Making multiculturalism

Watson, Sophie (2016). Making multiculturalism. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 40(15) pp. 2635–2652.



Urbanists seeking to undermine or challenge pessimistic accounts of prevalent racism and anti-migrant feeling in cities have articulated and mobilized discourses of everyday multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism, multicultural drift, rubbing along and transculturalism. This paper, through a range of ethnographic methods, explores these notions in a locality of Camden, North London, arguing for the notion of “making multiculturalism� as a way of emphasizing how everyday multiculturalism is situated and plays out in specific local socio-cultural and historical contexts. In so doing, it considers the extent to which the locality follows the perceived trend in many globalized cities towards the acquisition of habits or capacities for diverse individuals to share space with relative harmony and tolerance. Second, it seeks to explore what are the elements and components of everyday multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism or conviviality assembled in this space. Third, it asks the question – how are these multicultural settlements disrupted and fractured?

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