Dr Dharmi Kapadia, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Manchester, is one of the co-authors of a major collaborative project to document the lives of ethnic and religious minorities in the UK.
Kapadia along with fellow authors from King’s College London and University of St. Andrews worked on the Evidence for Equality National Survey (EVENS), carried out by the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE).
She notes: “Our data is stark evidence that racism is an enduring feature of British society today. However, tackling racism is not just a case of merely removing ‘bad apples’ from workplaces and institutions such as the Metropolitan Police – we need to seriously transform the policies and procedures that enable racist discrimination to persist, in order to ensure better outcome and life chances for ethnic and religious minority people.”
The racism reported by the survey’s respondents took different forms – physical, verbal or damage to property – and happened in all areas of life including education, work and when looking for housing. Overall, almost one in six respondents had experienced a racially motivated physical assault, and over a third of people identifying as Gypsy/Traveller, Roma or Other Black reported that they had been physically assaulted because of their ethnicity, race, colour, or religion.
Professor Laia Bécares, Professor of Social Science and Health at King’s College London, said: “The EVENS survey allows us to obtain a deeper understanding of the insidiousness and persistence of racial discrimination in the UK.
“We clearly document that there is a high level of racism in the UK which permeates all aspects of people’s everyday lives and impacts their health, wellbeing, and socioeconomic circumstances.”
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Data collection took place between February and November 2021, when people were asked about their experiences before the pandemic, and separately, about their experiences since the beginning of the pandemic. EVENS has a sample of 14,200 participants, of whom 9,700 identify as members of ethnic and religious minority groups to allow comparative analyses of their experiences.
Professor Nissa Finney, Professor of Human Geography at the University of St. Andrews, said: “The innovative, robust survey techniques we used mean we have a larger dataset and detailed data on more ethnic and religious minority groups across a wider range of topics than ever before.
“This makes our data a powerful tool for understanding, and reducing, ethnic and religious inequalities.”
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Founded in 2013, CoDE is the UK’s leading centre of research into ethnic, racial and religious inequalities.