Aspects of ethnic minorities in contemporary British society

Dr Yoshiaki Kaneko

Saturday, 29 April, 2006; 7:30-9:30pm

Seminar room, No1. Newnham Terrace, Darwin College

Since their arrival in Britain in the late 1940s, non-white ethnic minority population (mainly Black-Caribbean, Indian and Pakistani) have sometimes been conceived as a threat to the mainstream British society. National politics responded to the tension on a limited scale; legislative measures in view of their cultural uniqueness were (and still are) scarce and not systematic. It is particularly local authority that has been commissioned to attain "community cohesion". In this respect their growing influence (for instance, more and more councillors from ethnic minority groups) in local politics from the early 1980s is significant. Under what conditions was this attained? And this situation seems to be changing since the late 1990s. What will be their future? Are they getting integrated into mainstream society, or rather segregated from it?
This study forms a part of a research project on whether immigrant manual worker should be introduced to Japanese labour market. I had not been a member of the project, but later on I was commissioned to investigate into British multiculturalism, simply because I, majoring in private law, happen to be living in England. Thus, the situation in Japan will be mentioned quite briefly, if not at all, during the talk. Please note also that what has happened in these ten years will not be dealt with in detail since it is too difficult to be analysed in an academic manner at the moment.