What is the relationship between ethnicity and inequality?
There are ethnic differences in life chances in the UK.
Some ethnic minorities appear to be the victims of racism and discrimination in the UK
There have been strict laws to prevent racism and ethnic inequality in the UK.
There are those who believe that the social changes that have come about because of legal controls are more cosmetic than deeply embedded into our social structure.
(AO1) What evidence is there of ethnic inequality in UK?
(AO1) How are ethnic inequalities being challenged by government policies?
(AO2) To what extent is British culture racist and ethnically unequal?
(AO2) What are social implications of racism in our society?
Summary of Key Points
What is racism?
Racism is the belief that some ethnic groups are superior and others inferior. This belief is often associated with notions of skin pigmentation or the minor physical differences that are sometimes apparent between different groups of people. However, racism is not always associated with skin colour, but also with culture, ethnicity, with religious belief or language differences.
The notion of racism itself is also a very recent idea in our society. In the past, the idea that people from certain ethnic groups were superior to and different from others was so deeply ingrained into much thinking that it was not seriously questioned. There is a long and deep history of racism in European culture. We often ascribe negative characteristics to people of different ethnicities and nationalities so that they are used as terms of abuse. Many jokes rely on negative assumptions about people's national characteristics.
Ethnocentrism is the tendency to see the world from the perspective of your own culture and to assume that one's own culture is the only correct way to think. Racism is a step beyond ethnocentricity because it implies that