'White flight' or positive contact?: Local diversity and attitudes to immigration in Britain

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in

Comparative Political Studies

Authors

Eric Kaufmann and Gareth Harris

Publication date

Summary

Does the local presence of immigrant groups increase White hostility to immigration? Most research finds that diverse neighborhoods reduce White opposition to minorities and immigration. However, most studies at higher geographies find the reverse effect. We confirm this pattern for England and Wales for 2009-2012. Yet, contextual studies are open to selection bias, which is where this article makes its main contribution. Is White tolerance in diverse neighborhoods the result of a positive effect of inter-ethnic contact, or does it arise from White flight, with anti-immigrant Whites exiting diverse areas but remaining within wider geographies as radicalized opponents of immigration? We provide the first attempt we are aware of to track the opinions of in- and out-migrants, as well as stayers, from local areas over an extended period. We use 20 years of large-scale geocoded British longitudinal data and find only limited evidence of selection effects associated with White flight.

Volume and page numbers

48, 1563-1590

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0010414015581684

ISSN

16

Subjects

Politics, Area Effects, Elections. Electoral Behaviour, Migration, Ethnic Groups, Social Attitudes and Race Relations

Links

Notes

Open Access article; This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (http://www.uk.sagepub.com/aboutus/openaccess.htm).