Notes on: Paterson. S. ( 1963) Dark Strangers. A Sociological Study of the Absorption of a Recent West Indian Migrant Group in Brixton, South London. London: Tavistock publications.

Dave Harris
[Bit of a fillet]

She saw the study originally in terms of white-coloured [I'll use her dated terms throughout] relationships,but it developed into a study of immigrant-host relationships, with colour as one of only a number of major factors involved (xiii)

She initially experienced a '"colour shock" walking through Brixton ( 3) -- a sense of strangeness, felt by immigrants on arrival too, She had experience of a racial situation in S Africa (RSA). West Indian (WI)  -- immigrants to the UK still saw it as such but it was inadequate as a model for her. Am immigrant-host model referred to processes on both sides, 'adaptation and acceptance'-- 'colour was one of the manifold factors...[but Brixton was ]... 'not yet a colour or race situation( 6). It was complicated by skin colour, but as a matter of degree rather than kind. The hosts community still had a norm of 'cultural xenophobia or antipathy to outsiders' but applied it to all outsiders, white immigrants, even locals.

There are differences between host and immigrant groups, often obscured by common citizenship, language and religious beliefs. WIs have a 'far stronger colour consciousness' (7). Social and cultural patterns can produce cultural conflict, which they  see in terms of colour. Brixton is not like RSA or southern USA, though, but  more dynamic,more like earlier the situation with earlier generations of immigrants, Jews or Irish, not a unique white/black problem. That overlooks socio-economic differences in other cultural conflicts, 'perhaps because the subconscious feelings of responsibility and guilt that lurk in the minds of most white students… And because of increasing public preoccupation with racial problems and conflicts in general' (8).

This may be justified in 'long established and institutionalised situations' where there are two groups both defined and defining themselves in terms of racial criteria, in ways that affect many of their relationships, as in South Africa or southern USA. The American literature has tended to be influential here, but there is 'no valid reason, however for retaining the smoked glasses' when looking at new situations in the northern US cities, in metropolitan France or in Britain. There, class affiliations, cultural contacts and conflicts, rural and urban differences, matters of adaptations and acceptance, relations between migrants and the minority group or the receiving society are more important.

So an immigrant/host framework is more fruitful. She suggests that homogeneous and peaceable societies have harmonious and voluntarily ordered social relations [compared to 'a conquest society']. Migrant groups expect and are expected to develop favourable relationships, expressed in terms of adjustment and accommodation. There may be short-term disintegration and conflict, but any group that refuses to accommodate presents 'an almost insoluble problem'.

There is two-way interaction, understood as '"adaptation and acceptance"' (10). Adaptation means 're-socialisation and acculturation' on the part of immigrants, but acceptance is left to the receiving society. The processes are largely unconscious, involving enlargement or modification of frameworks and cultural power, developing steadily and perceptively, but possibly less evident if societies are homogeneous and old established. Greater initial divergences means problems with adaptation and acceptance, and they do not always coincide — she cites American Jews who have adapted but are still only partly acceptable, and Dutch and British immigrants to America who are the converse.

Assimilation is the complete phase of absorption, complete adaptation, complete acceptance on the part of the hosts, sometimes the physical amalgamation of the minority group, as happened with the Huguenots or the Scandinavians in the US. It also happened with 'over 10,000 former Negro slaves in the population of London during the 19th century' (11). It really occurs in the first generation.

Integration refers to groups only, possibly as a matter of 'cultural pluralism' and adaptation to permanent membership of the receiving society, largely in economic and civic life, which leaves certain differences like religion cultural or family patterns, sometimes even in mother tongue. Canada is an example where integration like this is positively encouraged between the original ethnic groups, and the ethnic group is still the keystone of government policy. The idea is that these groups are 'separable but similar in outer form making up a harmonious whole'. There may be no single majority society, or  the majority society might willingly accept the minority groups in various spheres. Integration can be unequal as in former slave societies, imposed on members of the slave group, forced assimilation, containing 'elements of grave instability and conflict' (12).

Satisfactory integration requires strength and adaptability leading to successful negotiation and especially 'a consciousness of their formal duties as members of the overall society'. (12). Instead, 'ideologically motivated immigrant groups' religious or political are more common in the first period of immigration, although they can become more integrative. Economic migrants are less organised generally, because they may be impermanent or because they have migrated in small unorganised groups or from peasant or urban proletariats, with geographical isolation. Local groups help fill the initial social void. Intermarriage might help assimilation. Assimilation might be resisted. There might be a more 'integrated pluralist' approach as in Switzerland, Belgium or Canada [which she likes].

