Policy Press

Explaining ethnic differences

Changing patterns of disadvantage in Britain

By David Mason


Jul 23, 2003

Page count

192 pages




234 x 156 mm


Policy Press
Explaining ethnic differences

This book focuses on the changing terrain of ethnic disadvantage in Britain, drawing on up-to-date sources. It goes further than texts that merely describe ethnic inequalities to explore and explain their dynamic nature. It suggests that the increasing diversity of experience among different ethnic groups is a key to understanding continuing and emerging tensions and conflicts.

Explaining ethnic differences:

provides up to date data and analysis of ethnic diversity and changing patterns of disadvantage in Britain;


covers key areas of social life, including demographic trends, education, employment, housing, health, gender, and policing and community disorder;


is written by leading experts in the field;


addresses issues of urgent public importance in the context of recent community disorder and the resurgence of the far right.


The book is essential reading for policy makers in central and local government; academics, postgraduate students and advanced undergraduates in the social sciences; social work, health, education and housing professionals; and criminal justice personnel.

"... an essential read for anyone interested in 'race' and ethnicity studies, including students, academics and those within policy-making institutions. The book should be read as an introductory text to some of the key issues within the study of race and ethnicity." BSA Network Newsletter

"... this volume provides new insights into the factors that shape the lives of nearly seven percent (p.3) of the UK population. As such it will not only provide an interesting and informative reference for researchers who contribute to the literature in this field, but also to policy makers who are working towards reducing inequalities and disadvantages for all ethnic groups." Work, Employment and Society

"... lively and engaging... a thought-provoking book, which far from merely describing ethnic inequalities aims to explore and explain them." Ethnic and Racial Studies

"This is an excellent text which will prove an invaluable complement to others." Journal of Social Policy

"This important new book will do much to enhance our knowledge of the differences as well as the similarities between ethnic minority communities in British society. It brings together a wealth of original research that addresses this important issue from a range of perspectives." John Solomos, Centre for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, Department of Sociology, City University, London

David Mason is Professor of Sociology and Head of the School of Sociology, Politics and Law at the University of Plymouth.

Introduction ~ David Mason; Changing ethnic disadvantage: an overview ~ David Mason; The demographic characteristics of people from minority ethnic groups in Britain ~ David Owen; Ethnic differentials in educational performance ~ Tariq Modood; Changing patterns of ethnic disadvantage in employment ~ David Mason; Patterns of and explanations for ethnic inequalities in health ~ James Y. Nazroo; Housing black and minority ethnic communities: diversity and constraint ~ Malcolm Harrison; 'All the women are white, all the blacks are men - but some of us are brave': mapping the consequences of invisibility for black and minority ethnic women in Britain ~ Heidi Safia Mirza; Police lore and community disorder: diversity in the criminal justice system ~ Virinder S. Kalra.