Popular constructions of rural England have perpetuated images of idyllic, problem-free environments that have largely masked the process of ‘othering’ that works to marginalize particular groups within rural society. Drawing on the findings of studies conducted in two rural English counties, Chakraborti and Garland assert that racist prejudice is very much part of the reality of rural living for minority ethnic groups whose presence in the countryside tends to be overlooked. They discuss the perceptions of established white rural communities and those of the victims of racial harassment to illustrate the disturbing nature, extent and impact of racism in rural areas, and suggest that the enduring ‘invisibility’ of the problem is compounded both by the under-reporting of such racist incidents and the reluctance of agencies to acknowledge the needs of minority ethnic groups in the countryside. Consequently, racist prejudice in the rural context will only be recognized as a significant issue through a greater appreciation of the diverse complexity of rural space, and the abandonment of singular, outdated notions of rurality
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