Going back to accommodation, as a form of preliminary adaptation, this can also be equal or unequal, although inequality is less likely to produce satisfactory assimilation. At least it can achieve the most initial progress, following a certain degree of self sustenance economically and residentially, perhaps extending to the more universal and institutionalised areas, but still lagging in the more intimate areas of association including residential proximity and intermarriage. Original social and cultural patterns are also retained. It can lead almost imperceptibly into further phases if migrants become permanent, and here associations might begin to act as intermediaries rather than separatist bodies.

These various phases should not be separated too much because they overlap. Individuals in particular might be assimilated and yet continue to play an active part in a separatist group organisation, again especially in the first generation. The stages might not proceed in steady progression, and there might even be 'an apparently partial return to the old values and loyalty', maybe with the third generation.

There can be conscious guidance by the post society, or it might be left to 'the natural interplay of social and economic forces'. However accommodation is the only stage that can be definitely predicted, and in the present study it was the only one that was effective in analysing the developing relations. Most newcomers were still dreaming of a speedy and rich return to their homelands and were not interested in assimilating. Most of the host community still regarded them as strangers and outsiders. She does predict further processes of accommodation, maybe assimilation, maybe group integration [she is worried about this later because it will still be produce class divisions].

She has found minimal adaptation and acceptance so far, found in economic life and housing, and she started to explore social life generally including religious associations. She is focused on the migrant group itself, its goals and values and how it has reacted to the host community. She says she has given 'a general, rather impressionistic picture of a very fluid situation' and indicated 'certain trends' (16) [a note does explained that coloured immigrants might be confused because they expect complete acceptance but only receive much more limited acceptance].

She also thinks it would be 'unreasonable to expect more of an unlimited will to adapt among the West Indians, or a limited will to accept among the local population' (17), nor would there be much actual social mobility. She might expect to find more settled jobs, however and more regular patterns of employment including joining the unions. In housing, signs might be West Indians being accepted by white landlords and West Indian landlords 'enforcing certain standards of domestic hygiene and behaviour among their tenants, maintaining or improving their houses, and achieving a reasonable modus vivendi with their white tenants'. She will also hope to find West Indians 'observing such peculiar native habits' as queueing, 'ceasing to regard ignorant but well-meaning remarks about colour or way of life as deliberate insults', becoming regulars in local pubs, voting or attending a local church, maybe marrying sooner and 'taking a more permanent interest in the children's security and education'.

We might also find local people getting used to the presence of coloured people, not to stare at them or shrink away from, to offer the usual welcome cup of tea, to worship side-by-side, to judge individuals on their merits, and not rely on 'old preconceptions or generalisations based on superficial evidence'. 'One might also expect the local press to stop lurid headlining of migrant misdemeanours, crimes or antisocial behaviour' (18).

There are many factors that either assist or impede adaptation, including attitudes and expectations of both migrant groups and the receiving society. There are differences of social class, religious and cultural background and 'organisational methods', there are personal idiosyncrasies, differences of skill and urban or rural living, motivations and intentions, political ideologies, there may be an important role played by 'highly prejudiced individuals or cliques in key positions' or the presence or absence of local sponsors for the group. How the group is organised might also be important and whether there are migrant leaders prepared to act as intermediaries. Historical events and traditional relationships might be important. As a result, 'a large number of different local situations' (18) can be produced — hostility in one area because the local population discriminates, good relationships in another area because the sponsors intervened, in a third area xenophobia after an economic recession, in yet another a firm stand by unions and employees against discrimination, and so on.

'The basic motivation of a migrant group may be classified as economic or ideological' (19). Ideological people either return to their own country or try to preserve the ideals which compelled them to migrate, with low expectations from the receiving society: they may not expect acceptance. Economically motivated groups are more easily tolerated, especially if they have the sort of cultural and religious organisation that helps them 'conform outwardly in certain respects' like the Chinese and Hindu communities. West Indians lack these, and have high expectations of acceptance.

Attitudes and behaviour of the host community 'are often favourable  and helpful', although the unfavourable instances attract the most attention, including by sociologists. These are described as prejudice or discrimination. She understands prejudice to mean 'emotional, irrational and rigid' dispositions, either favourable or hostile, not amenable to reason. She thinks that 'the great majority of people in British society cannot be called prejudiced in this sense', but they do have a number of 'unfavourable predispositions and attitudes towards certain groups of outsiders', derived from second-hand information or first hand experience, both superficial or profound, misleading or relevant. At least these are 'potentially susceptible to rational modification. These milder views are usually called '"antipathies"' and they have a wide range, from avoidance to 'vehement hostility' [all gathered together by CRT of course]. She thinks that the manifestations of different antipathies should be distinguished from prejudices, and context taken into account [the racial prejudice of a man whose family starved to death in a Japanese internment camp, and those whom just has an irrational hostile dislike for yellow people].

