Third CSI newsletter published

Welcome to the Centre for Social Investigation eNewsletter.

New Research

The European Social Survey “Topline” Report on Attitudes to Immigration, written by Anthony Heath and Lindsay Richards. More detail is available here. Key findings:

  • Most European publics have become more positive over the last decade in their view that immigrants have made their country a better place to live, including the UK
  • However, in both 2002/03 and 2014/15, Britain tended to be quite negative in their attitudes towards immigration – similar to France but more negative than the Nordic countries, Germany, and the Netherlands
  • Europeans are becoming more divided in their views of migrants from poorer countries outside Europe

Anthony Heath, together with colleagues at the Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences and City University of London published a report on Developing a Measure of Socio-cultural Origins for the European Social Survey. Key findings:

  • Information on respondents’ ancestry was used to capture socio-cultural origins in 21 countries included in the European Social Survey
  • Evaluation found that the measure worked well in the field. It was understood readily by respondents and was found straightforward to answer
  • This item will be included in the survey from 2016/17 onwards

Elisabeth Garratt published an article on the role of income on children’s behavioural problems in Child Development. Key findings:

  • Children from lower-income families had more behavioural problems than children from more advantaged homes
  • Among higher-income families, behavioural problems were more prevalent in children whose household incomes ranked lower than those of other families, suggesting that even in young children, social comparisons might influence behavioural problems
  • Living in a lower-income household is especially detrimental to children’s behavioural problems if their parents are not working

New briefing note on food insecurity. Key findings:

  • Foodbank use in Britain continues to rise. Benefit delays, sanctions, low incomes, debt and homelessness were common reasons for seeking emergency food
  • The prevalence of approximate indicators of food insecurity from social surveys is typically lower than people who are ‘poor’ on standard poverty definitions
  • By combining data from a range of sources we conclude that food insecurity is a growing problem facing the UK


Current projects

Valentina Di Stasio is involved in two field experiments on ethnic discrimination in the British labour market, and in a qualitative study on employers’ recruitment and hiring practices in relation to workplace diversity. The projects are funded by Horizon2020, the British Academy and the OUP John Fell Fund, respectively.

Elisabeth Garratt is undertaking research exploring food insecurity across 30 European countries over recent years. This project examines the risk of food insecurity for different groups, and explores the role of social protection spending on food insecurity.



Anthony Heath gave the welcome address at an event hosted by the British Academy to launch the interim report into integration of immigrants published by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration. Anthony was also interviewed on the ITN news and on BBC Radio London (listen at 2.42) to discuss the report recommendations. The report can be downloaded here, and our submission is available on request – please email us at We also wrote an accompanying blog post: Social integration and British values: how divided are we?

Elisabeth Garratt attended an event hosted by the ESRC and the Food Foundation entitled The case for measuring UK household food insecurity.

Valentina Di Stasio taught a one-day workshop on how to measure discrimination using experimental methods. The workshop was organised at the Amsterdam Institute for Labour Studies by InGRID – Inclusive Growth Research Infrastructure Diffusion.

Work from our projects on attitudes to immigration in Europe with collaborators at the University of Manchester and the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies was presented at a conference at the British Academy (convened by Anthony Heath and Rob Ford) in November. CSI presented papers on European attitudes to immigration and on anti-Muslim sentiment.



Anthony Heath and Magda Borkowska submitted evidence to Dame Louise Casey’s review into opportunity and integration, published in December 2016. The review can be downloaded here.

Elisabeth Garratt submitted evidence to the Public Accounts Committee inquiry into benefit sanctions. This submission can be viewed here.

The British Academy conference in November was accompanied by a public engagement event, with Anthony Heath (second from left) on the panel – Immigration: what next?



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Centre for Social Investigation
Nuffield College
The Centre for Social Investigation (CSI) is based at Nuffield College, Oxford University. The Centre aims to address contemporary social issues of public interest, carrying out authoritative research on central social issues which draws upon interdisciplinary expertise in economics, politics and sociology, and related disciplines. The Centre’s research is independent and non-partisan; as such, it has no political affiliation or leaning.