Generation, ethnic and religious diversity in friendship choice: Exploring interethnic close ties in Britain

Raya Muttarak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Interethnic friendships can reflect intergroup relations and immigrants' integration into host societies. Using pooled 2007-09 Citizenship Surveys, this study investigates interethnic friendship patterns and determinants of friendship choice in Britain. The paper focuses on generational, ethnic and religious diversity in forming interethnic close ties. The most common friendship pattern is having co-ethnic close friends. This ethnic boundary in interethnic ties, however, weakens across generations whereby those born in or migrated to Britain at young ages have a higher chance of having close friends from other ethnic groups. We find that interethnic friendships are formed in a 'pan-ethnic' pattern by which those with similar ethnic/racial and religious background such as Muslim Indians and Pakistanis, or mixed white and black Caribbean and black Caribbean, are more likely to nominate one another as close friends.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-98
Number of pages28
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number1
Early online date23 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Britain
  • generation
  • integration
  • interethnic friendship
  • pan-ethnicity
  • religion

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