Discrimination means differential treatment of people in different categories, and again can be favourable or unfavourable — she prefers differentiation to describe the favourable cases. 'There are no discriminatory predispositions, but only discriminatory actions' and 'prejudiced people do not always all necessary behave in a discriminatory way… Discrimination is not always or necessarily the outcome of prejudice' (21), although studies of race have long entertained 'the erroneous hypothesis that behaviour is simply an outward expression of attitudes, and hence is to be studied and understood in terms of attitudes… Discriminatory behaviour seems arising out of prejudiced attitudes'. This is found in most research, on Negro-white relations in the USA, where it is easier to understand, but in Britain 'its inadequacy becomes evident'.

She did observe 'a considerable amount of discriminatory behaviour' but, this was 'primarily determined not by individual attitudes but by the nature and requirement of the particular situation, and by generally shared social orientations, values and norms' (22). The widespread mild antipathy to outsiders can be displayed, for example in a refusal to allow your daughter to marry a coloured suitor and this would not attract social condemnation, but it would if it meant barring coloured workers who joining a trade union [!].

Defenders of the '"prejudice – discrimination axis"' to explain racial situations in Britain want to explain away the 'increasingly evident disparity' between favourable attitudes towards coloured people and the existence of a good deal of discrimination. It might be that it is naïve to accept explanations for acts of discrimination where people disclaim any prejudice and offer instead economic fears, cultural differences or social status as rationalisations. She does not deny that some of them are, but 'came to the conclusion that the majority of south London informants were giving the true reasons for their behaviour' — e.g. refusing to take on a coloured tenant because the other tenants would not like it, or a coloured employee because the other workers would object, or objecting to a mixed race marriage because the children would be socially handicapped. This was not a cloak for racism but 'a reflection of the highly conformist social climate' (23). Prejudiced behaviour might be found among a few individuals, but for most it is the 'social determinants of interracial behaviour and relationships… Group orientations, values and norms' that she is interested in.

There are two major hypotheses to explain the prevalence of discriminatory behaviour: 'the "colour – class: hypothesis… (Little)… And the "stranger" hypothesis … (Banton)' (23). The first identifies coloured people with the lowest social class according to the colonial past, the second sees them as archetypal strangers. Little studied the Cardiff dock area, while Banton looked at inland areas, and compared four with coloured newcomers with two with none. Both types were found in Brixton. West Indians were strangers par excellence because 'many of them do in fact react and behave very differently from the majority of local people' and they also 'relegated to the lowest social class', not only as a result of the colonial era. They also seem to 'conform to an outmoded 19th century model of lower working class behaviour'. Observations therefore condition the behaviour of Brixtonians although orientations are not rigid as yet and can be modified — strangeness would disappear, but colour-class would remain and even be strengthened.

There were coloured migrant groups before West Indians, especially slaves in the 17th-century, sometimes from Africa but also via returning 'nabobs from the West Indies'. They were freed legally in 1772, and many became indigent. Some were shipped to Sierra Leone together with '60 white prostitutes' (36) and some went to the West Indies as free labourers. Black beggars were prominent in London as late as 1814 and Lascar seamen were found in dock and port areas. There was intermarriage. The second phase began with seamen arriving in the dock areas, and, in World War I labourers brought over to work and serve in the Merchant Navy. Until the Second World War few (inland, non-service) inhabitants of the British Isles had ever met a coloured person except for entertainers musicians and sporting personalities. There have been coloured students for the last 250 years, originally to cement trading imperial contacts. India sent the largest contingent. This number rose after World War II, mostly Asians or Africans [then].

The third phase of West Indian migration involve thousands of West Indians either as volunteers in the armed services or technicians in the war industry. 7000 Jamaicans and others served overseas, often in the RAF. Many of them were middle-class and ambitious, and many met a welcome. On return, the economic situation at home meant they soon returned to Britain. Others came to work specifically in the Forestry Commission or in munitions, only about 1/3 of which were skilled, the other semiskilled. The scheme was wound up in 1946,  2/3 of them moved out — but they had discovered the UK. In 1952 W. Indian emigration to the USA was virtually halted, so the UK became the only remaining open territory. Economic conditions in the West Indies especially Jamaica deteriorated and therefore West Indians came to Britain, originally as stowaways. The Windrush brought the first large group and 'within three weeks they were all in work' (40). Numbers increased between 1953 in 1955. There was outward movement generally to other countries in the Caribbean from Jamaica and Barbados especially, some of its state aided. After 1955 many became employed in public transport or hotel businesses meaning more 'frequent casual contact… They have on the whole made a very favourable impression'.

