Contemporary Jewish identities and experiences of racism: what can we learn from ‘big data’?

Public Lecture

Event Information and Booking

21st November, 2023
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Birkbeck, University of London, Clore Lecture Theatre, Clore Management Centre, Torrington Square, London WC1E 7JL
Nissa Finney, University of St Andrews
Free event - book your place below

In a world awash with information how do we untangle what Jewish identity means today, how do data capture Jewishness, and what can ‘big data’ tell us about Jewish experiences of racial and religious discrimination?

In this lecture, Professor Finney considers how Jewish people articulate their Jewish identity and how well this sense of Jewishness is captured by statistical categorisations used as standard in Britain. She then compares discrimination experienced by Jewish people to other religious and ethnic groups, opening discussion about what might (or might not) be distinctive about contemporary Jewish experiences of racism.

The presentation draws on a new, exciting national social survey – the Evidence for Equality National Survey (EVENS) – published this year by the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE). EVENS documents the experiences of over 14,000 people and provides unrivalled data on the lives of ethnic and religious minorities in Britain.

Nissa Finney is a Professor of Human Geography at the University of St Andrews and member of the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity and the Centre for Population Change. Her research focuses on race, place and inequalities, foregrounding concepts of home and racism. Nissa has a keen interest in research methods and since 2020 she has led the Evidence for Equality National Survey (EVENS). Her books include Racism and Ethnic Inequality in a time of Crisis: findings from the Evidence for Equality National Survey (Policy Press, 2023; available as a free ebook) and ‘Sleepwalking to segregation’? Challenging myths of race and migration (Policy Press, 2009). Nissa is a permanent member of the Office for National Statistics Census Ethnic Group Assurance Panel.

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