While the focus is often on the integration experiences of ethnic and minority communities across Europe, a report from the Open Society Foundations has found that white working class communities experience inequality and exclusion of their own.
As manufacturing industry has made way for services and the welfare state has been rolled back, the working classes in Western Europe have seen employment opportunities change significantly over the past 40 years. Working class communities can no longer rely upon the availability of secure jobs and are often forced into lower-paid and more precarious work.
In 2012, Open Society started a project to better understand marginalised majority communities in six northwest European cities — Aarhus, Amsterdam, Berlin, Lyon, Manchester and Stockholm. The research provides an insight into the daily experiences of white working class communities across Europe.
While the majority ethnic populations in the six cities that this research focuses on were white, many of the factors that marginalise working class communities, such as a lack of decent jobs, poor health or disadvantages in the education system, impact people of any ethnic background.
Different communities across Europe that the researchers spoke to felt they were being blamed for their own marginalisation, especially as wider social and economic factors were often downplayed. Media portrayal was cited in the UK and the Netherlands. There the “antisocial television” genre focuses on poor families with behavioural or social problems creating stereotypes that can reinforce a community’s sense of exclusion.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Europes white working class communities feel marginalised | News | Research.