Most were greeted with a utilitarian approach by employers but there was 'traditional hostility of the local labour force, organised and other' (169) but this has been modified by nondiscrimination action by management and by unions. There has also been general 'evidence of adaptability' including joining unions. Actual discrimination by unions has actually been rare despite voiced hostility — there has been 'a certain degree of accommodation on both sides' although little extension to the neighbourhood or to informal social life, and not affecting the usual status considerations of skill level. Some have been socially mobile and this might increase. They might be less of a stranger, but will still meet class notions that suggest that coloured workers are only suitable for unskilled and semiskilled work.

West Indians have had to develop their own solutions to housing, mostly by buying up deteriorating property, increasingly ignored by local investors. This is then filled with 15 to 25 people. Overall the housing shortage in Lambeth has not been aggravated as much as might be expected, or believed, but this is still only a temporary makeshift and might cause future problems, much depends on how migrants see this. They will also be entitled to apply for council housing if they stay much longer. The ones that are occupied by West Indians are currently 'degenerating into actual slums'. The British public often assume that West Indian migrants are used to this and congregate in numbers by choice and 'this assumption may be reasonably accurate', although climatic conditions make overcrowding quite different in the West Indies, and for most migrants 'the private enterprise housing solution means dirt, discomfort, and often ill health… [it] holds back schoolchildren and those who would like to study' (212) and restricts mobility. It acts as a '"colour tax"' and encourages single women on a low wage to live with men 'for the sake of a lodging'. Rent is a higher proportion of the income, and adds to other financial burdens including remitting money home, and requiring warm clothing and fuel — this alone makes accumulating sufficient capital to return home less likely. There is some house purchase, improvement, and room letting, which follows the patterns of earlier immigrants like Poles and Cypriots, which will produce settlers and absorbed citizens, although this is rare so far. Patterson thinks the attitude will not change.

There is a common view that West Indians are happier living together and in their own way, in a kind of 'incipient "ghetto"' in Brixton, and this does ease processes of adjustment and adaptation. Patterns and distinctions developed within, so that certain streets are occupied by the restless or the unsuccessful antisocial, and that includes some 'white misfits'. Other districts 'acquire a better name' (214) and there may be labour associations. There is a danger of ghettoisation in retarding ultimate integration and self perpetuation, especially if it is based on skin colour. Very much depends on how many stay and how many are willing to accommodate themselves. Further large-scale migration is another factor. There may be some amelioration following wider housing acquisition policy.

At the time, there were more men than women although women are steadily increasing the proportion as are the number of young locally born children. The availability of accommodation work is a factor, and at the time re-migration back home was rising. There was a nucleus, but it was not very well organised, seen as only offering a temporary home. Nearly all were Jamaican, some West African students, who saw themselves as different on class grounds, as did the Indians Pakistanis and Anglo-Indian. In other areas, like Camberwell, some of these latter groups were landlords. Most in Brixton are recent arrivals, unlike other areas, and in those, there has often been intermarriage. As it is, there is a fairly large number of young couples and unattached women, and only a 'small number of white wives and consorts' (294). There are few from the intelligentsia and middle classes, nor, until recently, many from the 'lively and antisocial café society elements' — most were urban or rural working class with some skilled artisans and lower-middle-class, and of those, many worked in a lower grade than they did at home. Some higher income groups did not want to live in Brixton particularly.

Brixton had three zones: unofficial reception areas, depressed central streets, accommodating the newcomers the impoverished the unsuccessful and some criminals. Those who become settled in more secure leave these overcrowded areas moved to streets with a better social standing 'and a lower concentration of coloured residents'. Some buy their own houses which they can rent. Third is the group of professionals white collar workers old-timers and Artisans living in suburban houses or private or council flats 'in predominantly white areas'. Some status conscious migrants were already dissociating themselves from '"Brixton"' which came to mean the central reception area and the market.

At the time, most West Indians 'are still migratory in intention' (295) intending to return home rather than to adapt, classic behaviour of economic migrants, found in large numbers of West Indian migrants to America. Many are unfamiliar with life and work in a large city and the much more narrow life situations in the home environment, and that alone led some to seek sanctuary in coloured quarters. Some are limited by the climate, a source of principal complaint with a considerable effect on family relationships. These people are also highly mobile economically and residentially, rather than 'highly integrated [with] formal communal and associational life'. One described the lifestyle in the West Indies — 'low level, with rough food and no comforts… Go to a cinema or have a drink up once a week… Otherwise they lie on their beds... get home from work or maybe talk on street corners if the weather permits' (297).

