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Keywords:

  • Prejudice;
  • Britain;
  • ethnic minorities;
  • attitudes;
  • cohort;
  • diversity

Abstract

This article employs two previously neglected indicators of racial prejudice from the British Social Attitudes surveys to examine the social distribution of prejudices against black and Asian Britons. Three hypotheses are proposed and tested: that racial prejudice is declining in Britain; that this decline is principally generational in nature; and that greater prejudice is shown towards more culturally distinct Asian minorities than black minorities. Strong evidence is found for the first two hypotheses, with evidence of an overall decline in prejudice and of a sharp decline in prejudices among generations who have grown up since mass black and Asian immigration began in the 1950s. Little evidence is found for the third hypothesis: British reactions towards black and Asian minorities are broadly similar suggesting racial differences may still be the main factor prompting white hostility to British minorities.