Understanding the dynamics of ethnic identity and inequality in the UK (CoDE): Application for Transition Funding

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Social Sciences

Abstract

Understandings of ethnic inequalities in the UK have developed substantially as a result of the work of The Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE). CoDE has successfully carried out an innovative programme of research, pursued challenging scientific objectives, and worked closely with a range of non-academic partners to impact on policy debates and development.

In a rapidly evolving political and policy context, we propose a further, ambitious programme of work that takes us in new directions with a distinct focus. We will move beyond nuanced description to understanding processes and causes of ethnic inequalities, and build directly on our established experience in interdisciplinary and mixed methods working. In addition, we will use a co-production approach, working with a range of partners, including key public institutions such as the BBC, universities, political parties, ethnic minority NGOs, activists, and individuals, in order to frame and carry out our research in ways that will maximise our societal impact and lead to meaningful change. Our overarching objectives are to:
-Understand how ethnic inequalities develop in a range of interconnected domains
-Examine how these processes relate to and are shaped by other social categories, such as gender, class, religion and generation
-Understand how ethnic inequalities take shape, and are embedded, in institutional spaces and practices
-Work closely with policy and practice partners to meaningfully address enduring ethnic inequalities
-Pursue methodological developments with interdisciplinary mixed methods and co-production at their core
-Achieve ongoing high quality international academic impact

Through a research plan divided into four work packages, we will examine ethnic inequalities in (1) higher education, (2) cultural production and consumption, (3) politics, representation and political parties and (4) pursue policy and institutional impact with our work in these areas. Alongside this, we are also conducting a programme of work on severe mental illness. These work packages will be organised around our ambition to understand, explain and impact on ethnic inequalities through a focus on institutional production of and responses to ethnic inequalities.

At the core of our methodological approach is interdisciplinary and mixed methods working. Our quantitative work will be predominantly secondary data analysis, making the best use of the wide range of resources in the UK (e.g. Understanding Society, Destination of Leavers of Higher Education Survey, British Election Study, ONS Longitudinal Studies). Our qualitative work will be based around ethnographic approaches that are attentive to the ways in which social processes play out differently in different sites and institutions. We are informed especially by the approach of institutional ethnography which prioritises an attention to the lived, everyday experience of inequality, but aims to clarify the wider social relations in which such experiences are embedded and by which they are shaped. Thus institutional ethnographies will be developed which begin with exploring the experience of those directly involved in institutional settings as a route to understanding how structures and practices of institutions shape individuals' experiences and practices.

Throughout our work we will integrate and mobilise research evidence to engage with a full range of partners in order to influence policy and practice development, public understanding and institutional practice. As well as having academic impact (journal articles, conferences, seminars, newsletters), our findings will be communicated directly to policy and advocacy organisations through a combination of well developed (blogs, Twitter, policy briefings) and emerging (podcasts and live streaming, museum and art exhibitions, online portal for individual narratives) forms of dissemination, and we will work directly with these organisations to achieve change.

Planned Impact

Our approaches to achieving impact are tailored to our specific target audiences. We will build on existing partnerships and our track record of active engagement, and will develop new and creative ways of engaging with our audiences. Working closely with policy and practice partners, we will influence policy debates and development and enhance public understanding to meaningfully address enduring ethnic inequalities.

Our research has significance for a wide range of stakeholders and will be of particular benefit to:

a) Political actors, policy stakeholders and think tanks who are keen to improve their understanding of ethnic inequalities, and the ways in which policy responses have the potential to impact significantly on inequalities. These include central and local Government and associated policy advisors and civil servants. In addition to our series of policy briefing papers, we will use CoDE's already successful policy blog stream and Twitter feed to engage directly with key influencers, such as MPs, policy commentators and journalists, with coordinated campaigns focusing on key activities. We will also use our relationship with Cumberland Lodge to pursue opportunities to contribute to political party debates and conference fringe events that are relevant to ethnic inequalities.

b) Third sector organisations, public bodies and NGOs working to tackle ethnic inequalities. We are already partnered with the Runnymede Trust and will develop our relationships with other public bodies, such as the NHS, housing associations, the National Governors' Association, the BBC and the Arts Council England, and Liberty. These beneficiaries will be actively involved in the dissemination of the Centre's outputs. For example, our work with the Runnymede Trust will deliver a high profile national report and event in late 2018 on the 'State of ethnic inequality in the UK', focusing on the continuing challenges, progress made, and the opportunities for further progress, in the area of ethnic inequality in the UK.

c) Businesses and Trade Unions, who will benefit from our work on ethnic inequalities in employment, unemployment and wages. We have developed relationships with Trade Unions (TUC, UNISON, NUT) and Business in The Community, who facilitate access to major and smaller companies.