Principles of association and dissociation are found within the migrant community and affect attitudes towards evolution, as do attitudes and behaviour of the receiving society. The current focus on economic activities and mobility, an intention to return home, have impeded the growth of any stable social organisation. There are also divisions based on national ethnic and geographical origin, sociocultural background and class affiliation here and at home, and length of settlement. In Brixton, there is national and ethnic marginality, comparatively, with a split with West Africans, based on the students and middle class as well as incompatibility of culture and language [same with Indians Anglo Indians and Cape coloured, who are far more interested in integration]. There are stereotypes on both sides — West Africans see West Indians as servile, the descendants of slaves, 'racially bastardised, uncouth in behaviour, devoid of a sense of responsibility towards their own children or kin, and in general lacking a culture or traditions of their own' (375), and they were proud of their own movements towards independence. There were enough West Indians to prevent any kind of forced association with other black people.  West Indians describe West Africans as 'primitive, pagan, and uncivilised in comparison with the Europeanised Christian English-speaking people of the Caribbean'. Contact to either group can be damaging. West Indians think that the British associate a black skin with Africa and therefore with 'the jungle, primitive savagery, pidgin English and cultural backwardness' leading to insults about monkeys and micro-aggressions about how well they speak English. West Africans, by contrast see the association of dark skin and lows status arising from slavery and the stereotype of the Negro slaves. The stereotypes are found in informal social life and employment, and there were several examples of deliberate discrimination.

There was also a 'common Negro biological heritage, African antecedents, and former colonial status' and this is being stimulated 'somewhat self-consciously and artificially' by some African nationalists and West Indian protest leaders who want to stress solidarity against white imperialism and neocolonialism, but at the moment, these are seen as potential principles of association only. This could change radically 'with the homogenising educational process in the second generation, particularly if a large and depressed coloured proletariat were to emerge' (376). At the moment there is no 'strong and active consciousness of a shared national identity' and little contact between the people living on the different islands. There were internal stereotypes too — 'Trinidadians are considered to be gay, Jamaicans touchy and flamboyant, Barbadians '"(Bajans)"' dull and hard-working'. There are splits with Big Island people from Jamaica and Trinidad. There are differences of language, so that people from St Lucia and Dominica speak French Creole rather than English. The differences persist even in housing. There is occasional unity, for example with the visits of West Indian cricket teams.

Even the bonds between people from the same islands are 'weak and loose' and are affected by 'colour – class divisions and to a lesser extent by ethnic affiliations'. These are still the determinants that affect local socio-economic hierarchies, rather than local ones. The majority of the migrants are 'drawn from the dark brown and black lower classes and socio-economic class affiliation is therefore the whole principle of association'. There is no 'lighter coloured middle and professional class' which leaves room at the top for any moderately mobile local migrants even if they are dark — one reason for preferring to stay in Britain. Many still have 'habitual if unconscious "white bias" [which] still causes them to associate improved status with lighter colour' (378) which leads to preferences for lighter women, or hair straightening and skin lightening, praise for kids who have clear colour or good hair, references to skin pigment is common in classifications. Skin colour is still 'the principle of association', even among more elite bourgeois coloured people.

Education is 'a particularly important principle of dissoociation'. Few migrants had HE. A minority had technical secondary education, 'the majority are barely more than literate'. There is 'great cleavage between the respectable and socially ambitious lower middle or upper lower classes and the great mass of the rural urban proletariat' which persists in Brixton too (378). The respectable minority do not see themselves as leaders, but want to dissociate themselves from the bulk of migrants.

Economic opportunities provide differentiation 'though not yet… Dissociation' (379). Opportunities are more easily exploited by migrants who are already privileged to some extent, and are able to become landlords, for example, but there are opportunities for those with 'individual initiative and energy' who found no outlet at home. There is a 'loose economic hierarchy' based on achievements — professional multiple landlords, licensed nightclub owners and gamblers, businessmen and successful commission agents at the top. Then technical students and nurses, skilled workers, transport and post office employees and single house landlords. Then semiskilled and unskilled workers, then the habitually unemployed and the unemployable. To one side are 'the small minority of settled old-timers and of successful professional men and entertainers'. Ranking by occupation is not as important as ranking by wealth, however, displayed in various ways, like the possession of American cars or expensive clothes, giving lavish parties, purchasing better class property. Overall the hierarchy is fluid, nouveau riche, not yet stable in its internal stratification, still with elements imported from home. Changed behaviour seems as important than material display [including 'formalising the conjugal link']. It does not lead to contact between the racial groups, with the exception of landlordism. However, landlords have 'a vested interest in continued residential discrimination against coloured migrants, which enables them to maintain the "colour tax" in rents' (380). There are often resented and not closely associated within the group, and they resent the tenants in exchange. However, private landlords are likely to persist.

Length of residence is another factor affecting group cohesion. Brixton has 'probably no more than a score or so of  old-timers' not numerous enough to influence newcomers, often partially assimilated. There are a few coloured professionals as well who also play no real integrative part. There is a potential community, but the population is too mobile. There are special community facilities emerging including a barber's shop and cafés with special dishes, together with less socially approved services like 'Ganja- peddling and poncing' (382). Brixton has a definite pull for migrants, although at the time of writing there were few voluntary association and few intragroup contacts, only 'vague feelings of potential community'. Even the majority population were indifferent, too unfocused to produce 'a closer defensive association', although Patterson thinks this might happen if there is 'greatly intensified friction'.

