Thursday, 18 September 2014

New paper by Clare Griffiths on immigration, communities and social order

Dr Clare Griffiths, Lecturer in Criminology, has a new publication in the British Journal of Criminology that is now available.

In this article, Clare draws on some recent research that explores the idea of 'passive tolerance' to support the findings from her PhD on Polish immigration and its consequences for social order.

A recent article in The Guardian reports on a study that shows living in diverse areas makes individuals more, not less, tolerant. The authors of the study suggest that simply observing diverse individuals interacting positively with each other has the potential to ‘rub off’ on others. They term this ‘passive tolerance’ and liken it to passive smoking, whereby individuals in diverse communities cannot avoid being influenced by positive social interaction just like those who are surrounded by smokers cannot avoid passively taking in smoke. Such findings are in line with Allport’s (1958) famous contact theory that proposes prejudice and intolerance are reduced the more individuals come into contact with members of different ethnic and cultural groups.  Clare's article, entitled 'Civilised Communities: Reconsidering the Gloomy Tale of Immigration and Social Order in a Changing Town' supports these claims to show how diverse social groups can manage transience and change after immigration through small, mundane, everyday norms of politeness and civility.  The article aims to recast the traditional gloomy tale told regarding immigration in a more positive light. It shows how tolerance, civility and conviviality can exist in contemporary changing communities between diverse groups rather than conflict and animosity. 

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