Living multiculture: understanding the new spatial and social relations of ethnicity and multiculture in England

Neal, Sarah; Bennett, Katy; Cochrane, Allan and Mohan, Giles (2013). Living multiculture: understanding the new spatial and social relations of ethnicity and multiculture in England. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 31(2) pp. 308–323.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1068/c11263r

URL: http://www.envplan.com/abstract.cgi?id=c11263r

Abstract

Since 2001, as the social and spatial compositions of multiculture and migration have become more complicated and diverse, geography has moved back to the centre of policy, political and academic arguments about cultural difference and ethnic diversity in England. This spatial turn is most obvious in preoccupations with notions of increasing ethnic segregation but it is also apparent in discussions of the possibility of everyday multicultural exchanges in relationally understood places. Responding to the work of others on these questions and in these places, and informed by data from research exploring Ghanaian and Somali migrant settlement in Milton Keynes this paper reviews some of the quantitative and qualitative evidence being drawn on in academic, policy and political debates about contemporary multiculture. The paper problematises the dominance of the concept of segregation in these debates and examines the value of the concept of conviviality for understanding the ‘in-development’ ways in which multiculture is lived.

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