There is a bitter reaction to the new Commonwealth immigrations Act, although some have welcomed it in reducing overcrowding and competition for work, and overall it will be an active force in accommodation rather than 'to huddle together as a resentful outgroup community' (383). [There is a note about the Notting Hill disturbances and a potential to mobilise and organise to go over and help black people, but this soon 'died back to the earlier apathy', and it was hard to get people even to vote for a black candidate in subsequent elections].

Overall, seeing large numbers of coloured people in Britain no longer produces such a sense of strangeness, partly because migrants themselves have dispelled their strangeness by adopting local clothing and speech. This study focuses on jobs housing and social activities, with Brixton as an ideal case study, an area with no previous experience of coloured settlement. There are clearly universal factors like employment opportunities, housing and the values of the receiving community which seem universal, but the Brixton population also seemed to be emerging developing definite trends. The original intention was to trace relationships between migrants and the local population, in areas where they were in competition as well as association. She was interested in adaptation and acceptance, and how this was complicated by colour consciousness by migrants and by preconceptions and antipathy to outsiders of the natives.

The fieldwork soon revealed important differences. The early models of assimilation more integration were inadequate, and she preferred accommodation, 'an early phase of adaptation and acceptance', an attempt to find a modus vivendi, finding work and housing, but making no real attempts to go further to integrate. This developed on both sides. West Indians did find jobs although not the ones they hoped for, and not with the wages of the others either. Some had managed to progress and win individual acceptance, while some have had to rely on National Assistance. There is no 'real evidence to support the frequently made charge that this was a major attraction' (389). On the management side there was resistance but that was weakened by chronic post-war shortages of labour and by the sponsoring activities of employment exchanges, producing a general quota of between three and 10% of the labour force. Economic expediency triumphed over conservatism and antipathy towards outsiders. The old hatreds and fears of outsiders based on bitter memories of unemployment and undercutting, intensified by suggested links with a coloured skin 'is often mitigated by "live and let live" attitudes, by a sense of common British nationality, and by high-level union support for international working class solidarity'

Nevertheless most migrant workers have not won full acceptance before 1956, certainly not compared to migrant southern Irish 'who are their frequent rivals for unskilled manual work British industry, but who have been an accepted part of the British labour force for many decades'. West Indian workers were often laid off early in recessions, although often re-employed. The latest arrivals in the 50s were particularly likely to be unemployed [with waits of from 2 to 6 weeks!]. Long queues of coloured people outside employment exchanges 'provoked considerable local resentment'. Unemployment became 'the major potential area of friction' during the 1956 – 58 recession. However, West Indians in work 'ceased to regard their jobs as expendable' and became more disciplined and even more desirable as employees. They began to join unions. They were still relatively unpromoted. Relations at work were often separated from relations at home, but this is typical with compartmented living in urban contexts.

In housing, 'neighbours are rarely friends'[generally in urban settings] but people like to feel what they are surrounded by people like them. However the tremendous housing shortage since the Second World War is a major factor and recent immigrants suffered even more than local people because they found it difficult to rent rooms, raise money to buy, or qualify for council housing, and where they did, it caused 'a disproportionate amount of unfavourable comment from the local population' (391). Temporary solutions involved buying up large short lease properties that were of no value and letting them out as furnished rooms to fellow migrants.

Perceived social and cultural differences are also important factors here. The migrants into Brixton 'are predominantly lower class group moving into a highly status conscious lower-middle-class or upper working class area' (392), facing preconceptions linking colour with low status 'as well as with an alien, primitive,and uncultured way of life' .These preconceptions were based on 'first -hand , though often superficial,observation of the newcomers' behaviour'. Overcrowding and shared housing  of racially different landlords  did not help.There was a fear that property prices would be lowered and a dislike of  'coloured basement clubs'. There has been a coulor tax --the forcingup of rents and prices' arising from limited choice --  limiting the desire to make money to return home.

There were improvements after the recession in 1959. Fewer people were coming, and those that were were families and friends and women. Overcrowding was diminishing. More migrants bought their own houses and there were general improvements in standards of living if not rents. Paterson anticpates further problems,  though. There may be more qualifying for local housing and they may become more vociferous, while existing housing might deteriorate still further. There might also be further establishment of 'a coloured ghetto'. While this has advantages in the early years, it may 'perpetuate social distance long after the inhabitants have ceased to wish for it' and this has apparently happened in Bute Town, Cardiff. There are fewer natural geographical barriers in Brixton, however and West Indians are moving out all the time.

