The prevalence and persistence of ethnic and racial harassment and its impact on health: a longitudinal analysis

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MiSoC Explainers


Publication date

June 1, 2016


Government has made significant efforts to ascertain the degree of racial discrimination and harassment over two generations. In the late 1960s this was considered new and daunting, and the first anti-discrimination laws were drawn up based on the PEP survey of racial discrimination. The approach and methods were rudimentary by modern standards, and the focus was squarely on jobs and housing. This study builds on a long tradition of empirical observation and analysis of discrimination and harassment. But it extends our understanding in three key ways: 1) The use of a very large and sophisticated longitudinal sampling frame provides substantial authority to what is known about such behaviour and its effects. The data has been analysed to shed fresh light on patterns that were previously hazy, and this also points to new and recurring patterns that improves our understanding significantly; 2) The analysis probes the health impacts that arise when people experience harassment, adding fresh insights for such research. The mental health aspects of this are especially important to understand, pointing to a variety of further impacts that matter for individuals and for social cohesion; 3) The research points the light on a phenomenon that is necessarily very difficult to study. Important gaps in knowledge are filled by this study but equally important questions and challenges arise about better evidence to inform public policy.







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