Combination of discrimination, unequal relations and power and negative beliefs and attitudes Prejudice – style of thinking which relies heavily on stereotypes – usually factually incorrect, exagerrated and distorted Discrimination – prejudice put into practice – in regard to jobs, housing, racial attacks and perhaps even policing Institutional racism – the idea that racial assumptions are built into the rules and routines of Britain’s social institutions, so that the specific needs of ethnic minorities are neglected.
But are likely to face prejudice and discrimination from the white working class because they suffer from status inequality as well as class inequality In the form of prejudicial attitudes held by members of both the white middle and working classes The primary sector is characterised by secure, well paid jobs with long term promotion prospects (dominated by white men) , and the secondary sector is characterised by low-paid, unskilled and insecure jobs (dominated by women and black people) Because employers may subscribe to racist beliefs about their unsuitability, and even practise discrimination against them either when they apply for jobs or by denying them responsibility and promotion The race relations act, which is supposed to protect them from discriminatory practices is generally thought to be feeble. Trade unions are generally white-dominated and tend to favour white workers. A black underclass may exist which is marginalised, alienated and frustrated, and which sometimes erupts in the form of inner city riots if young blacks feel, for example, that they are being harassed by the police.
E.g. young Africa-Caribbeans are workshy and welfare-dependant. This is despite the fact that surveys indicate their norms and values with regard to work are no different from mainstream society.
Thus ensuring that employers can treat black people as a reserve army of labour, to be hired when the economy expands and laid off when the recession sets in So that employers can use the threat of cheaper black workers to control their workforce – especially if there are hints that white workers are planning to strike for higher pay. This tactic ‘divides and rules’ the black and white working class, as white workers are encouraged to see black workers as a greater threat to their position than the organisation of capitalism. Black people can be scapegoated for unemployment (through beliefs such as they’ve come over here to take our jobs) or inner city decline (this was a nice neighbourhood before they moved in)
It may benefit capitalism in the long term but this is not evidence that it functions exclusively as an ideological apparatus No evidence to suggest that capitalist class is responsible for its existence or maintenance Although ethnic minorities are part of the working class there are significant cultural differences between them and the white working class which result in them stresing aspects of their ethnic identities Although there is some evidence that they often end up in the lower-middle class, where status and pay are not as high, or in lower and middle management rather than top management poisitions
Have you ever experienced racism or
discrimination? If so, in what way?
SOCIAL INEQUALITY AND
To develop knowledge of ethnic
Create your own definition for the
above key terms. (5mins)
A system of beliefs and
practices that exclude
people form all aspects
of social life on the
grounds of ethnic or
attitude or fear rather
put into practice. This
could be through
Racism as a basic
institutions such as
the police, the
courts, the media,
employment or the
Homework – due Friday
Collect at least one piece of evidence
that relates to the key concepts of
racism, prejudice, discrimination and
institutional racism in the contemporary
UK. The evidence could take the form of
newspaper articles, research, interviews
and so forth.
Activity – Independent Work 30
Write a newspaper article that outlines
the various types of inequalities that
people will suffer in the UK due to their
race. You must include the four key
concepts that you have just defined, and
sociological evidence form the textbook
Extension – read over the getting you
thinking activity on page 280.
Weber argues that modern societies are characterised
by class inequality and ethnic inequality, but status
and power are in the hands of the majority ethnic
group. This makes it difficult for ethnic minority groups
to compete equally for jobs, housing etc…
Ethnic minority workers do not share the same status
as White workers.
Ethnic minorities are likely to experience
discrimination from the White working class as they
compete for jobs. Therefore they suffer from status
inequality as well as class inequality.
1. Ethnic minority members who do manual jobs are
technically part of the working class
2. Even middle-class Asians doing professional jobs may
experience status inequality
3. The Weberian dual labour market theory of Barron and
Norris argues that there are two markets for labour – the
primary sector and the secondary sector
4. Ethnic minorities are less likely to gain primary sector
5. The legal and political framework supporting black people
6. Some Weberians, especially Rex and Tomlinson, argue
that ethnic minority experience of both class and status
inequality can lead to poverty which is made more severe
Commentators such as Murray and Marsland blame the
culture of some ethnic minorities for their poverty and
The existence of a black underclass has not been proved
– there is considerable overlap between the white and
black population in terms of poverty and unemployment
However, the concept of status inequality may help to
explain some apparent divisions between the white and
black working class, in terms of unemployment and
promotion into white collar work
Your group have been tasked with
designing a piece of research into racism
in contemporary Britain. You have
unlimited resources at your disposal, and
may use any methodology (including
mixed) that you can justify. The moral
implications of your work must be
weighed against the ethical
considerations of your research.