An important area of association is in social relationships varying from casual contacts to sexual relationships and intermarriage, and only the former shows much improvement, generally there is a 'voluntary association or avoidance [and] some competition can arise over women and material amenities' (394). Many factors separate the groups. Migrants need to concentrate on getting a living, there is an unwillingness to admit strangers to personal relationships, already seen in housing, and likely to be particularly important with sex and family life. There are migrant preoccupations 'with colour and class… Religious beliefs and practices… Everyday concerns such  as diet and recreation' with no current concern to adapt to local patterns. Casual contacts are the only ones that persist although there is 'a fair degree of accommodation… Discernible on both sides', a tendency to live and let live. Coloured crimes are possibly over reported. There are other signs of acceptance such as stocking West Indian foods and West Indian music. Acceptance in pubs is slower and some had had colour bars. Others have turned into migrant locals. However there have so far been no mass disturbances even after the 1958 riots.

Migrants have displayed 'apprehension or apathy' towards more organised social activities in church community centres or youth clubs (395), but there is room to provide more opportunity. Intermarriage and sexual associations are 'not yet the norm'. There is some association with 'white "misfits" and declassed women ' often from other parts of London. The norm is still 'the all West Indian ménage'. White Brixtonians still see intermarriage or a sexual association as 'socially declassing or at least socially complicated for the female partner and the children'. There is 'little evidence of friction between local and migrant children' however.

Generally, low levels of integration and 'impermanent intentions, residential instability, and socio-economic divisions' have produced a 'weak and amorphous' internal social organisation for the migrants. There are a variety of elementary families, many impermanent although this is changing with prosperity and adhering to local mores. There are some 'cellular households, a few Pentecostal congregations… Cricket clubs, and a fair number of small informal economic partnerships' designed to save up capital to put down a deposit or pay a wife's fare from the West Indies. There are also 'a number of small protest organisations' but these did not last because the local population 'were insufficiently hostile' (396). The nearest they have to leaders is 'the small minority of wealthy multiple landlord' and there is as yet 'little or no feeling of community' although there is 'a clear geographical focus' especially in the area around Brixton market, and this will be enhanced in the second generation.

There is increasing accommodation in work, less in housing, some sign of acclimatisation and acquiescence in social contexts, following 'slow though not necessarily smoother uninterrupted progress towards a more complete accommodation on both sides' especially as people realise that migrants are there to stay. The controls imposed in 1962 'seems likely to promote the absorptive process by easing local tensions over housing and work and giving the migrants a breathing space in which to consolidate their economic position'. It is also likely to do away with the impermanent intentions and promote a "secular" mentality' (397) because re-entry is no longer an automatic right.

Further welfare educational or other kinds of legislation might change events. Generally greater accommodation and integration in the labour force should continue except for recessions. There is some evidence that news of recession deters some migrants. If there is a major depression consequences will be grave 'for all identifiable newcomers or outsiders'. Housing might be further source of friction, with long-term dangers in ghettos, although there are no particular dangers at the moment, in Brixton or in any other areas [there is a contrast drawn with American cities like Chicago].

It is too early to assess the progress of social relations and cultural adaptation, but strangeness and uncertainty might diminish: however 'a more rigid class colour identification' might replace them (398), placing West Indians within the local system, but at its foot, and as an easily identified group. However, this 'does not… seem very likely', because there is such diversity at the moment inside the migrant settlement and it is fairly widely dispersed, not well-organised as a community, and there is some upward social mobility. She has hope that 'the shared social and cultural traits… Against an English background (and aided by a shared education in the second generation) [will] outlive the differences so noticeable today'. West Indians might at least be able to assimilate if they don't actually integrate like other minority groups did, and this is favoured by an official 'unified and democratic social structure which admits of no institutionalised differentiation between groups; the prevalent feeling that racial prejudice and discrimination are wrong; the low intensity, "live and let live" attitudes of so many urban British; and the nation's slowly growing awareness and acceptance, despite the occasional bouts of "postcolonial blues", of Britain's change role and status' (399).

Predictions are always dangerous, but she is prepared to guess that over the next decades, West Indians 'will follow in the steps of the Irish', not without checks and reverses. They will be accepted as 'a regular and permanent component of the local labour force' and gradually raise their living standards and fan out from concentrated settlements. ' An able minority will push upwards into the skilled and professional strata' where there is already a trail blazed by skilled migrants. This in turn will lead to 'closer social relationships with the local population, and probably to increased intermarriage and to an at least partial biological absorption [sic] of the West Indians and the local population — as happened in the case of over 10,000 freed coloured slaves in 19th-century London, and to many thousands of white ex-soldiers, indentured labourers, and set those in the West Indian islands themselves'.

