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'Racist' UK village residents want to remain white and middle class

March 29, 2011 - London

Many residents of British countryside towns and villages consider themselves the 'last bastion' of old-fashioned English traditions.

And, they often equate this 'exclusively and unthinkingly' with white Englishness, a study has found.

Academics at Leicester University interviewed hundreds of residents from rural communities across England to discover what they considered to be the modern rural idyll.

According to the Daily Mail, they found that the popular vision of English country life is 'essentially mono-cultural, in all its forms - white, heterosexual, middle-class, conformist, family-orientated, church going, conservative and 'safe'.

Jon Garland and Neil Chakraborti, the senior lecturers in criminology who carried out the research, said: "The countryside was, for a number of those we spoke to, the last bastion of old-fashioned Englishness which needed to be preserved from the encroachment of the "evils" of late modernity."

"Minority ethnic incomers were often treated with suspicion as many white rural residents felt that they belonged only in the city, with all its concomitant 'negative' attributes of noise, pollution, crime and, crucially for some, multiculturalism," both Garland and Chakraborti added.

The academics said that ethnic minorities living in villages 'often felt the full force of hostility' and frequently experienced feelings of isolation, not only from their immediate communities but also from fellow ethnic minority residents, 'scattered' across large rural areas.

The research, conducted in stages over the last decade, involved interviewing hundreds of residents in the streets, at village events or in focus groups in rural communities across the Midlands and East Anglia.

Dr. Chakraborti, who is of Indian descent, encountered verbal abuse during the study.


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