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Measuring ethnicity and the implications for violence inequalities

The question of how we measure, categorise, and represent ethnicity poses a growing challenge for identifying and addressing ethnic inequalities. Conceptual critiques and qualitative studies highlight the complexities and challenges of measuring ethnicity, yet there remains a lack of quantitative studies investigating the implications of these complexities for inequalities research.

VISION researchers, Hannah Manzur, Niels Blom, and Estela Capelas Barbosa, address this gap by scrutinizing methodological processes and analysing the implications of measurement and categorisation in the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), critiquing the UK’s standardised measurement of ethnicity in national survey data and government statistics.

Based on their comparative quantitative analysis of standardised ethnicity categories and regional origins and their evaluation of the CSEW and census’ methodologies, they propose an alternative categorisation of ethnicity, focusing on the ‘Mixed’, ‘Asian’, and ‘Latinx/Hispanic’ ethnic groups.

Using adjusted crosstabulations and logistic regression models, they found variations in ethnic patterns of violence victimisation based on standardised measures and their alternative recategorisation, particularly relating to the distinction between ‘Asian’ sub-groups, the recategorisation of ‘Mixed’ ethnicities, and the inclusion of ‘Latinx/Hispanic’ as a distinctive ethnic group.

Their findings reveal valuable insights into the implications of ethnic categorisation for understanding violence inequalities, with significant implications for further policy and research areas.

For further information please see: Social Sciences | Free Full-Text | (Mis)Representing Ethnicity in UK Government Statistics and Its Implications for Violence Inequalities (mdpi.com)

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Prevalence of physical violence against people in insecure migration status 

VISION researchers from the Systematic Review working group (Andri Innes, Sophie Carlisle, Hannah Manzur, Elizabeth Cook, Jessica Corsi and Natalia Lewis) have published a systematic review and meta-analysis in PLOS One, estimating prevalence of physical violence against people in insecure migration status. This is the first review of its type, synthesizing global data on violence against migrants in all types of insecure status. 

The review finds that around 1 in 3 migrants in insecure status experience physical violence. Violence included physical interpersonal, community and state violence. Insecure status was conceptualised encompassing undocumented status, lapsed statuses, asylum seeking and other pending applications, and any status that embeds a form of insecurity by tying status to a particular relationship (such as spousal or employer-employee). Studies were only included in the review if the violence happened while the victim was in insecure status. 

The VISION team reviewed academic literature published between January 2000 and May 2023, across social and health sciences. The study was global in scope, although data was limited by the English language search.  

Key Findings 

More than one in four migrants in insecure status disclosed intimate partner violence specifically. Spousal visas embed a particular risk of violence because the visa status is connected to an intimate partner relationship, creating an important power disparity. Nevertheless, there was no significant difference in prevalence of violence by gender across the dataset. Prevalence also did not differ meaningfully across geographic region, perpetrator, status type or time frame.  

The most significant findings included that violence exposure is not meaningfully different for people in undocumented status than in other types of insecure status. Physical violence is a concern across all types of insecure migration status types. 

The findings were limited because of high levels of heterogeneity in the data. It was also difficult to consider intersectional identity characteristics such as age, race or ethnicity, nationality, religion, marital status, socio-economic status, education level or motivation for migration because these were not standardised across included studies. This suggests that further and specified research is needed in this area. 

The review is open access and is available to read in full here

If you have any comments or feedback for the authors, please contact Andri at alexandria.innes@city.ac.uk  

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VISION/VASC Webinar Series: IPV and the LGBTQI+ communities

This event is in the past.

We are pleased to announce the VISION and Violence & Society Centre (VASC) Webinar Series.

The purpose of the series is to provide a platform for academia, government and the voluntary and community sector that work to reduce and prevent violence to present their work / research to a wider audience. This is a multidisciplinary platform and we welcome speakers from across a variety of fields such as health, crime, policing, ethnicity, migration, sociology, social work, primary care, front line services, etc.

Our first webinar is Tuesday, 20 February 2024, 1300 – 1350. We welcome Dr Steven Maxwell, Research Associate in the School of Social & Environmental Sustainability and Associate in the School of Health and Wellbeing, at the University of Glasgow.

Steven will present his research on intimate partner violence within the LGBTQI+ communities. He is a former mental health nurse and completed his PhD in Global Public Health at University College London in 2021. Steven’s PhD explored HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis uptake/adherence among men who have sex with men who engaged in sexualised drug use. His current interest is researching health inequities/social justices across minority and deprived populations, particularly sexual & mental health, and related substance use.   

To register for the event in order to receive the Teams invitation and / or if interested in presenting at a future Series, please contact: VISION_Management_Team@city.ac.uk

The VISION/VASC Webinar Series is sponsored by the UK Prevention and Research Partnership consortium, Violence, Health and Society (MR-V049879) and the Violence and Society Centre at City, University of London.

Presentations from 2nd VISION annual conference now available

We are pleased to provide the presentations from our 2nd annual conference held 21 September 2023 at Mary Ward House in London. 

The theme was Responding to violence across the life course. Sessions included presentations on childhood and teenage years; working life, poverty & economic impacts; older years; and social inclusion in policy and research. The conference concluded with a panel discussion on violence and complex systems.

Seventy-seven academics, central and local government officials, practitioners, and voluntary and community sector organisations attended from a range of health and crime / justice disciplines.

Please feel free to download the presentations below. Each session is one download.

Photo caption: Dr Ladan Hashemi, Senior Research Fellow at VISION, answers a question after her presentation, ‘Adverse Childhood Experiences and Childhood Obesity:​ Exploring Potential Mediating and Moderating Factors​’

Download the Welcome slides

Download the slides from Session 1 – Childhood and teenage years

Download the slides from Session 2 – Social inclusion in policy & research

Download the slides from Session 3 – Working life, poverty and economic impacts

Download the slides from Session 4 – Older people

Accounting for Inequalities

In this research, Dr Alexandria Innes, Senior Lecturer in International Politics and Co-Investigator within the VISION research grant, draws on a case study of gender-based violence and subsequent responses to argue that Ontological Security Studies – a sub-paradigm of International Relations that focuses on a sociology of security based on identity and social environments – have thus far failed to fully account for intersectional inequalities within social narratives of security. 

She argues that the state is incapable of providing lived experiences of security for all residents, because of inherent inequalities that underlie national identity, affecting services people have access to and the level of support they might receive from state-based agencies such as the police and social services. It is only in attending to those inequalities among the population that we can attend to the biases at the heart of the state. 

Through the case study of the murder of Sarah Everard and the responses, the value and necessity of an intersectional approach to security is made clear: trauma responses that are positioned as transgressive by the patriarchal and White supremacist dominating account are used to undermine the credibility of alternative narratives of security. The state adopts a technique of dividing identity and constructing normatively oppressed identities as transgressive to consolidate the state narrative of security. 

For further information please see: Accounting for inequalities: divided selves and divided states in International Relations – Alexandria Innes, 2023 (sagepub.com) or contact Andri at alexandria.innes@city.ac.uk