The Melting Pot Generation: How Britain became more relaxed on race

Posted on 11 December 2012

When the parents of Olympic champion Jessica Ennis, who are from Jamaica and Derbyshire, met in Sheffield in the 1980s, a majority of the public expressed opposition to mixed race relationships.

The melting pot generationThis is no longer the case, shows the new report from British Future The Melting Pot Generation: How Britain became more relaxed on race.

Concern about mixed race relationships has fallen from 50% in the 80s to just 15% in 2012, with only one in twenty aged 18 to 24 thinking it’s now an issue.

The polling, carried out by Britain Thinks, shows a dramatic shift in British attitudes. The Melting Pot Generation report explores this change, and looks at how the Jessica Ennis generation, who have grown up knowing mixed Britain as the norm, now feels about race and identity.


In the report:

  •  Rob Ford of the University of Manchester traces how the rise of mixed Britain changed attitudes over recent decades;
  •  Rachael Jolley explores new Britain Thinks polling on what we think about race and relationships today.
  •  New Oxford University research reports how media coverage of Olympic medal winners Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah balancedtheir ethnic origins and local identities.
  •  Binita Mehta selects ten twenty-something stars who reflect the changing face of their generation.
  •  Andrew Gimson talks to young Britons about how far being mixed race mattered to their experience of growing up.
  •  Leading thinkers assess the opportunities and pitfalls of changing how we talk about race.
  •  Sunder Katwala wonders if his children’s generation will see racial identity as increasingly a matter of choice.

Read the report in full: The Melting Pot Generation: How Britain became more relaxed on race.