Why Are There Demographic and Cultural Tensions in Diverse Places?

Culture and Society in the UK

  • Significant internal movement of people had created uneven demographic and cultural patterns. For instance,
  • London is highly diverse with a mix of British, Indian, African, Chinese and Caribbean cultures.
  • Culture and society have changed in the UK because of international migration flows from former colonies. For example, from the 1950s onwards, the UK accepted migrants from the Indian sub-continent and the West Indies to fill the industrial jobs.
  • Later, from around the 1990s and 2000s, migrants came to the UK from the EU due to the free movement of people contract. This encouraged more than half a million Poles to come to the UK between 2004 and 2007.
  • The main gatekeeper player here is the government who control and allow for such flows.
  • The government can further encourage the acceptance of migrants by investing in integration programmes, encouraging companies to print flyers in multiple languages and having specific facilities available such as specific foods/religious places of worship.
  • For instance, David Cameron visited places of worship in the UK and abroad to create a sense of unity and acceptance.
  • By doing this, the government inspire the integration of migrants and new cultures which tightens the nations.
  • Some international migrants choose to live in rural areas. This could be due to background, such as living in a village environment in their own country, or for other specific reasons, such as employment opportunities in the agricultural sector.
  • This can create social challenges as migrants will be the minority in rural areas since the majority move to urban regions for work.


Levels of Segregation

  • Segregation levels reflect cultural, economic and social variation and change over time. International migrants tend to live in distinctive places, often termed as enclaves.
  • Ethnic segregation is closely related to economic indicators, such as income and employment, and social indicators such as health, crime and education. Segregation then leads to stereotypes to form which creates bias and injustice within society.
  • Diverse living spaces in urban areas have social characteristics that reflect ethnicity and culture. This can be in the form of distinctive retail outlets, such as an abundance of Indian takeaway restaurants and Polish kiosks, as well as places of worship and leisure.
  • A walk down King Street in Southall will display a myriad of cultures, places of

worship and cuisines, displaying the social characteristics of the population inhabiting the area.

Communities evolve economically, and culturally as new attitudes and values are brought in. This can change the experiences and perceptions of living spaces over generations, leading to intergenerational attitudes and norms to change.


Changes to Diverse Places

  • A sudden arrival of migrants can cause conflicts and riots. For instance, there have been riots within the UK from British workers who feel denied from jobs as European workers are better skilled for the jobs.
  • Different community groups, local and national governments and TNCs may make land use changes such as building places of worship which may cause tension as locals may disapprove. Migrants may thus face social exclusion which has been in the case in Glasgow.