Nice Work if You can Get it: Ethnic Penalties in Great Britain


in Unequal Chances

Published by British Academy

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780197263860
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734953 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Nice Work if You can Get it: Ethnic Penalties in Great Britain

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Britain has long been home to migrants from Ireland (which until 1921 had been part of the United Kingdom). More recently, it has seen major inflows from a number of less-developed countries such as Jamaica, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Kenya, and Hong Kong that had formerly been part of the British Empire. While there is some reason to believe that the Irish experienced some discrimination in Britain in the first half of the twentieth century or before, evidence implies that the Irish, both first and second generation, now compete on equal terms with the indigenous British. The ethnic penalties experienced by the visible minorities from the less-developed members of the Commonwealth have declined markedly in the second generation, but all the major visible minorities still find it more difficult to obtain jobs commensurate with their qualifications than do the various white groups, even in the second generation. Continuing discrimination against visible minorities is likely to be a major part of the explanation for the difficulty in gaining employment.

Keywords: Britain; ethnic penalties; minorities; migrants; Ireland; discrimination; second generation; employment

Chapter.  14976 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Race and Ethnicity

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