Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 36(9) pp 1405-1423
Research into ethnic minorities in Wales has gathered pace in recent years. Yet little is known about Wales’ largest ethnic group, the English, although the Welsh–English boundary remains the main marker of ethnic distinction, and migration into Wales from England represents a continuing challenge to the maintenance of distinctive ‘Welshness’ – including Welsh language and associated culture. Evidence from a study of English migrants into selected communities in North-West Wales throws light on the characteristics of a previously neglected ‘dominant minority’ and is used to assess the extent to which some of the most-frequently voiced criticisms of migrants’ attitudes and impact correspond to their own perceptions and evaluations of the immigrant experience. The majority of migrants are shown to be attempting to integrate into Welsh life, socially and politically, but a minority express awareness of lines of ethnic tension and division.