Most of the immigrants will settle here for good. There are 300,000 in 1962 and even allowing for more migration and a higher birthrate, this group 'can hardly be said to constitute a serious national problem', so the 'usual processes of adaptation and acceptance' should be left to proceed, maybe with some voluntary assistance. However there is now a 'worldwide "colour problem"', aligning with divides between have-nots and haves, and anti-colonialists and colonialists. This has led to more outside scrutiny and comment, 'the effect of which is often rather to exacerbate than to soothe the tensions and conflicts' (400). There is now a new moral and practical challenge, especially as Britain has transformed into a Commonwealth. It also needs to relate to newly independent Afro Asian countries. The traditional laissez faire  is probably inadequate 'even though it seems to have worked so far in Brixton': further action is required before things become too fixed and institutionalised.

This has been an academic study, but some types of action might be of use. The overall goal is to make racial affiliations irrelevant as a criterion for the allocation of rights and responsibilities as in the UN Declaration of human rights. In Britain, 'the ultimate goal is a society of unity in diversity… In which a coloured skin… [can] still no longer be associated with strangeness, inferiority, or outgroup status by either side' (402). Action is needed to reduce and eliminate discriminatory behaviour, racial prejudice, and finally racial consciousness in both receiving population and migrants, and especially to assist adaptation and acceptance through 'various areas of association. Action should be official and voluntary.

Legislation should cover rights of acceptance in 'universal spheres', in civic and legal rights, education, public housing, and entertainment. These are where most discrimination against newcomers is found and they are of most concern to West Indians. However direct legislative action is less applicable to informal situations of co-residents, primary groups and social intercourse, so long-term social action is involved there, although there could be effective action about discrimination by landlords. It would be efficacious in Britain despite the difficulties of enforcement and would establish a pattern of behaviour, penalising pathological displays of prejudice and giving a firm lead to the 'uncertain but not ill disposed majority' (404). It might also reassure West Indians and make them less 'prone to a attribute setbacks and shortcomings to "colour bar" and "colour prejudice"' and make them more willing to adjust and adapt themselves. It might lead to frivolous complaint, but those are expensive.

A long-term educational program aimed at reducing bias should be carried out by a variety of agencies. A mild antipathy to strangers 'is a cultural norm in English society', often arising from ignorance, myths from simple historical accounts or superficial contact. There are also the myths of an outmoded colonial past and sometimes 'pseudo-scientific racialism'. (405). Textbooks and syllabuses in schools will need reform to overcome stereotypes and prevent their  'insular slant', and older pupils might be taught human relations or comparative cultural studies. Training college syllabuses will also need to provide courses in 'race and  human relations'. There should be international exchanges and visits because personal contact is often 'worth a gallon of second-hand knowledge', although sometimes 'personal contact evoke not greater understanding but greater hostility' (406). The mass media and other organisations like unions and churches should aim to influence homes through talks and discussions, media should have 'an agreed code of reference' and bias should be brought to the Press Council: it should lead public opinion and avoid letter columns which are 'still largely monopolised by the lunatic racialist fringe' (407).

There should be more integrative social action, aimed not at 'group integration but assimilation', already a goal of West Indians 'in character if not yet in intention'. Actual integration might only produce 'a highly visible lower class minority group inferior rights and status'. Particular areas should be chosen and attention paid to the need to 'recognise and reconcile the differing expectations and values of the migrants and the local population': the British think in terms of gradual and modified acceptance, but West Indians expect acceptance to be 'immediate and complete'; the British are aware of class and cultural differences, 'whereas many West Indians are extremely colour conscious and tend to overlook all the other differences' (408). Integratory agencies should understand the difference and explain them to both groups. West Indians should face the fact of the need to adapt, and local populations the need to widen their acceptance. The universal areas of association are the most promising areas, but there should also be 'personal advice and welfare counselling'. There might need to be a specific department dealing with the reception and integration of immigrants — there was one but it was closed in 1951. West Indian governments themselves had migrant services division which did well but were under resourced and eventually closed. Welfare organisations and other have a role to play to encourage acceptance and to coordinate their efforts — places other than Brixton have done better here. A community development officer might be appointed. Special agencies might be set up, concerned with recreation and social relationships, perhaps, with a particular emphasis in areas already focused on adaptations such as work and housing, leading to support for trade unions or housing associations.

The second generation will be particularly important, and care should be taken not to marginalise them or treat them as strangers. Sponsors might be important here, including the Anglican Church, even the Rotary.

Development of relationships between migrants and British is still 'a relatively small sector… Of everyday social life in this country' (412). There is a worldwide problem as well. There should be more levelling up within the Commonwealth as a whole, for example, and skin colour should cease to be as relevant in Europe and in the Western world generally.