Neighbourhood ethnic mix and the formation of mixed-ethnic unions in Britain : a longitudinal analysis
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Although developed societies are becoming increasingly ethnically diverse, relatively little research has been conducted on geographies of mixed-ethnic unions (married or cohabiting). There is some recent evidence from the US that mixed-ethnic couples are more likely to be found in mixed-ethnic neighbourhoods, but this research is based on cross-sectional data. Therefore it is not possible to determine whether mixed-ethnic couples are more likely to form in mixed-ethnic neighbourhoods or whether they are more likely to move there. Our longitudinal analysis allows us to tease out the relative importance of these two processes, furthering our understanding of the formation of mixed-ethnic unions. Using data from the Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study we examine neighbourhood effects on the formation of mixed-ethnic unions in England and Wales. We find that mixed-ethnic unions are more likely to form in neighbourhoods with low concentrations of co-ethnic population. The results from this study lend support to the contact theory that geographical proximity to other ethnic groups enhances mutual understanding between people from different ethnic groups and could lead to the development of intimate partnerships.
Feng , Z , Van Ham , M , Boyle , P J & Raab , G M 2014 , ' Neighbourhood ethnic mix and the formation of mixed-ethnic unions in Britain : a longitudinal analysis ' Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography , vol 95 , no. 4 , pp. 307-321 . DOI: 10.1111/geob.12027
Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography
© The authors 2013 Geografiska Annaler: Series B © 2013 Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography. This is the accepted version of the following article: Feng, Z., Boyle, P., van Ham, M. and Raab, G. M. (2013), Neighbourhood ethnic mix and the formation of mixed-ethnic unions in Britain: a longitudinal analysis. Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography, 95: 307–321, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/geob.12027
This research is funded by the ESRC under the Understanding Population Trends and Processes (UPT AP) programme (Award Ref: RE S-163-25-0045).
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