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‘White flight’?: Opposition to Diversity and Mobility Decisions in Britain, 1991‐2012 Diversity and the White Working Class in England and Wales Eric Kaufmann.

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Presentation on theme: "‘White flight’?: Opposition to Diversity and Mobility Decisions in Britain, 1991‐2012 Diversity and the White Working Class in England and Wales Eric Kaufmann."— Presentation transcript:

1 ‘White flight’?: Opposition to Diversity and Mobility Decisions in Britain, 1991‐2012 Diversity and the White Working Class in England and Wales Eric Kaufmann and Gareth Harris, Birkbeck College

2 White Flight?: Existing evidence base USA: white preference effects whilst controlling for socio/economic individual & neighborhood characteristics (Crowder & South, 2000) Europe: White avoidance rather than flight (Brama, 2006) UK: No white flight; counter-urbanisation- but lower class whites significantly more likely to leave diverse areas than lower class mne residents, especially in London (Catney & Simpson, 2010)

3 White Flight or Race-Proxy Hypothesis? 'Although the optimal approach for answering questions about motivations would be to use longitudinal data that measure both attitudes and behavior at the individual level, these data do not exist' (Krysan 2002)

4 Data Uses 18 waves of BHPS and waves 1 & 2 of Understanding Society to create a cross-sectional data set with person years as unit of analysis (n=192171) Attached to geo-referenced data at ward-level (linearly interpolated using 1991/2001/2011 census) to capture MNE population, deprivation (Carstairs) and population density. Ward-level diversity measured in Simpson’s quintiles in which each quintile contains a fifth of the mne population (concentration)

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6 Preference to leave by ethnicity and quintile of diversity

7 Preference to leave Older residents, home owners and those in lower seg less likely to prefer to move Respondents who are more socially- but not politically- conservative more likely to want to move but not to actually do so No significant effect for individual ethnicity but white respondents more likely to prefer to leave if living in more diverse quintiles BUT minority respondents equally as likely to prefer to move from wards in quintile 5.

8 To stay or go? Respondents who are white, younger, better- educated, single, childless renters more likely to move. Social conservatives (but not politically conservative) more likely to stay All respondents more likely to move from more deprived and more urban wards The odds of moving higher for whites living in wards with higher minority concentration.

9 Predicted probabilities of move by diversity quintile and ethnicity

10 Diversity seeker/avoider? Single renters were more likely to move to more diverse wards Ethnicity a significant predictor of move away from diversity BUT attitudinal traits (i.e. white x conservatism) not significant White working class residents more likely to move to less diverse wards than white upper/middle class

11 Predicted probabilities of move towards/away from diversity

12 BSPS/Understanding Soc. Summary Whites more likely than minorities to move from more diverse areas after controlling for deprivation and population density Once the decision has been made to move whites tend to move away from diversity after controlling for population density and deprivation The question remains how much of this is driven by the mobility preferences of MNE v White respondents

13 Role of White Racial Attitudes USA MCSUI study 1994: Krysan 2002; Clark 2006 Netherlands replication: van der Londen 2012 UK replication ongoing (Peach et. al) We commissioned survey, YouGov tracker, August Approx 1900 sample, UK-wide. Matched questions.

14 Comfort Thresholds: Nation and Locale Neighbourhood (current) – when did you begin to feel uncomfortable Neighbourhood (prospective) – when would you begin to feel uncomfortable GB (current) – when did GB (prospective) – when would

15 A. Which of the following statements best describes your views about the number of people from ethnic minorities living in [your neighbourhood] [Britain]? I will always be comfortable with the number of people from ethnic minorities living in my neighbourhood If the number of people from ethnic minorities increases I might feel uncomfortable at some point If the number of people from ethnic minorities decreases I might feel uncomfortable at some point Don’t know B. When do you think you would start to feel uncomfortable about the number of people from ethnic minorities living in your neighbourhood? Would it be when people from ethnic minorities made up roughly...? More than three quarters (over 75%) of all people in your neighbourhood Three quarters of all people (75%) in your neighbourhood Two thirds of all people (66%) in your neighbourhood…….. I am uncomfortable with any people from ethnic minorities living in my neighbourhood

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17 Racism How comfortable or uncomfortable do you think you would feel if the following people you may come into contact with were from an ethnic minority? [The Prime Minister]: – 32.3% of white British ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ uncomfortable (N = 1,638)

18 Immigration Do you think the number of immigrants coming to Britain nowadays should be increased, reduced or should it remain the same? – Increased a lot 2.26% – Increased a little 2.69% – Remain the same 15.32% – Reduced a little 18.50% – Reduced a lot 56.72% – Don’t know 4.52%

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20 Local Council Wards in the UK have a population of about 10,000 to 30,000 people. Have you moved Local Council Ward to live somewhere new at any time in the past ten years? – No 66.24% (1085) – Yes 28.39% (465) – Don’t know 5.37% (88) As far as you know, did the last Local Council Ward in which you lived have…? – More people from an ethnic minority background than the ward I now live in now 37.4% (174) – Fewer people from an ethnic minority background than the ward I now live in now 22.8% (106) – About the same number of people from an ethnic minority background than the ward I now live in now 23.2% (108) – Don’t know 16.6% (77)

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25 Conclusion Ward Comfort Threshold predicts move to less vs. more diverse ward, but sig. only for those with low threshold. Bivariate pseudo R 2 of.03 in overall sample;.10 among those stating a threshold. Only significant individual-level predictor apart from party vote. Weak predictor of ‘white flight’ – signed in expected direction but not significant. Zero-order pseudo R 2 of.01. Bottom Line: White comfort threshold matters for mobility choice, but only at the margins (1/5 of movers, 5% of respondents) Weak footprint in BSPS and longitudinal data BUT ethnic differences important for predicting moves to and from diversity (30% diff). Suggests cultural preferences or race-proxy effects more important than white ethnocentrism for sustaining segregation patterns.

26 StayersMoversMovers to Diversity Movers from Diversity Tory32.6% (1085) 29.8% (465) 24.8% (106) 34.1% (174) English National Identity48.1% (1085) 39.2% (465) 37.1% (106) 39.7% (174) Racism: Prime Minister35.3% (1085) 27.6% (465) 26.5% (106) 34.8% (174) Racism: Spouse or Partner28.2% (1060) 21.5% (441) 21.4% (105) 23.6% (165) Immigration (Decrease a lot)63.7% (1085) 51.2% (465) 51.5% (106) 60.6% (174) Uncomfortable with local % minorities17.4% (1085) 10.6% (465) 18.9% (106) 11.0% (174) If increase in local % minorities, would be uncomfortable 61.7% (899) 52.7% (416) 58.2% (86) 54.7% (155) Would be uncomfortable in ward with more than 17% minorities 49.1% (479) 42.3% (189) 27.1% (46) 62.3%* (77)


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