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Negotiating the educational spaces of urban multiculture: Skills, competencies and college life

Bennett, Katy; Cochrane, Allan; Mohan, Giles and Neal, Sarah (2017). Negotiating the educational spaces of urban multiculture: Skills, competencies and college life. Urban Studies, 54(10) pp. 2305–2321.

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This paper contributes to research on urban multiculture and debates as to how people routinely live and experience ethnic diversity in their everyday lives. This research takes an ‘unpanicked’ approach to multiculture that sits differently to, although not unaffected by, multiculturalism as policy objective and those debates around multiculturalism that variously celebrate cultural difference or construct it through crisis talk. Critical to this paper are the routine phenomenologies of multiculture and the everyday practices, competencies and skills of young people attending college. Because of their diverse intakes and the openness of young people to difference, colleges are key sites within which urban multiculture is experienced and through which it is defined. Based on participant observation, repeat in-depth discussion groups and interviews, the focus of this paper is young adults attending post 16 colleges and schools in three ethnically diverse urban locations. Colleges and schools are urban spaces that mediate sociality and student experience but are also woven into the wider urban setting in which they are placed. The paper explores the skills and competencies that young adults develop to negotiate college and we particularly focus on their use of jokes and the exercise of restraint to get along with others.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2016 Urban Studies Journal Limited
ISSN: 1360-063X
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Living multiculture: understanding everyday social relations, the new geographies of ethnic diversity and the changing formations of multiculture in England (D-10-054-SN)ES/J007676/1ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council)
Keywords: community; competencies; diversity; education; educational spaces; multiculture; young people
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > History, Religious Studies, Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Politics, Philosophy, Economics, Development, Geography
Research Group: International Development & Inclusive Innovation
Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
Item ID: 46436
Depositing User: Allan Cochrane
Date Deposited: 26 May 2016 09:25
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2018 14:30
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