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The White Working Class as ‘Flawed Consumers’: Representations and Policy Responses.

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Presentation on theme: "The White Working Class as ‘Flawed Consumers’: Representations and Policy Responses."— Presentation transcript:

1 The White Working Class as ‘Flawed Consumers’: Representations and Policy Responses



4 The Open Society Foundations are a family of more than 30 foundations active in more than 70 countries around the world. The Open Society Foundations support justice and human rights, freedom of expression, and access to public health and education. The Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens.

5  Research and Advocacy  Mitigation of anti-minority and anti- immigrant sentiment  Equality and social cohesion in Western Europe  Local and national government engagement and EU where necessary

6  Undertake research and advocacy on issues which undermine open societies  Offer evidence based comparative research and contribute to better informed policies and debate on diversity and equality in Europe  Engage local governments to improve political will and leadership in countering intolerance  Support the critical engagement of grassroots organisations at city and national level  Strengthen or support the creation of a shared sense of interest between communities


8  Premised on policy knowledge gaps  Evidence based comparative research  Qualitative methodology  City level  Muslims in EU Cities  Somalis in European Cities  Engaging Marginalised Majority Populations and Communities

9  Advocacy is an organised attempt to change policy, practice and/or attitudes and behaviour by presenting evidence and arguments for how and why change can happen

10  Research-driven  Sustainable change at the local level  Local ownership  Briefings, partnerships, facilitation, networks, capacity building, grant giving, media, visual representation, promoting good practices

11  Local, national and European levels  City administrations  Civil Society Actors  European networks  And what about the other players?


13 Aarhus, Denmark Amsterdam, The Netherlands Berlin, Germany Lyon, France Manchester, United Kingdom Stockholm, Sweden Six cities

14  ‘White working class’ or ‘marginalised majority population’? “individuals who are citizens of the country where the research was taking place and born in that country and whose parents were also citizens of the country and born in that country”

15  Qualitative research  12 focus groups in each city  Semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders (policy makers, practitioners, civil society activists)

16 Berlin Lyon Amsterdam Manchester Stockholm Aarhus

17  Areas of majority ‘white working class’ population  Traditional centre left municipalities  Not the ‘most deprived areas’ in the city  Significant support for far right parties

18  Economic insecurity, networks of support and identity  Failure to involve white working class communities in integration policies  Stigmatized local identites

19  Relative lack of attention on under- achievement of white working class children  Reforms in education have encouraged segregation on the grounds of both class and ethnicity  Degrading of vocational education

20  Rise of negative media stereotypes Chavs (UK), Hartz IV television (Germany), “aso-TV” Netherlands  Structure of media industry/professionals and decline of traditional local media  Symbolic neighbourhoods: Marzahn-Hellersdorf, Tuindorp, Triegeparken,  Community based social media challenging representations of local areas

21  Director:  Advocacy Officer:  Prog. Assistant:  Senior Policy

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