Survey of 6,000 schoolchildren finds many have a wildly distorted view of the number of immigrants in Britain, negative attitudes about Muslims, and pessimism about their own future opportunities
This report also prompted the following response.
Your article (Children have negative views of immigration, survey shows, 20 May) is troubling in its own right, but what is more disturbing is the division made between “young people” on the one hand and “minorities/migrants” on the other. The article reports that young people have been hit particularly hard in the downturn and that it’s easy for their economic concerns to be manifested as hostility towards immigrant communities. This misses the point that the young people who have been the hardest hit by the downturn are black and minority ethnic young people (Report, 11 March). Your March article suggests there was a 50% rise in long-term unemployment for young ethnic minority people in the UK, compared with a 2% decline in unemployment for young white people. Indeed, the implicit distinction between British young people and immigrant communities is precisely what needs to be combatted if we are truly to address issues of dispossession and crisis facing many young people in Britain today.
Gurminder K Bhambra Professor of sociology, University of Warwick
John Holmwood Professor of sociology, University of Nottingham
Thanks to Patrick Ainley for the links.