Marxists are adamant that black people
are part of the exploited working class
and they generally see status inequality
as less important than class inequality.
They do acknowledge that racism is a powerful influence in
modern society – it’s used as an ideological weapon in
order to attain three objectives:
1. Racism means that black unemployment, low pay and
poor conditions in the workplace do not generate
2. Marxists argue that white workers are encouraged to
perceive black workers as a threat to their jobs
3. Social problems caused by the mismanagement of
capitalism can also be blamed on visible ethnic
It is difficult to prove that racism is a capitalist
Marxists tend to talk about racism as if the
capitalist class had deliberately constructed it
to control both black and white workers
Miles says we should see ethnic minorities as
members of ‘racialised class fractions’
There is evidence that increasing numbers of
ethnic minorities are entering the ranks of the
professional middle class
You have twenty minutes to plan an
answer to the following question:
Outline the evidence that people from
ethnic minority groups in the UK suffer
from inequality. 
Peer assessment – go over your
partner’s answer and highlight key terms,
sociologists and statistics in different
You are the Prime Minister, with
unlimited power over the state
apparatus. How will you empty our
society of racist views?
Using Empirical Evidence
For each slide, write a paragraph
explaining what it shows, and then use
your synoptic skill to link the data to
theory, studies, approaches and key
The graph clearly shows that there is inequality in terms of unemployment by
ethnicity. Seven point three percent of people from a ‘white’ ethnicity were show to
be unemployed, which is the lowest of any ethnic group. People from mixed
heritage and Pakistani backgrounds had the highest unemployment figures (17.3%
and 16.8% respectively.) There are various possible sociological explanations for
this. Weber argued that ethnic minority people will suffer from both class inequality
and status inequality, as they often experience prejudice and discrimination from
both the managerial class, and the white working class. Marxists such as Miles
would agree, arguing that the capitalist classes, or the bourgeoisie, will divide the
working class, or proletariat. Miles would call ethnic minorities part of the racialized
class fractions – meaning that the white working class are socialised into
discrimination and into seeing ethnic minority people as a threat to their jobs. A
further explanation of these figures could be employer racism – a BBC experiment
found that job applicants with ‘Asian sounding names’ had only a 9% chance of
being given an interview compared to tradition ‘white’ names.
Extension – Take one piece of empirical evidence from
the textbook (284) and attach at least three sociological
Complete the data task, and memorise
two pieces of data from each area.
In pairs you will be given a particular
area. You must gather empirical
evidence, and then use studies,
approaches and so forth to explain one
piece of empirical data. This will be
presented in poster form.
One the key knowledge check provided,
write down two key statistics for each of
the areas of social life. You will get one
point for each stat, and one extra point
for the source of each stat.
The host-immigrant model
When large numbers of immigrants moved from the
old colonies during the 50s and 60s, the value
consensus of British society was broken
The ‘host’ community (British people) were
understandably fearful of the newcomers
Patterson used the example of West Indian people
who were ‘noisy and boisterous’ compared to
British people who were ‘quiet and private’
Patterson argued that British people were not
racist, just unsure about how to communicate
Three causes of racial discrimination:
1. The hosts culture’s fear of social change and
2. Resentment at having to compete for jobs (esp. the
3. The failure of ethnic minorities to assimilate e.g.
living in segregated communities and not learning
Patterson believed that eventually immigrants
would become ‘more British’ and would then
‘fit in’ just fine
Labour argued that there were cultural
ghettos, and this caused the ‘white flight’
Labour introduced the 45 minute citizenship
test and many politicians and media outlets
have argued that immigrants should have to
learn the language
In pairs, think of five criticisms of the
host-immigrant model of ethnicity and
It is generally the immigrant (victim) who
is blamed for the racism and
discrimination that they suffer
The Commission for Racial Equality
(CRE) found that segregation is a result
of discrimination and poverty, not choice
and that councils will often actively
segregate communities (giving ethnic
minorities the worst housing)
Segregation makes politicised racism
easy – in Oldham the BNP stirred
tension by saying the Asian communities
were getting all of the houses, in reality
9% of Asians lived in council housing,
25% of whites
CRE also pointed out that ‘white flight’ is
due to whites not wanting to mix with
Asian, not the other way round
Supporters of multiculturalism (esp. Hall) would
argue that we are a culturally diverse community and
so should celebrate diversity, rather than assuming
that white culture is superior
H-I model fails to recognise that most West Indian
already speak English
Many Asians share British values due to colonialism
Patterson predicted that racism would stop. It has
not, and many ethic minority groups suffer many
forms of discrimination
Create a poster that outlines H-I model,
and then criticises it. Use empirical
evidence, newspaper cuttings and
evaluation points. You should also be
You have five minutes to note down ten
sociologists that apply to ethnicity and
inequality, including what they have
found, researched or believe.
