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Age and Ethnicity Introduction

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Britain in the 21st century is increasingly diverse as is Europe. We are all part of a multiethnic, multi-racial and multi-faith society. We are also part of a rapidly ageing society, and our ageing population is increasingly reflecting the ethnic and cultural diversity evident across the population as a whole.

The BME elder population was once considered too small to worry about by policymakers and planners (PRIAE 1998) and is already increasing this decade and rapidly so in the coming decades according to the National Census in 2001; 2011. This is in the context of historical underdevelopment of age and ethnicity meaning that the ethnic dimension with regard to social inequalities among older people has been largely overlooked in public policy. This has given rise in need for rapid progress, and is the primary reason for PRIAE's establishment.

Minority ethnic elders are like everyone else, people first. Like the majority elders they have similar needs, aspirations and resources hence many parallels. However their experience of migration, discrimination and disadvantage as well as their history of struggles and resistance against racial and social injustice inspired the establishment of PRIAE and to focus on the combined effects of ageing and ethnicity in policy, research, information and services to generate concrete results than simply to continue to say that not much is happening in old age and ethnicity. Our example is an example of a long history of minorities helping themselves to specific challenges and to contributing to solutions in the wider society. As this website shows, PRIAE has pioneered much to develop the area of 'multiple identities'; 'multiple discrimination'; 'intersectional discrimination' and always with an eye to how elders are engaged to the issues and to the solutions that need to be developed, and often developed, rather than merely described.

 

Website prepared by Kajal Shah 2013