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Migrants of the British Diaspora Since the 1960sStories From Modern Nomads$
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A. James Hammerton

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781526116574

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526116574.001.0001

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The decline of British privilege: migrants of the 1970s

The decline of British privilege: migrants of the 1970s

(p.54) 2 The decline of British privilege: migrants of the 1970s
Migrants of the British Diaspora Since the 1960s

A. James Hammerton

Manchester University Press

This chapter explores key moments in the 1970s when migrant practice illustrates the transition from a migration of austerity to one of affluence, when couples and singles contemplated working holidays, seeking adventure and lifestyle change alongside material success, part of a revolution of rising expectations. But new migrants faced new challenges, some racial, stemming from rising levels of non-white immigration in Britain and receiving countries. New visa restrictions ended British privileged access to old Commonwealth countries, while there was a greater presence of British migrants of colour, who initially left former colonies, like India, then re-emigrated, potentially experiencing heightened discrimination. They were mostly deeply traditional in adhering to conventional family values, while unsettling conventional British migrant profiles. But, reflecting rising divorce rates in western countries, migrant testimony indicates the association of migration with marital and family stress and breakdown, alongside deep commitment to traditional family values. These values were tested further through the rise of serial expatriate work, in countries like Saudi Arabia, a potential spur to subsequent more stable family migration. The stories point to the 1970s as a period of transition in British migration history, in which patterns of change and continuity coexisted.

Keywords:   affluence, lifestyle, revolution of rising expectations, racial, non-white immigration, British migrants of colour, divorce rates, family values, expatriate work, change and continuity

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