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Inter-ethnic relations of teenagers in England’s schools: the role of school and neighbourhood ethnic composition

Burgess, Simon and Platt, Lucinda ORCID: 0000-0002-8251-6400 (2020) Inter-ethnic relations of teenagers in England’s schools: the role of school and neighbourhood ethnic composition. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. ISSN 1369-183X

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Identification Number: 10.1080/1369183X.2020.1717937


In the context of ongoing debate about the positive and negative consequences of ethnic diversity for intergroup relations, we study inter-ethnic relations among adolescents in England’s schools. In the first national study of schools throughout England to relate inter-ethnic attitudes to both school and area ethnic composition, we combine survey data collected from 14-year-olds in nearly 100 schools with administrative data. We focus on relations between three ethno-racial categories: White British, Asian British and Black British, for three conceptually distinct indicators of interethnic orientations: warmth, friends, and attitudes. We posit that 'contact', proxied by school outgroup composition, should lead to more positive intergroup orientations, while 'exposure', proxied by neighbourhood outgroup composition, should lead to more negative intergroup relations. We show that higher school outgroup shares are associated with more positive orientations towards that group for almost all relationships and measures. We further show that for the two instances where higher school outgroup shares do not enhance positive intergroup orientations, they nevertheless moderate negative effects of neighbourhood composition. We conclude that schools offer the opportunity to enhance intergroup relations and to mitigate the threats associated with increased neighbourhood diversity with potentially enduring consequences.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2020 14:06
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:47

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