Academic and political concern has increasingly focussed on the attitudes and dispositions of economically-marginalised, mainly white communities towards ethnic diversity and community cohesion. In particular, to what extent do extreme anti-minority protest groups, such as the English Defence League with their claims of increasing ‘Islamification’ within British society, speak for such broader white communities? This article presents and discusses headline findings from recent mixed methods case study research into such community attitudes and dispositions in two areas of West Yorkshire in northern England. The key findings indicate that whilst there is very little support for groups such as the EDL, their themes have significant resonance within wider white communities in the context of very weak local civil society structures. Attitudes towards ethnic diversity reflect the significant levels of ethnic segregation in some of the survey areas but also indicate a desire for improved ethnic relations and greater cross-community contact, albeit not through processes that are ‘forced’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-78
Number of pages13
JournalIdentity papers: A journal of British and Irish studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2015


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