Skip to content

Journal Article

The EU referendum and experiences and fear of ethnic and racial harassment: variation across individuals and communities in England


Publication date

May 2021


This paper uses nationally representative, longitudinal data to examine experiences and fear of ethnic and racial harassment in public spaces among minorities in the UK, comparing levels of both before and after the 2016 EU Referendum. We do not find an increase in the prevalence of ethnic and racial harassment, but we do find higher levels of fear of ethnic and racial harassment in the period after the Referendum. The increase in fear following the vote was concentrated among more privileged individuals: those with higher levels of education, and those living in less socioeconomically deprived areas with lower levels of previous right-wing party support. We conclude that the Referendum exacerbated already higher levels of perceived discrimination among higher educated minorities while reducing the buffering effect of residence in “safe areas.”

Published in

Frontiers in Sociology







Politics, Area Effects, Crime And Justice, Psychology, Geography, Elections. Electoral Behaviour, Demography, Migration, Poverty, Ethnic Groups, Well Being, Life Course Analysis, Social Attitudes, Sociology, Social Stratification, Social Behaviour, Social Psychology, and Race Relations


Research home

Research home


Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest