Archive for the 'Equality and Diversity' Category

Where you live can kill you

Clare Bambra’s book Health Divides: where you live can kill you, published by Policy Press today reveals shocking facts about the social, environmental, economic and political causes of these health inequalities. In today’s guest blog Bambra shares her insights on how location really is a matter of life and death…

Clare Bambra

Clare Bambra

In 1842, the English social reformer Edwin Chadwick documented a 30-year discrepancy between the life expectancy of men in the poorest social classes and the gentry.

He also found a North-South health divide with people from all social classes faring better in the rural South than in the industrial North.

Today, these inequalities persist.People in the most affluent areas of the United Kingdom, such as Kensington and Chelsea, can expect to live 14 years longer than that those in the poorest areas, such as Glasgow or Blackpool.

Men and women in the North of England will, on average die 2 years earlier than those in the South. Scottish people also suffer a health penalty with the highest mortality rates in Western Europe. Continue reading ‘Where you live can kill you’

“I don’t see scholarship and activism as distinct” – Plenary at the ASA highlights need for activism, resistance among scholars

Fresh from the American Sociological Association annual conference in Seattle, author and academic Jessie Daniels questions whether there should be a distinction between scholarship and activism or whether the time for retreat to the academic ivory tower is well and truly over….

Daniels_headshot2Academic sociologists sat in silence, many openly wept, as a video of a macabre scene in an American jail played in the plenary session of the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in Seattle on Saturday.

The video, pulled from a surveillance camera, shows five people covered head to toe in white protective jumpsuits, similar to cleanroom suits in semiconductor factories. The people in the white suits surround a naked, slightly built, Black woman, and with steady deliberation, end her life.

“Black women are never seen as damsels in distress,” Kimberle Crenshaw, critical race scholar and law professor at UCLA and Columbia, explained. “Rather, we are seen as something that must be controlled.” Continue reading ‘“I don’t see scholarship and activism as distinct” – Plenary at the ASA highlights need for activism, resistance among scholars’

Does social mobility leave us nowhere to go?

Graeme Atherton, author of ‘The Success Paradox: why we need a holistic theory of social mobility’ and director of the National Education Opportunities Network (NEON), the professional organisation for access to Higher Education (HE) in England. 

In today’s guest blog Graeme suggests the broken contract of ‘social mobility’ expected in the US and UK lies at the base of the attraction felt by many towards the anti-establishment messages delivered by the likes of Donald Trump and Brexit…

AthertonStagnating social mobility in both the UK and the US is well documented.

The stifling of opportunity for many to move up the economic ladder, and to bequeath such chances to their children has been apparent some time now in the UK and US. Internationally comparative research shows that compared to countries such as Canada and Sweden, British and American children are significantly more likely to have their income dictated by what their parents earn.

This apparent stagnation in social mobility is now beginning to shape not just the views of the policymakers but also the voters. The emergence of the unlikely anti-establishment triumvirate of Trump, Corbyn and Sanders owes much to the frustration people feel regarding the opportunities available to them. The Brexit vote, while a consequence of a conflation of factors coming together, undoubtedly was to some extent an expression of this frustration. Continue reading ‘Does social mobility leave us nowhere to go?’

What will happen to UK immigrants after Brexit?

Academic and Policy Press author Jill Rutter recently answered this question in her blog which was originally posted on the Integration Hub and then again in Newsweek.  Below we’ve published a tantalising taster of her thoughts on the matter for you and if you’d like to read more why not check out the full article on Newsweek here.

Jill Rutter

Jill Rutter

With such an intense focus on immigration policy—determining who can enter and stay in the U.K.—there is a danger that integration, and what happens to migrants after they arrive in the U.K., will be forgotten.

But the referendum result also raises many questions about the future direction of integration policy. It shows clearly that debates about integration play out differently in the different parts of the U.K.

Some of the strongest support for Leave came from the towns and villages of the Fens, the agricultural heart of England, with four of the top ten biggest Leave votes coming from this area. The Fens are a major producer of cereals and vegetables, which support a large food packing and processing industry. The intensification of agriculture and changes to food  production and consumption patterns—particularly ‘just-in-time production’ for supermarkets—require a large, but flexible labor supply, now increasingly made up of EU migrants, many of them agency workers. Staff turnover in businesses that use agency workers makes it difficult for friendships to be forged between migrants and non-migrants……Continue reading by clicking here


Moving on up and getting on [FC]Jill Rutter’s latest book Moving up and getting on: Migration integration and social cohesion can be purchased here from the Policy Press website for special ‘Understanding Brexit‘ 50% discounted price £12.49.

Jill Rutter is Head of Research and Policy at the Family and Childcare Trust and Vice-Chair of the Migration Museum Project. Previously she worked at the Refugee Council and at London Metropolitan University. From 2007-2009 she was based at Institute for Public Policy Research, one of the UK’s largest think tanks, where she led its work on migrant integration. A political blogger and media commentator, this is her first book that addresses broader community relations.

Remember that Policy Press newsletter subscribers receive a 35% discount – if you’re not a member of our community why not sign up here today?

The views and opinions expressed on this blog site are solely those of the original blogpost authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the Policy Press and/or any/all contributors to this site.

What difference does gender really make in the top political jobs?

Just what does Hillary Clinton’s progress in the US presidential election and Theresa May’s appointment as UK Prime Minister mean for the women’s movement and global gender equality?

Torild Skard, author of Women of Power and pioneer in the women’s movement both nationally and internationally, tells us why she believes there is still much to be done in today’s guest blog….

Torild Skard 2

Gender does make a difference – though how much depends on women’s activism and the political parties

The excitement in the media and the women’s movement is noticeable these days. The UK has got its second woman prime minister, and there are good chances that the US will get its first woman president.

With a woman as chancellor in Germany, women will be leading the three largest economies in the West. Add the two women running the International Monetary Fund, IMF, and the US Federal Reserve Board, and women will be ruling the world – according to some.

There is good reason to celebrate women in top positions – particularly in mighty countries like the UK and the US. A woman president in one of the world’s superpowers will be a real breakthrough.


But it is not the whole world. And globally, the situation is rather dismal. Continue reading ‘What difference does gender really make in the top political jobs?’

Beyond Downton: Can the welfare state embrace a participatory future? #participatorycare #allourwelfare

The union of personal experience and professional knowledge has informed Peter Beresford’s latest book All our welfare which publishes today. In his guest post he reflects on a life lived in parallel with the development of the welfare state and suggests greater involvement of participants in the process of welfare could be the key to an enduring future…

Beresford imageWriting All Our Welfare has really made me realize just how much the welfare state has impacted on my life – personally as well as professionally.

At a time when we are encouraged to think of ‘welfare’ as for ‘other’ people, particularly stigmatized and devalued other people, this goes against the grain of received wisdom.

I realize that I may have had more contact than most people, with state services – including so-called heavy end ones, like ‘benefits’, psychiatric system, environmental health, rent officers and so on. But this increasingly feels like a strength rather than a weakness in exploring social policy.

Lived experience

I wanted my book to include and value lived experience as well as traditional ‘expert’ knowledge. As part of this I included comments from many members of my family in the book. What was interesting was that all of them could speak from direct experience about the welfare state, from age three to 91 and most did so enthusiastically (Charlie (aged 11) and Poppy (aged 9) weren’t too keen on some aspects of school!).
Continue reading ‘Beyond Downton: Can the welfare state embrace a participatory future? #participatorycare #allourwelfare’

Who is protecting your freedoms to read and write?

Policy Press intern Steph Lynch is a champion for international freedom of speech. Steph and her colleagues have set up the Bristol branch of English PEN – an international human rights organisation that promotes literature in translation and the freedoms to read and write.

In today’s guest blog Steph tells us about a recent event organised by Bristol Student PEN, in which Professor Maureen Freely explained why protecting freedom of expression in the UK and worldwide is so essential.

steph blogI established Bristol Student PEN in January 2015 with two other students, since then we have been working hard to make our mark in Bristol, as well as on an international scale through our campaigning and events.

