Experts at the University of Leicester have been commissioned to conduct research into racism in rural England.
The two-year study, will shed light on the under-acknowledged reality of the growing numbers of people from minority ethnic backgrounds living in and visiting rural spaces, says the university.
The academics behind the study say they aim to uncover the nature, extent and impacts of racism experienced in rural towns and villages across the country.
A team of 40 ‘Community Research Partners’ from ethnic backgrounds have been recruited for the project, which will see them record their own direct experience of rural racism in the form of stories, photos, poems and other arts-based media.
The university says that researchers in this field regularly receive personal attacks on social media or email; ‘targeted opinion pieces in media ridicule and abuse within comments sections online; and in some cases, direct threats against personal safety.’
A cross-disciplinary team from the School of Criminology and the School of Museum Studies at University of Leicester will be led by Professor Neil Chakraborti, Director of the Centre for Hate Studies.
Professor Chakraborti will work alongside Dr Amy Clarke, Research Fellow at the Centre for Hate Studies and Professor Corinne Fowler, Professor of Colonialism and Heritage at the School of Museum Studies.
“We know from previous research that racism is often overlooked, minimised and unchallenged within rural towns and villages. This important project will develop an evidence base which reveals the ways in which rural racism is expressed and experienced, and which can enable everyone to enjoy rural life free from harassment and hostility,” said Professor Chakraborti.
The two-year project will commence on 1 October 2023. For further information and to keep up to date with the project, follow @HateCrime_Leics.