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Britishness

  • Date Submitted: 10/25/2015 12:31 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 35.1 
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WHAT IS BRITISHNESS?

The Commission for Racial Equality commissioned ETHNOS to carry out research on the ways in which British people of different ethnic backgrounds living in England, Scotland and Wales think about ‘Britishness’. Most of the research participants shared a common representation of Britishness, ranging over eight dimensions:

▲ Geography: Britishness was associated with the British Isles, and with typical topographic features, such as the Scottish Highlands, lochs, Welsh valleys, and rolling hills.
▲ National symbols: Britishness was symbolised by the Union Jack and the royal family.
▲ People: Three different ways of thinking about the British people emerged: for some participants, the British included all British citizens (that is, those who hold UK passports), regardless of region or ethnicity; for others, the British were exclusively associated with white English people; and for others still, the British included people of very diverse ethnic origins.
▲ Values and attitudes: These included upholding human rights and freedoms, respect for the rule of law, fairness, tolerance and respect for others, reserve and pride (generally valued by white English participants and criticised by white Scottish and white Welsh participants, as well as those from ethnic minority backgrounds), a strong work ethic, community spirit, mutual help, stoicism and compassion, and drunkenness, hooliganism and yobbishness.
--Cultural habits and behaviour: These included queuing; watching and supporting football, cricket and rugby; and consuming food and drink such as ‘fish and chips’, ‘English breakfast’, ‘Yorkshire pudding’, ‘cream teas’, ‘cucumber sandwiches’, ‘roast beef’, ‘Sunday lunch’, ‘curries’ and ‘beer’.
▲ Citizenship: For Scottish and Welsh participants, and for most participants from ethnic minority backgrounds, Britishness was very much associated with holding a UK passport. This was not salient among white English participants.
▲ Language: English...

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