Book News: June 19th, 2007

The Commission for Racial Equality has responded to the growth in immigration and the changed map of diversity in Britain with this report. It describes how areas where immigrants have traditionally settled have become more diverse than ever, while areas that had previously not known much immigration have received relatively large numbers of newcomers.The findings of the report point to a number of worrying trends influencing both the reception of new migrants across different parts of the UK and the capacity of local authorities to promote integration amid increasing diversity. Misperceptions and misinformation lie at the heart of how new migrants are received, with the media playing a key role in filling what is often a vacuum of accurate information on the dynamics of social change at the local level. These misperceptions are largely forged along the fault lines of race, ethnicity and religion, with white migrants in England reporting a broadly more positive reception than non-white migrants.

The report concludes that the CRE needs to do more to promote a better understanding of ‘good race relations’ as one which encompasses new migrant communities, both white and non-white, and in doing so captures the increasing diversity among the UK’s ‘minority’ population. It also argues that the focus of policymakers should be on how to build and harness local capacity to integrate new migrant communities.

The report is available at: http://www.cre.gov.uk/downloads/newmigrantcommunitiesresearch.pdf