Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Ian Dunt in this article for politics.co.uk

The fewer immigrants you know, the more you'll fear them" says Ian Dunt in this article for politics.co.uk  http://www.politics.co.uk/author/ian-dunt making sweeping generalisations about the British Social Attitudes survey.

This is a highly misleading interpretation of the data and the situation is far more complex than Ian Dunt is letting on.

The more contact that individuals have with immigrants, particularly in a work context, the more wary they become about expressing any opinion other than sentiments that are vaguely bland and mildly positive.  For those who have gone through work-based "diversity awareness" courses this tendency increases markedly.  Major companies, public sector organisations and charities all have clauses in employment contracts that absolutely prohibit any unfavourable attitudes towards minority groups with penalties including immediate dismissal for gross misconduct.

Therefore is it any surprise that people keep their heads down and do not make waves when their opinion is being asked, even in confidential surveys.

However Ian Dunt is not justified in claiming that this enforced acquiescence means anything other than a compliance with what is expected.

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