d) The general public, who will be interested in and concerned about ethnic inequalities, prejudice, racism and discrimination. We will use our positon as an expert and trusted source of information to make evidence available in informative ways, and enhance understanding of the issues covered by our research. We currently use a range of visual methods in social media to communicate our research findings and these approaches will be further exploited through the use of YouTube and podcasts. The Centre will maintain its free, public, seminar series involving international and national experts, and will use round table discussions to creatively promote new publications. We also intend to continue to develop new approaches to dissemination and public engagement, including playback theatre and performance poetry to capture, summarise and disseminate outputs and discussions at events and workshops. This will provide new and powerful forms of research communication and will incorporate the use of alternative venues such as museums and libraries. The development of an on-line portal will provide an opportunity for individuals to record their stories of ethnic inequality, allowing the public to contribute our work

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Advice on and direct input into the Equality and Diversity Policy for Manchester Museum
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact We have provided direct input and advice on the Equality and Diversity policy for Manchester Museum. We have introduced a nuanced understanding of diversity that will be inform the targets set by the institution for increasing ethnic minority presence and representation. We have also influenced the way that progress is reported in the institution in a manner that will increase efficiency and effectiveness as well as increase the institution's chances of meeting targets.
 
Description Bamberg keynote 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact 23rd May 2018 I gave an invited keynote speach at the University of Bamberg's graduate school series of guest lectures about political psychology. This included my research about race and ethnicity and identity politics around Brexit referendum. Around 30 graduate students and others came to this talk and it led to an interesting debate about parallels between the UK and the US.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Blog for Policy@Manchester 'Can British universities be sites for reparative justice?' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The blog stream is intended as a collaborative forum for public policy research and expertise in the UK and internationally. The blog was based on the topic of 'ethnic inequality in higher education', one of the three central research strands in the current CoDE work package. It was intended that the blog would add to sector-wide debates about higher education and ethnic inequality. The blog was shared widely by various academics, research departments, media outlets on social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://blog.policy.manchester.ac.uk/posts/2018/10/can-british-universities-be-sites-for-reparative-j...
 
Description CoJit conference and launch 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact I spoke at the CoJIT Conference at the Royal Institution, London, 12 September 2018 Combating Jihadist Terrorism in the UK - Launching a National Conversation on Causes and Responses - for invited academics, practitioners and policymakers at an all-day event at the Royal Institution in London, on September 12th 2018. The keynote speech was delivered by Sara Khan, Lead Commissioner for Countering Extremism. The event was streamed live on Twitter.

The conclusions that emerged from the Conference - based on the presentation of 27 papers commissioned by CoJiT from amongst the 'best in the business' following the lively and informed debate will be published as a book in Spring 2019 by IB Tauris.

Following this event I was invited to speak to FCO on the issue of attitudes towards Muslims in Europe.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.cojit.org/events/
 
Description Empire and the World War I Centenary: Remembrance as Racialisation? 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Manchester Policy Blog presents social issues in the news to a general audience, and proposes specific policy interventions. This post considers how BME people were depicted during the WWI Armistice centenary, and proposed concrete interventions at the classroom level to make history and memory more inclusive. Coming shortly after Jeremy Corbyn's statement that 'Black history is British history', this article recommends several ways to implement this approach in the classroom.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://blog.policy.manchester.ac.uk/ethnicity/2018/12/empire-and-the-world-war-one-centenary-remembr...
 
Description FCO talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact On 15th November 2018 I spoke at the FCO offices to a group of Whitehall officials and their European colleagues (who dialed in from France, Denmark and Italy among other places) about attitudes to Muslims in Europe.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Interview Voice of Islam Radio 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Interview with Voice of Islam Radio on class and migration
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Invited Speaker at ESRC Festival of Social Sciences event, 'Britain by numbers; the big social sciences data quiz' with Sixth Form College Pupils. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 15 sixth form students attended to learn about my research on ethnic inequalities using quantitative data. Students were interested in both the substantive area and the methods.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Radio 5 Live: Race and class at the BBC 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Commented on the Nicky Campbell Show on BBC 5 Life about representation at the BBC and more broadly about bias and discrimination in job interviews
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Report and event with the Runnymede Trust 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact 50 people attended an event held by the Runnymede Trust in Westminster Central Hall on 25th February to launch a report that I co-authored with Omar Khan, Runnymede's director. After I presented a summer of the research, two politicians - Seema Malhotra and Binita Mehta-Palmer - discussed its implications with Stephen Bush, Special Correspondent at the New Statesman. Audience members included local councillors, an advisor to the Prime Minister, and a senior figure in the Conservative Party. After the event I also corresponded with the Labour Party's Director of Data and Targeting about the results. The report itself gained coverage in the Guardian and the New Statesman. Multiple MPs and peers requested copies of the slides alongside the report after the event. The director of Runnymede also presented some of its findings a fortnight later in Downing Street, including a discussion with the US politician Stacey Abrams on voter registration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.runnymedetrust.org/2017-election-briefing.html