Ethnic and religious variations in the reporting of racist victimization in Britain: 2000 and 2008/2009

Saffron I Karlsen, James Y Nazroo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The role of victimization in the generation of ethnic inequalities is increasingly acknowledged yet its impact on the lives of people with different religious affiliations remains underexplored. This is despite evidence of the importance of religion for forms of group identification and social mobilization. An exploration of the particular impact of religion as a focus for experiences of victimization may be particularly pertinent given the increasingly negative treatment of Muslim people since the riots in Britain of 2001, the terrorist incidents of 2001, 2004 and 2005 and the political and military responses to them. Cross-sectional analyses of data collected in 2000 and 2008/2009 explore whether there is evidence that the ethnic/religious patterning of reports of different forms of victimization have varied over time, after adjusting for the impact of age, gender, migration and socioeconomic differences between the groups. In 2000 Muslim people with different ethnic backgrounds were less likely, but by 2008/2009 were more likely, to report experiences of victimization than Caribbean Christians. However, the ethnic/religious patterning of perceptions of Britain as a ‘racist society’ were more consistent over time. This may suggest that, despite their increased exposure to victimization over the period, Muslim people in the United Kingdom have yet to experience the racialization characteristic of the treatment of Caribbean Christians, which requires a more prolonged exposure to racist negative attitudes. But this may be only a matter of time. The persistent expectation of poor treatment described by Caribbean Christians is testament to the difficulties of addressing these negative perceptions once racialized identities are embedded. Immediate action must be taken to prevent this occurring among other ethnic/religious minorities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-397
Number of pages28
JournalPatterns of Prejudice
Issue number4
Early online date27 Aug 2014
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


  • Christian
  • ethnicity
  • Hindu
  • migration
  • Muslim
  • racism
  • religion
  • Sikh
  • socioeconomic
  • victimization


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