Recent approaches – Owen and Green
(1992) note that Indians and Chinese are two
ethnic groups that have made significant
progress in the British labour market since
More ethnic minorities are entering middle
However, they may experience the ‘glass
ceiling’ as White workers progress further in
Modood (1992) reject Marxist and
Weberian explanations of ethnicity and
Ethnic-minority groups are characterized
by difference and diversity
The experience of racism is different for
all – stop and search
Responses to racism are also different
Focus on ‘culture and identity’ rather than racial inequality
White and ethnic-minority identities are being eroded by
globalization and consumption
Therefore less likely to have their identity shaped by their ethnic
In the 21st
century, young people have started to ‘pick and mix’
This has created new hybrid identities
Identity has become a matter of choice
This will therefore reduce racism
Task: Note down the criticisms of the postmodernist
Starter – Complete your article which
details the inequalities for ethnic-minority
groups within society. (15mins)
Re-cap of the Key Terms
Task – Complete the ‘Getting you thinking’
What are your key findings regarding racism?
Miles (1989) argued that ethnic-minority
groups are more likely to be found at the
bottom of the stratification system in
This is therefore seen as racism.
Racism has 3 key elements: prejudice,
racial discrimination and institutional
Racial prejudice is a
type of racism that is
opinion, attitude or
fear rather than
Based on stereotypes.
Opinion that is
Heath and Rothon
(2003) found that 35%
of adults described
people of other races.
Rose to 37% in 1987,
before falling to 25% in
2000 and 2001.
In 2002 however the
figure rose to 31%.
Connolly and Keenan (2000) completed a survey in
Northern Ireland which found that 25% were unwilling to
accept other ethnicities in their local area. 2 out of every 5
people were unwilling to accept particular ethnicities as a
friend and 54% were unwilling to accept a person of
South Asian origin as a relative by way of marriage.
In 2006, a Channel 4 survey ‘How racist is Britain?’ found
that 84% said they were not prejudiced and only 1%
admitted to being very prejudiced.
The most prejudiced group at 45-65 year olds.
Prejudice is passed down through the process of
Education is responsible however for teaching
young people not to be prejudice. 18% of graduates
admit to be prejudiced in comparison to 35% of
those who have no qualifications.
Complete the ‘Focus on research’ activity on Page
What do White teenagers do with their prejudicial
Feedback your answers to the rest of the group.
Increase in prejudice in modern
Rotton and Heath argue that the
medias coverage of asylum seekers and
immigration has sparked prejudice in
modern day society.
The same can be said for terrorism.
This is prejudice put in to action.
Can you think of any examples?
Racist name-calling or bullying
Connolly and Keenan found that 21% said that their
friends had called someone a name due to their
colour or ethnicity.
The DfE (2002) found that 25% of pupils from
minority-ethnic backgrounds in mainly White schools
had experienced name calling in the last 7 days due
to their race or ethnicity.
Between 1991 and 1997 there have been over 65
murders in Britain with suspected or known racial motive.
The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 states that if a crime
has a racial element then punishment will be increased.
Racist chanting at football grounds has been banned.
61,000 complaints of racially motivated crime in 2006/07
However the number of racial attacks are only a
proportion of the amount of actual attacks that take place.
Chahal and Julienne (1999) found that racism was part of
everyday life for Black and ethnic-minority people.
Read over this section of the text book.
Make your own revision notes regarding
employers and racism.
What have been the findings in
relation to experiences of racism
within the work place?
Policing – The Macpherson’s report 1998
in to the murder of Black teenager
Stephen Lawrence by White youths in
1993 found that the Metropolitan Police
were guilty of institutional racism.
Barrron and Norris
1. Primary labour market – secure, well
paid jobs with long term prospects
2. Secondary labour market – low paid,
insecure and unskilled
Activity – who dominates each labour
market, and why may this be?
You are to complete your notes for the
topic ‘ethnicity and stratification’ over the
half term break.
Complete the research activities and
exam questions at the end of the