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CEP discussion paper
One Nation Under a Groove? Identity and Multiculturalism in Britain
Andreas Georgiadis and Alan Manning
July 2009
Paper No' CEPDP0944:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: D71; Z13

Tags: identity; multiculturalism

There is a lot of evidence that identity matters for behavior. There is a widespread belief that societies will function better if they manage to establish a common sense of identity among the population. And there are also contemporary fears that this common identity is threatened in several countries. In this paper we investigate the correlates of various measures of identity in the UK, a country currently greatly concerned about a perceived failure to build a common identity from a collection of diverse cultures. We find that the alleged failure to establish a British identity among ethnic minorities is exaggerated – for most their ethnicity and religion seem no barrier to a British identity. But there is a segment of the white population that clearly feels neglected and alienated, and are hostile to the multicultural agenda.