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An evaluation of the impact of immigration on Social Cohesion in present day Britain - Essay Example

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The survey was designed to ascertain Britons’ attitudes and perspectives on immigration and social cohesion in the UK. The results of the survey are evaluated by reference to the…
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An evaluation of the impact of immigration on Social Cohesion in present day Britain
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Chapter Four: Results and Discussion Introduction This chapter reports on the results of a survey conducted among 52 indigenous Britons. The surveywas designed to ascertain Britons’ attitudes and perspectives on immigration and social cohesion in the UK. The results of the survey are evaluated by reference to the literature review. This chapter is divided into two parts. The first part of this chapter presents the results of the survey and the second part presents an analysis and discussion of the results.
Results: Survey
Twenty-seven of the respondents were male and 25 were female. Forty-nine of the respondents representing 94.23% were between the ages of 18 and 29 with the remaining 9 (5.77%) between the ages of 30-49. Only 8 of the respondents representing 15.38% were dissatisfied with their financial situation while 28 (53.85%) were satisfied and another 4 (7.69%) were very satisfied. Fifteen (28.85%) of the respondent agreed that Britain provides adequate financial assistance to citizens while 16(30.77%) were neutral and 12 (23.17%) disagreed with 11 disagreeing and 1 strongly disagreeing. Nine of the respondents (17.31%) did not know.
Nearly half (24 representing 46.15%) of the respondents thought that the number of immigrants in Britain were acceptable. Thirteen (25%) thought there were too many immigrants in Britain, 4 (7.15%) thought the number of immigrants in Britain were too low and 11 (21.15%) had no opinion or did not know. A majority of respondents thought that immigration was good for Britain (4 strongly agreeing [7.84%]; 18 agreeing [35.29%]) while 13 (25.49%) were neutral and 12 (23.53%) disagreed and 1 (1.96%) strongly disagreed. Three (5.88%) did not know.
From the respondents’ perspective, immigration, social issues and education were the main issues effecting Britain today. However there were 13 items that the respondents were able to choose from and there were nearly evenly divided (See Figure 1 below).
Figure 1:The Most Important Issues Facing Britain.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
Total
Classement moyen
Immigration
20,00%
9
11,11%
5
17,78%
8
15,56%
7
13,33%
6
4,44%
2
2,22%
1
4,44%
2
2,22%
1
0,00%
0
4,44%
2
2,22%
1
2,22%
1
45
9,73
Social Issues
20,00%
9
33,33%
15
11,11%
5
4,44%
2
6,67%
3
4,44%
2
11,11%
5
2,22%
1
2,22%
1
0,00%
0
4,44%
2
0,00%
0
0,00%
0
45
10,38
Environment
4,44%
2
8,89%
4
11,11%
5
11,11%
5
11,11%
5
11,11%
5
15,56%
7
4,44%
2
8,89%
4
2,22%
1
2,22%
1
6,67%
3
2,22%
1
45
7,98
Population Growth
2,22%
1
8,89%
4
6,67%
3
11,11%
5
11,11%
5
15,56%
7
8,89%
4
15,56%
7
6,67%
3
2,22%
1
8,89%
4
0,00%
0
2,22%
1
45
7,71
Health/Medical
15,56%
7
2,22%
1
8,89%
4
8,89%
4
24,44%
11
6,67%
3
8,89%
4
8,89%
4
4,44%
2
6,67%
3
4,44%
2
0,00%
0
0,00%
0
45
8,67
Education
8,89%
4
4,44%
2
15,56%
7
22,22%
10
13,33%
6
15,56%
7
8,89%
4
6,67%
3
0,00%
0
2,22%
1
2,22%
1
0,00%
0
0,00%
0
45
9,24
Crime (law and order)
2,22%
1
8,89%
4
4,44%
2
13,33%
6
4,44%
2
8,89%
4
22,22%
10
13,33%
6
11,11%
5
2,22%
1
2,22%
1
4,44%
2
2,22%
1
45
7,47
Housing shortage
4,44%
2
4,44%
2
2,22%
1
8,89%
4
8,89%
4
8,89%
4
2,22%
1
20,00%
9
28,89%
13
6,67%
3
2,22%
1
2,22%
1
0,00%
0
45
6,93
Racism
8,89%
4
15,56%
7
8,89%
4
0,00%
0
0,00%
0
4,44%
2
6,67%
3
11,11%
5
20,00%
9
11,11%
5
2,22%
1
8,89%
4
2,22%
1
45
7,20
Defence/National Security
2,22%
1
0,00%
0
2,22%
1
0,00%
0
2,22%
1
8,89%
4
6,67%
3
6,67%
3
6,67%
3
40,00%
18
11,11%
5
11,11%
5
2,22%
1
45
4,82
Industrial Relations/Trade Unions
0,00%
0
2,22%
1
6,67%
3
0,00%
0
2,22%
1
2,22%
1
2,22%
1
4,44%
2
6,67%
3
15,56%
7
46,67%
21
11,11%
5
0,00%
0
45
4,38
Leaving the European Union
4,44%
2
0,00%
0
4,44%
2
2,22%
1
0,00%
0
8,89%
4
4,44%
2
2,22%
1
2,22%
1
8,89%
4
4,44%
2
48,89%
22
8,89%
4
45
4,11
Other
6,67%
3
0,00%
0
0,00%
0
2,22%
1
2,22%
1
0,00%
0
0,00%
0
0,00%
0
0,00%
0
2,22%
1
4,44%
2
4,44%
2
77,78%
35
45
2,38
