Britishness uncovered: what we really think
In a fascinating online survey published by The Guardian, it revealed what the majority of people in Britain today really think and what it is that we worry about. It painted an interesting picture about our modern lives, but indicated that modern day living still has a long way to go to achieve equality.
The survey showed that money was by far the biggest day-to-day worry for most of us. Over two thirds of those surveyed said that money caused the most anxiety in life, followed by one in six saying that health and family were the next biggest causes for concern. The survey concluded that most Britons also worry about things that don’t affect them personally: the top three issues were the NHS (59%), terrorism (58%) and immigration (53%).
According to the survey, us Brits generally have a positive attitude towards this country. When given a list of positive and negative adjectives, people were far more likely to associate the positive words with the country than negative ones. The words most likely to be associated with Britain are: technological (64%), proud (60%), friendly (57%), cultured (56%), innovative (54%) and fair (53%). The terms people were least likely to associate with Britain included cut off (21%), narrow-minded (29%), thuggish (31%), old-fashioned (35%) and depressing (36%).
Despite this reasonably positive overview, the online poll unfortunately does not suggest a nation at peace with itself. Nearly two out of three agreed that Islamophobia is common in Britain now, whilst over half believe that racism is common. 40% think that homophobia is still common and 43% said that sexism is common. Indeed, when it comes to the issue of sexism it reveals a clear gender divide: 51% of women believe it is common compared with only 35% of men. Sadly, a high proportion of women surveyed said they experienced sexism first-hand: nearly half of British women said they had encountered sexism in the street, and 39% of women have experienced sexism in the workplace.
Other interesting results from the poll included that most of us are family-orientated, with half of all the people surveyed saying they would want to spend their spare time with family, and the vast majority of people surveyed (69%) said that if they found a wallet containing £200 in cash they would hand in the wallet containing the money to the authorities.
We may still appear to be behind the times on equality, and have a fair way to go before we become a truly cosmopolitan society, but the survey shows that we generally consider ourselves fair, proud and friendly. At least that’s a start.
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