I am a strong believer in the importance of English PEN’s work and had been volunteering for them at various events in London over the past year when the Director, Jo Glanville, told me that they didn’t have a branch in Bristol and that they were keen to get more students involved. Creating a society for PEN at my university seemed like the perfect solution.

To kick-start the beginning of the academic year and introduce our new members to the charity, we invited the President of English PEN, Maureen Freely, to Bristol, to talk about issues surrounding freedom of expression both in the UK and worldwide.

International Writers at Risk

Maureen was born in Turkey, and having translated all five books by Turkish Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk, she is well informed on the restrictions of freedom of expression in the country. She spoke about the prosecution of Orhan Pamuk in 2005, for openly discussing the killing of a million Armenians in 1915, and the 100 or so others who were also prosecuted over the following year for expressing their views.

“Ten years on, she told us, the situation in Turkey has hardly improved with the government clamping down on the authors of any material not to their liking.”

It is cases like Orhan Pamuk’s, which English PEN campaigns to defend. Their Writers at Risk programme focuses on bringing such cases to global attention and holding the governments responsible to account. One of the most high profile cases, which Maureen mentioned, is that of Saudi Arabian blogger, Raif Badawi.

“Bristol Student PEN, along with English PEN and Amnesty International, have been campaigning in defence of Raif, who was sentenced to 1000 lashes and ten years in prison for one of his tweets.”

Saudi Arabia has a poor human rights record, of which Raif is just one of the victims, however the international community has failed to adequately condemn the country’s human rights abuses. In fact, Britain’s ties to Saudi Arabia are so close that David Cameron felt justified in spending over £100,000 to attend the late King’s funeral in October.

Freedom of Expression in the UK

Discussing Britain’s support for the repressive Saudi Arabian leadership brought Maureen back to freedom of expression in this country. She explained that having lived under an oppressive regime she was hyper-aware of the danger signs that threaten freedom of expression, and the complacency of the British population towards such danger signs baffle her.

“Theresa May’s prevent strategy to fight non-violent extremism, launched at the beginning of October, was one danger sign which Maureen expressed serious concern about.”

The strategy will increase Ofcom’s powers to pull programmes if their content is deemed ‘extreme’ and demand that internet service providers remove any ‘extreme’ material. Maureen emphasised that the ambiguity of what constitutes ‘extreme’ allows for the censoring of material which may not pose any threat to national security.

The police have already employed these new regulations to seize a BBC Newsnight journalist’s laptop, which has sparked concern that journalists will be unable to efficiently report on sensitive issues because sources will refuse to give evidence for fear of police intervention.

Maureen ended her talk by reminding us that, even in a democratic country, it is essential to exercise our freedom of expression by continually challenging the government and demanding transparency on matters such as the counter-terrorism strategy. At Bristol Student PEN we aim to do just that!

If you liked this post, you might like to add Bristol PEN on Facebook or follow them on Twitter!

The views and opinions expressed on this blog site are solely those of the original blogpost authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the Policy Press and/or any/all contributors to this site.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Twitter Updates


Helen Kara

Writing and research

Peter Beresford's Blog

Musings on a Mad World

Paul Cairney: Politics & Public Policy

Professor of Politics and Public Policy, University of Stirling

Path to the Possible

Democracy toward the Horizon


Governance: An international journal of policy, administration and institutions

Shot by both sides

The blog of Kerry McCarthy, Labour MP

Paul Collins's Running Blog

Running and London Marathon 2013 Training

Bristol Civic Leadership Project

A collaborative project on change in local governance

Stuck on Social Work

And what a great place to be

Points: The Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society

short and insightful writing about a long and complex history

Urban policy and practice

Publishing with a purpose


Policy Politics Place


Publishing with a purpose

Public Administration Review

Public Administration Review is a professional journal dedicated to advancing theory and practice in public administration.


European Politics and Policy

Urban Studies Journal

Publishing with a purpose

%d bloggers like this: