21 Mar 2011

The six social tribes of Britain

A report by the Searchlight Educational Trust into race, multiculturalism and identity shows that Britain is now divided into six social "tribes".

• Confident multiculturalists: 8% of the population, who are most likely to be graduates and entirely comfortable with Britain's multicultural society.

• Mainstream liberals: 16% of the population, who are educated and "see immigration as a net benefit" to Britain and only differ from the first group in their enthusiasm about multiculturalism.

• Identity ambivalents: 28% of the population, who come from less affluent backgrounds and include black minority ethnic groups. "They are more likely to be working class, to live in social housing and to view immigration through the prism of its economic impact on their opportunities and the social impact on their communities,". This group tend to identify with Labour.

• Cultural integrationists: 24% of the population, who are older and more prosperous. They are likely to have concerns about the "impact of immigration on national identity and about immigrants' willingness to integrate". They are more likely to identify with the Tories.

• Latent hostiles: 10% of the population, who are more likely to be older and not educated to university level. "For them, immigration has undermined British culture, public services and their own economic prospects,".

• Active enmity, 13% of the population, who tend to be unemployed and unskilled. They tend to be "opposed to all ethnicities or religions other than their own".

The survey was carried out the Populus polling organisation in which 5,000 people were surveyed.

In an article in the Guardian, David Miliband attacks David Cameron's 'muscular liberalism' and says that there is a risk of significant numbers of identity ambivalents jumping to latent hostility or active enmity.

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