"New Atlantis" implies a magnificent optimism; —the use of the social
sciences,—in interdisciplinary co-operation,—to build on the basis of
modern technology and urban organisation, if not a new utopia which might
embrace all human cultures, at least some viable solutions of our social
difficulties, on a world wide, rather than simply on a rich nations, basis.
Such a hope implies the achievement of genuine social sciences, valid and
able to work together.  The theme of the recent immigration into the
industrial towns and cities of millions of people with backgrounds sharply
distinct, culturally and legally, from the natives of North-West Europe,
furnishes an excellent test case.  The papers here gathered together, and the
conference at which they were first read, seem to me to illustrate very
clearly the scale of some of the difficulties which we face both in achieving
scientific conclusions which measure up at all to the complexity of what we
are studying, and a fortiori in influencing the rulers of the nations towards
policies for a better society.  In stressing problems and difficulties, I do not
in any way disparage the excellent papers in this volume; still less do I
imply that we should not attempt to build a valid and useful body of social
science findings.  But we cannot do this if we do not face the difficulties.

The very wide range of facts, problems and ideas explicit and implicit in
these papers deal with three main themes, which normally appear together,
but do not necessarily imply each other,—migration, minorities and race.
All the migrants in this case end up as minorities in highly industrialised and
sophisticated towns and cities, so we may define migration as the movement
of population from relatively poor and undeveloped areas of labour surplus
to wealthier, more "advanced" areas of labour shortage.  Such migration
usually, but not always, results in the formation of what we call ethnic
minorities.  Granting that there are severe problems about defining "ethnic"
and "minority" in the European societies here discussed, the immigrant
workers in all cases form very small proportions of the total society, except
for the Italians in Switzerland.  This problem can be restated as that of
pluralism,—of arranging for people, who define themselves and each other
as belonging to different groups with different values and loyalties on
certain issues, to live side by side in relative peace and co-operation: it is
worth repeating the statement by Mr.  Roy Jenkins, the British Home
Secretary, quoted by Lambert on p.  62.  He saw integration as “not a
flattening process but as equal opportunity accompanied by cultural
diversity in an atmosphere of mutual tolerance”.  Most political units, now


  and in the past have had and still have problems of this kind, yet the
assumption is widespread, even amongst scholars, that, ideally, every
sovereign political unit should be linguistically and culturally homogeneous,
and that every self-defining minority has the right, to some degree, to
political "self determination".

The third theme of the papers is race.  Since race is properly a biological and
not a social term, its precise meaning in this kind of context seems to vary
with the assumption of the user.  Two important aspects have been
discussed.  First, the meaning attributed in any given social situation to
genetically determined visible differences in appearance, mainly skin colour,
(which term I use as a convenient shorthand to include hair form and
obvious facial features).  Raveau has argued that it is likely that humans do
react at a sub- rational level to people whose appearance is very different
from their own, especially where extremes are involved.  Even if true, it is
obvious that socially given meanings and values still play the major role in
determining relationships in such cases, and it is perfectly possible to
imagine a society in which any instinctive responses were socially
controlled and people attached no more significance to skin colour than
native Englishmen currently attach to the colour of their hair.

The extreme case here is the U.S.A., where humans sharing completely
similar political institutions and almost completely a single set of culturally
given meanings are nevertheless socially distinct, so that negroes form an
ethnic minority solely on grounds of appearance.  Although many white
Europeans share, perhaps in some cases unconsciously, the idea that a dark
skin means at least foreigner, and often also inferior, we do not yet have a
sizeable distinct minority of native born, culturally indistinguishable
coloured people.  But in a generation we may well have.  Since skin colour
is indelible, complete integration of such minorities depends solely on
effecting changes in the meaning of colour for the whole population.

Secondly, race is concerned with the study of people's beliefs and
assumptions about intrinsic and hereditable differences between populations
in such socially relevant characteristics as intelligence, energy, cleanliness,
honesty.  Some northern Italians believe southerners to be of inferior stock;
some British fear a decline in genetic quality through miscegenation with
immigrants; some Germans still assume that foreign workers, even with
white skins, are inferior specimens.  Ideologies of the second kind are
linked to meanings given to any signs of foreignness.  Ethnic conflict of this
kind does not depend on racial concepts.  Religious, cultural or political
labels may do equally well.

