Second-generation Irish people in England and Wales: social mobility and parents' backgrounds

Bronwen Walter, Anglia Polytechnic University

[Project number 30045]

The data is required as part of the follow up to ESRC-funded project The second-generation Irish: a hidden population in multi-ethnic Britain (2000-2) (the Irish 2 Project). That was a study of the identities and social positionings of people born in Britain to one or two Irish-born parents. Two aspects I would like to follow up using the LS are social mobility 1991-2001, (which I have already analysed for 1971-81 and 1981-91 using the LS), and the ethnic backgrounds of partners living in the same household (change over time 1971-1981-1991-2001). Here I am particularly interested in numbers and characteristics of second-generation Irish people who have 'mixed race' parents, as it appears from 1971 data that Irish-born people were more likely than the English-born to have partners from the 'New Commonwealth' for example.

Data required includes SEG (converted to 1991 from 2001 categories for consistency) for birthplace groups including GB born/UK parents, Northern Ireland born, Eire born, GB born/2 Irish parents, GB born/Irish parent) by gender. SEGs are also to be grouped into (i) service class (SEGs 1,2.2,3,4 and 5.1); (ii) petite bourgeoisie (SEGs 2.1,12,13 and 14); (iii) white collar workers (SEGs 5.2,6 and 7) and (iv) blue collar workers (SEGs 8,9,10,11,15 and 17).

For partnerships in 2001 groupings are required by gender and birthplace/ethnic group (to be selected) with additional socio-economic indices.

The Irish 2 Project provided a large amount of qualitative data from focus groups and interviews in 4 English locations. I am using the 2001 Census, including specially-commissioned tables, to provide a quantitative framework within which to analyse it. The LS would give very valuable additional longitudinal insights. The social mobility data will add an additional time period to the series already completed, and is of particular value as it relates to the period covered by the qualitative data. The data on partnerships will provide evidence of change in a comparative framework (for example with a sample of people with White English-born parents) which will throw light on the qualitative data from the Irish 2 Project.