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racial and ethnic relations is the area of the discipline that studies the social, political, and economic relations between races and ethnicities at all levels of society. This area encompasses the study of racism and of complex political interactions between members of different groups. The sociological analysis of race and ethnicity frequently interacts with other areas in the social sciences such as postcolonial theory and even, in relation to ethnic subcultures, musicology. As with media and cultural studies, 'ethnic relations' is often taught as a loosely-distinct discipline either within sociology departments or other schools of humanities.
At the level of political policy, ethnic relations is discussed in terms of either assimilationism or multiculturalism. Anti-racism forms another style of policy, particularly popular in the 1960s and 70s.
In the United Kingdom, foreign nationals were actively encouraged and sponsored to migrate in the 1950s after the dissolution of British Empire and the social devastation of the Second World War. The 1962 Commonwealth Immigrants Act changed the law so that only certain British Commonwealth members were able to migrate. This law was tightened again with the Commonwealth Immigration Act 1968 and Immigration Act 1971. The Race Relations Act 1968 extended certain policies with respect to employment, housing, commercial and other services. This was extended again with the Race Relations Act 1976.