Migration, pluralism and racism do occur together, and migration normally
precedes the other two, though not necessarily or always.  But they are


  distinct problems.

The papers in this volume attempt, with differing emphasis, to perform four
tasks.  First, they supply information, that is, they describe aspects of the
present situation and sometimes recent relevant history, —for example, both
France and Germany, unlike Britain, had a million foreign workers even
before the first world war, yet the new invasions all began after 1950.
Bohning's and Haddon's paper make excellent use of such information as is
available.  It is customary for ambitious social scientists to despise "mere"
description.  What is clear from this set of papers is the absence of good
factual summaries.

One major difficulty is the chaotic state of most statistics on this subject.
Bohning has elsewhere documented in detail the wide variations in the way
in which statistics are gathered and published from country to country, and
simply finding out for comparative purposes numbers of migrants, let alone
details of their ages, skills, earnings, lengths of stay, membership of trade
unions, remittances home and so forth, is extremely laborious, and is often

When we turn to such matters as the assumptions and values, said to be
typical of populations or particular immigrant groups, we may legitimately
ask both what precisely the author means by such statements, and what the
evidence for them is.  Detailed ethnography or field studies are
conspicuously absent in this collection of papers.  In contrast to the study of
African urbanisation, where we have a number of field work studies both
by the traditional field methods of social anthropologists and by surveys,
there seems to be remarkably little data.  Moreover, people's results are
often not comparable, being concerned with different problems, conducted
without reference to each other, with different techniques, and addressed to
different academic audiences.

The second task is more ambitious—analysis and explanation.  Most social
scientists would claim (wrongly in my view) that however necessary and
difficult, description is relatively elementary.  As scientists we should be
more concerned with analyzing and explaining.  The issues that such a claim
raises are extremely complex, but it is frequently held to justify not only
pomposity but attempts to offer theories, models and "hypotheses".  The
papers by Lambert and Garbett and Kapferer are good examples.  Lambert,
by stating that the city is the city managers, who manage among other
things, housing, education and the police, relates the immigrants'
"underclass" standing to the largely unintended consequences of the way
these established institutions operate, automatically typifying the immigrants
as deviants and excluding them from the benefits which these services
confer on the natives.


  The paper by Garbett and Kapferer has a unique place in this collection.  If
very little has been published about face to face relations among the
minorities of labour migrants in Europe, quite a lot has been published by
anthropologists among migrants in African towns.  The authors were
therefore invited to show what might be relevant to Europe from this field,
in which they have both worked.  The purpose was explicitly theoretical,
and thus, I think, permits me to digress for a moment from my list of tasks.

Their paper, with something of a self-confident flourish, offers nine
propositions to which no one, sociologist or otherwise, could really object,
and certain interesting and important recommendations for a possible
approach to research.

Their first point is that "push-pull" models are not adequate, not, at least, if
stated in terms of relative economic rewards.  Since it hardly deserves the
word "model", and no one offers "push-pull" as a universal explanation,
this need not detain us.  Secondly, they point out that if any theory is
interpreted as implying that one particular factor or circumstance fits all
cases of migration to towns, then it can be shown to be false, partly because
more than one factor operates in any one case, and partly because different
factors operate in different cases.  Agricultural systems vary in the
manpower demands they make in relation to the indigenous labour supply,
for example, and in the standard of living they make possible.

Thirdly, individual motives for migration vary according to a whole set of
complex personal circumstances and personality factors.  Surprisingly, they
say, “By the causes of migration we refer to the various factors which result
in an individual making the decision to leave his rural home for wage
employment in the town”  (my italics).  This emphasis is odd for
sociologists, even if philosophically arguable.  Fourthly, when people make
decisions, they always do so in the light of what they believe at that moment
to be the case, and not according to the "actual" circumstances.  Fifthly,
people's actions are modified by their position in a social structure, and by
other people's actions towards them.  Sixthly, people are dependent on their
kin and friends for security against possible misfortunes, and, of course,
for the elementary and essential satisfaction of social intercourse,
recognition and affection.

What is remarkable, and an object lesson to us all, is that they need to state
these simple truths in order to refute the writings of respectable academic

They then turn to a summary of Philip Mayer's study of Xhosa in East
London.  On the basis of this, they add three more propositions, equally

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