptions of preferential treatment and council discrimination, 3.3 times and 1.6 more likely But not likely to be unemployed/council tenants or in low income groups English identity more powerful predictor than British (which runs other way when restricted to more extreme responses) Low levels of general trust more important than interpersonal trust.

23 Far right support Similar drivers to opposition to immigration but strongly segmented appeal to male, middle-aged, skilled manual workers Motivated by overwhelming concern with immigration and sense of discrimination but more likely to be homeowners than council tenants, working rather than unemployed, and in higher income brackets Begs the question, if anti-immigrant sentiment is the main driver of far right support, and this is widely felt within the white UK-born population, why is the far right not stronger?

24 Far right support Answer may lie on the supply side; spoilt identity and social norms The far right may appeal amongst social groups in which those social norms hold less weight, or holding views contrary to them reinforce an oppositional identity (to the political mainstream) UKIP, the “BNP in blazers”

25 Bringing White Flight and Immigration Views Together Puzzle: Why are whites (and even white working-class British) people living in diverse wards more tolerant of immigration? Diversity- reduces the odds by 20% between 8 th and 9 th decile of diversity of ward

26 Reduce the number of immigrants (a lot and a little) by social class and ward diversity (aggregated dataset) for all white respondents

27 Threat or Contact? Whites – even the white working class – living in diverse wards are more tolerant of immigration US literature shows that diversity at ward/tract level (10-30k) is associated with less white hostility to immigrants, minorities, immigration BUT at metro and LA level (100k-1m), more diversity is associated with more white hostility Feeling of threat at metro level as minorities grow, but positive contact at local level creates accommodation?

28 Other Explanations.. Contact or Threat is the usual framework But other explanations: 1) Selection bias: whites who don’t like diversity leave 2) not diversity of context, but something about the white population in diverse areas that creates a different context. Perhaps an area that is transient, young, rent-based, well educated…(future work)

29 Not Selection: Those who ‘exit’ do not ‘voice’ BHPS and Understanding Society Whites moving to diverse areas and those leaving them are identical when it comes to voting, family values, English national identity, British patriotism, newspaper readership No measure of immigration opinion, but research in Sweden identical conclusion

30 Mobility?: Stayers Differ From Movers Swedish research shows that whites leaving diverse areas are somewhat less likely to be hostile to immigrants than whites who remain Our work with BHPS might corroborate this: movers are more tolerant on family values and morality, whilst stayers tend to be more nationalistic and defensive of Britain’s standing in the world. But differences not large From the Citizenship survey, the longer a respondent’s residence, the more likely they are to be opposed to immigration

31 Selection bias? Movers to more diverse areas significantly younger (under 25), more likely to be single, renters. Broadsheet readers but not necessarily the most highly educated. Whilst movers to less diverse areas tended to be older, council home owners, with dependent children and slightly less liberal

32 Stayers and far right support From my work on support for the far right in Greater London, electoral support for the BNP stronger in areas of lower residential mobility (less in- and outflows) Support for the BNP the resort of those who lack the resources to exit? (More working class) Far right support linked with white enclaves nested within more ethnically diverse areas- bifurcated relationship with diversity (Goodwin 2011, Bowyer 2008) Positive relationship at Local Authority (conflict) against negative at ward level (contact)

33 Future Research Focus Group Work required to tease out meanings that white working class people hold 4 focus groups, 2 in white minority areas, 2 in adjacent mainly white areas. 2 in London, 2 in North or Midlands 2011 data updates (ONS LS, Census)

34 Two caveats Far support not linked to ethnic diversity per se but composition and rate of demographic change drivers of far right support Higher levels of far right support found in areas with a higher proportion of Pakistani and Bangladeshi residents Stronger far right support found in areas that have experienced rapid demographic change from a relatively low base; 33% decline in white UK-born population in Barking & Dagenham

35 Counterargument to Contact Theory I May be that those who are mobile (i.e. leaving or entering a diverse area) are more individualistic Makes them more tolerant, but also lower neighbourhood social capital? Transience=diversity; transience=tolerant whites, ergo diversity=tolerant whites? (ie contact with minorities not the reason for tolerance) Future work: controlling for transience, diversity of ward no longer significant predictor of tolerance? Walzer argument would be disconfirmed by this analysis

36 Counterargument to Contact Theory II White ethnic preference could be subconscious and latent (Charles 2002; Clark 2006) Ideological toleration may mask ethnic drives beneath (Blinder) Here Walzer’s argument substantiated

37 Conclusion Local ethnic geography and demography matter for national issue perceptions and vice-versa Little white flight, but lots of white avoidance Anti-immigration and far right vote (closure 1) not apparently linked to White flight/avoidance (closure 2) but both linked to local ethnic diversity and change, and stronger among white working class White British accommodation may be associated with contact, or to white mobility. Requires more research Decline of single-group ethnic segregation but rise in white segregation from minorities White attitudes to immigration may be softened by contact; or may be hardened by white consolidation and by jumps in minority presence in formerly lily-white areas

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