Community Studies

With the changing nature of ethnic diversity in Britain, it becomes increasingly clear that we must move beyond binary notions of white and non-white to explain how racisms operate, identities are formed and people live out their lives.

Runnymede's Community Studies aim to move beyond categorisations as broad as black, Asian and white, to recognise the diversity within and between ethnic communities.

These studies provide a rich resource for understanding how diversity is lived and experienced away from the necessarily crude ethnic monitoring form, in a vital and dynamic multi-ethnic society.

Making a Contribution: New Migrants and Belonging in Multi-Ethnic Britain

This report, the last in the long-running programme of Community Studies, pulls together the qualitative research of the previous 11 small-scale studies for an overview of issues affecting emerging communities in the UK. New migrants' sense of identity and belonging is explored, as well as the more practical barriers to integration that newcomers face.

Surrey Street Market: The Heart of a Community

Street markets have a special place in Britain's social and economic landscape. Resisting the development of the dominant paradigm of retail ethos where shopping is becoming ever more monochrome, atomized and impersonal, street markets remain a quintessentially social space. This report, by Kjartan Sveinsson, Franziska Meissner and Jessica Sims, takes a look at Surrey Street Market in Croydon, exploring the role of street markets in fostering community cohesion.

British Moroccans

British Moroccans: Citizenship in Action

A walk down Golborne Road in London, commonly known as ‘little Morocco', reveals myriad Moroccan-owned cafés, restaurants, grocery stores, mosques, supplementary schools and community organisations. The presence of a thriving Moroccan community could not be more evident. Yet little is known about British Moroccans, who remain officially and statistically invisible. Drawing on her extensive fieldwork, Dr. Myriam Cherti highlights some of the challenges and achievements of British Moroccans.

Cover of Nepalese in Britain Report

Soldiers, Migrants and Citizens: The Nepalese in Britain

In 2007 Gurkhas were granted the right to settle in the UK upon retirement, which has correspondingly led to an increase of the migration and settlement of Nepalese people in the UK. Even with changes in settlement rights, their campaign for equality in the armed forces persists. In this report, Jessica Mai Sims explores the migration routes of Nepalese people, and in reference to the Gurkhas and their families, their experiences of integration and settlement.


Understanding Diversity cover

Understanding Diversity: South Africans in Multi-Ethnic Britain

South African migration to the UK is well established. Whilst previous reports in our series have focused on relatively disadvantaged migrant and minority ethnic groups, South Africans are something of an immigrant success story. In this report, Kjartan Páll Sveinsson and Anne Gumuschian consider the reasons for this 'success' and what we can learn from South Africans' experiences in the UK.


Report Cover Empowering Individuals & Creating Community: Thai Perspectives on Life in Britain

Despite Thailand and the UK having a strong history of diplomatic and economic cooperation, marriages between Thai women and British men have been the most ‘visible' portrayal of relations between the two countries. Moving beyond the stereotype of the ‘Thai bride', Jessica Mai Sims focuses on the experiences of Thais in the UK, with emphasis on the needs and concerns of Thai women.

Report Cover Living Transnationally: Romanian Migrants in London

Andreea R. Torre, PhD candidate at LSE, focuses on Romanian migrants and the networks they employ to build their lives in London. Parts of the British media, along with certain segments of the political landscape, have contributed to an image of Eastern European migrants as poor, uneducated, inclined to crime and difficult to integrate. This report challenges these crude stereotypes.

Creating Connections Front PageCreating Connections: Regeneration and Consultation on a Multi-Ethnic Council Estate

Kjartan Páll Sveinsson explores a multi-ethnic council estate and its residents' notions of community, cohesion and diversity. The report poses a serious challenge to assumptions about council estates as blighted by dysfunctional social dynamics and ethnic tensions.


University Front PageNot Enough Understanding: Student Experiences of Diversity at UK Universities

The relation between UK universities and diversity in student populations is positive as BME students are more likely to attend university. However, these students are also more likely to study at modern universities in London, and less likely to perform as well as their White peers. In this report, Jessica Mai Sims focuses on undergraduate student experiences of diversity at a London university.

Bienvenue Front PageBienvenue? Narratives of Francophone Cameroonians

Since the 1990s, the numbers of Francophone Africans settling in the UK have increased dramatically, a trend that is changing the profile of the African presence in London. Kjartan Sveinsson explores how the experiences of Francophone Africans in Britain differ from the experiences of Africans from English speaking countries.

Vietnamese Front PageThe Vietnamese Community in Great Britain: Thirty Years On

During the late 70s and early 80s Vietnamese refugees -otherwise know at the boat people- began to arrive in Britain, yet since settlement little is known of their position in society. In this report, Jessica Mai Sims explores key challenges currently facing the Vietnamese community in Britain, with a specific emphasis on intergenerational identity.

Bolivian Front PageBolivians in London: Challenges and Achievements of a London Community

In spite of the evident impact Latin Americans have on the cultural life of Londoners, their presence has to date gone fairly unnoticed by both local authorities and national government. Kjartan Páll Sveinsson explores the main issues identified and faced by Bolivians living in London.

Hindu Front CoverConnecting British Hindus: An Enquiry into the Identity and Public Engagement of Hindus in Britain.

British Hindus form the third largest faith-based community in Britain, yet we know remarkably little about them, their needs, or experiences. In light of this, the Hindu Forum of Britain commissioned Runnymede to conduct the Connecting British Hindus research project. Rob Berkeley conducted focus groups with over a 120 Hindus across the country as well as an online survey.


Runnymede SwirlEcuadorian identity, community and multi-cultural integration

The significant and growing Ecuadorian community in London has established a business and cultural centre and is in the process of developing denser social, economic and cultural networks. Moving from theory to empirical impressions, Research Associate Malcom James explores issues of Ecuadorian identity, community and multicultural integration in London.

Help us end racism

As an independently funded charity we rely on the support of generous individuals to continue our work.