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Describe and assess the social position of a minority ethnic group in any one society and the extent to which racism has influenced the social position of its members.

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Introduction

Describe and assess the social position of a minority ethnic group in any one society and the extent to which racism has influenced the social position of its members. A minority ethnic group is a community whose members share common cultural traditions existing as a minority in a much larger society. We can find inequalities with a racial or ethnic dimension around the world. But there are great variations in the nature and significance of such inequalities. In Europe, racial divisions have emerged out of a colonial past and recent history of inward labour migration. Whereas, patterns of racial and ethnic disadvantage have very different flavours in the 'melting pot' societies of U.S.A and Australia. It is argued that these varied divisions are not the natural and inevitable product of something called race but instead are socially constructed. So, it follows that they can only be understood in their particular historical and political contexts. This argument will be developed through a discussion of race inequalities in one such context - contemporary Britain. Discussions of race in Britain since the 1950s have focused on the consequences of mass migration of people from the New Commonwealth (India, Pakistan and West Indies) ...read more.

Middle

With few exceptions, since the 1970s only dependants of existing settlers from the New Commonwealth could enter Britain. Despite this, non-white population has continue to grow primarily because the lower than average age migrants have generated higher than average birth rates. Although non-white presence in Britain is now well-established, its is striking how many continuities still exist between the problems faced by members of minorities today and those which confronted migrants who arrived in the 1950s and 1960s. If we examine the position of Britain's racialised minorities, we can see that the Race Relations Acts have had a very limited impact. Into the 1980s minority workers were: 1. Concentrated in particular sectors of the economy. Asians particularly Pakistanis predominated in manufacturing while there are high number of West Indians in transport and services. 2. Found mainly in occupations at the lower end of the occupational scale. 3. On average, even in comparison with the white workers in the same socio-economic group, lower paid. 4. Working long hours, more likely to do shifts and less likely to be given supervisory responsibility than white workers in the same occupational category. ...read more.

Conclusion

This broader approach to racism is highly significant since if it is accepted, attention moves from motives to outcomes. Supporters of this theory may argue that it is possible to participate in racist practices without necessarily holding racist beliefs. This employed to execute Britain's immigration law, for example, could be said to be implementing racist rules whatever their personal beliefs. Another example is of elite schools whose entry requirements include evidence of regular church attendance, which automatically exclude the children of non-Christian minorities. Therefore, racism has a great effect on the lived of ethnic minority group members. Their social position is to a great extent degraded just because they follow cultures and beliefs different from those of the majority. The Europeans have enslaved others from way back and developed a sense of superiority over present and former colonies. As Rudyard Kipling's poem 'The White Man's Burden' written in 1899 illustrates: 'Take up the White Man's burden - Send forth the best ye breed - Go bind your sons to exile To serve your captives' need; To wait in heavy harness On fluttered folk and wild - Your new-caught sullen people, Half devil and half child.' ...read more.

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