A majority of the respondents had neutral attitudes toward immigration (21 representing 44.46%) and 20 representing 44.44% had positive attitudes. Only 2 of the respondents (4.44%) and another 2 were negative or did not know. A majority of the respondents (2 [4.44%] strongly agreeing; 26 [57.785] agreeing) that the UK was land of economic opportunity). Seven (15.56%) were neutral, while 9 (20%) disagreed and 1 (2.22%) strongly disagreed.
Analysis and Discussion
The results of the survey demonstrate that there is a significant shift on the public’s attitudes toward immigration. Previously, national polls had progressively demonstrated a negative attitude toward Commonwealth migration to Britain (Hansen, 2000). Although the poll did not specifically seek attitudes toward Commonwealth immigrants it did address immigration in general and can thus be seen as shift on attitudes toward all immigrants including Commonwealth immigrants.
The results of the survey do not support the contention that immigration is perceived as a threat to economic security in Britain (Springfold, 2013). A majority of the respondents were satisfied with the financial situations and saw Britain as a land of economic opportunity. However, the results of the study are confirm findings in the literature that assimilation into local society is driven by attitudes toward immigrants. Pursuant to the economic theory of immigration, if a country encourages multiculturalism, then the chances are high that immigrants will have little difficulty assimilating in the host state (Zimmer, et al., 2000). Britain has an immigration assimilation model based on multiculturalism (Regout, 2011). This is reflected in the survey results where a majority of the respondents manifested positive attitudes toward immigration especially with respect to immigrants from various countries being good for Britain.
The results of the survey only marginally support reports in the literature that immigration has an impact on family in terms of social cohesion (Hickman, et al., 2008; Robinson, 2009). The majority of the respondents felt that financial assistance to low income families were inadequate. This might be consistent with findings that immigrants obtain greater welfare assistance with respect to social housing. However, this question was not specifically asked in the survey and thus the link between attitudes toward immigrants absorbing the bulk of social housing can only speculatively be inferred in the survey question relative to inadequate financial assistance from the government.
The results of the survey however, are consistent with attitudes toward immigrants in relation to education. The literature reveals that attitudes on the part of Britons are consistent with the belief that the education system is slanted to favour immigrants (Saggar and Somerville, 2012). As the survey results indicate, a majority of the respondents believe that education is a main source of social discord in Britain.
The survey results are consistent with findings in the literature that it is difficult to link economic factors with immigration (Demireva, 2012). As the survey results indicate, the respondents did not have predominantly negative attitudes toward their financial situations and a majority still believed that Britain was a land of economic opportunity. Thus the results of the survey do not confirm Hickman, et al. (2008) who found that attitudes toward immigration could be strained due to perceptions of reduced opportunities tied to immigration.
Conclusion
In general the results of the survey found that while social cohesion was determined to be a significant issue in Britain, respondents were not inclined to tie it to immigration. While recognizing some issues that could theoretically/speculatively be tied to immigration such as family and education, there is no empirical or specific link found in the survey results. It can therefore be concluded that Britons recognize social issues in British society with a particular concern for education and family welfare support, Britons for the most part do not make a specific connection to these problems to immigration. Given that a majority of Britons participating in the survey consider immigration and economic opportunities in Britain positively, it can be argued that although social cohesion is a concern, Britons do not link it to immigration. Read More
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