Social Statistics

Society, Statistics (and some sermons)

Social Statistics - Society, Statistics (and some sermons)

About is  a UK based site with interests in social geography, social economics, and promoting statistical and spatial literacy.

It’s the personal website of Richard Harris, a Professor in Quantitative Social Geography at the School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, England, and at the Centre for Market and Public Organisation, also at Bristol.

Richard is the lead author of two statistical textbooks. These are Statistics in Geography and Environmental Science, and Geodemographics: GIS and Neighbourhood Targeting. He is also a licensed lay minister (Reader) in the Church of England, attached to Christ Church Downend so the occasional sermon appears on this site too.

More information about his academic interests can be found here. Working papers and a list of publications can be accessed via Google Scholar.

  • minron says:

    Just a comment – I notice in all of your posts, you refer to ‘white’ Britons. I can’t help but feel that this plays into the hands of the anti-racist, ‘antifa’ goons. Why not refer to indigenous Europeans – which covers all those of non-African and non-Asian descent?

    The problem is by using the term ‘white’, since we are not white but varying shades of pink and very light brown, you implicitly refer to an overarching ‘race’ that ties all of these pink and brown people together. Remember that ‘white’ people include descendants of Spaniards shipwrecked from the Armarda, many of whom where very brown, indeed. Even albinos aren’t white. Hold a sheet of paper up to one, and see.

    “Just Sayin’”…

    • Rich Harris says:

      Thanks for you comment, minron.

      You are right, I do use the phrase White British. The simple but not necessarily justifying reason is that it is one of the ethnic categories used for the 2011 Census results. Actually, I have abbreviated it a little (as do others). The actual category is ‘White: English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British.’

      In regard to your specific question, I would not want to describe a person born and living in London, for example, who happens to have a parent or grandmother born in Africa as a non-indigenous European. The phrase ‘indigenous European’ would seem to create the same problem of a false notion of ‘racial purity’ (who is or is not an ‘indigenous’ European) as that you quite rightly raise as a problem when we attempt to classify anybody as white or otherwise. On a more prosaic level, it is actually quite useful to distinguish between those born in the UK and those who are more recent economic migrants from other parts of Europe.

      That said, I am very sympathetic to what you are identifying as the problems with language, measurement and classification, especially when applied to ethnicity and race. The phrase White British does sound rather crass; personally I have slightly olive-coloured skin. I will continue to use it as it is well known and understood. But I am well aware of the issues around doing so, some of which you rightly raise in your post.