Britain and beyond
In summer 2008, we quizzed you on diversity in the UK and European citizenship. You gave us your views on cultural identity, racism and immigration.
841 people participated in the survey;
57% of respondents were female;
Every participant was aged between 16-24 and each age was well represented.
Just over half of you (51%) told us you feel European, but 74% said that the UK is very different to the rest of Europe. Those of you who didn't feel European believed cultural differences such as food, eating habits, art and a difference in attitudes to binge drinking were all reasons for not feeling part of the continent.
Friends from abroad
Nearly three quarters of you (72%) felt you benefit from having friends from ethnic backgrounds or different countries and have welcomed the opportunity to learn about alternative cultures and expand your minds.
Top five benefits of having friends from different backgrounds
- I get to learn about different cultures
- I get to hear different view points and perspectives
- I get to hear different languages and accents
- There are opportunities for travelling and holidays
- The food
Travel around Europe
87% of you have visited countries in Europe outside the UK and 56% have travelled beyond Europe. 62% believed that Europeans were welcoming to British visitors and 44% said that the British were not discriminated against in European countries. 46% spoke a European language other than English and many of you felt that language barriers caused difficulties overseas.
Top five things that come to mind with the phrase European culture
- Art and architecture
- Specific cities
On a positive note, 81% of you believed the UK was a multicultural society and the majority (63%) said this made the UK a better place. However, two thirds of you (67%) thought that immigration laws should be stricter in the UK and four in 10 (44%) thought that people from Europe shouldn't automatically be allowed to work in the UK. 50% of you believed that people born in the UK should have first access to jobs.
Almost half of you (46%) thought that racial tension in the UK was getting worse and 33% of you believed lack of knowledge and understanding of other cultures caused racial tension. One in five (22%) of you had been a victim of racial or cultural abuse while half (49%) knew someone who had been. 82% of you said a solution could be children being taught about different cultures in schools.