1st Edition

Lived Experiences of Multiculture The New Social and Spatial Relations of Diversity

    192 Pages
    by Routledge

    192 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In an increasingly ethnically diverse society, debates about migration, community, cultural difference and social interaction have never been more pressing.

    Drawing on the findings from a two-year, qualitative Economic and Social Research Council funded study of different locations across England, Lived Experiences of Multiculture uses interdisciplinary perspectives to examine the ways in which complex urban populations experience, negotiate, accommodate and resist cultural difference as they share a range of everyday social resources and public spaces. The authors present novel ways of re-thinking and developing concepts such as multiculture, community and conviviality, whilst also repositioning debates which focus on conflict models for understanding cultural differences.

    Amidst highly charged arguments over the social relations of belonging and the meanings of local and national identities, this timely volume will appeal to advanced undergraduate students and graduate students interested in fields such as Race and Ethnicity Studies, Sociology, Urban Studies, Human Geography and Migration Studies.

    List of Figures and Tables


    Chapter 1 Spatial multiculture: changing formations of urban diversity and the difference a place makes

    Chapter 2 The increasingly ordinary and increasingly complex nature of ethnic diversity and everyday social life: conviviality, community and why the micro matters

    Chapter 3 Researching difference: differentiated populations, lives and places

    Chapter 4 Multiculture and public parks: social practice and attachment in urban green space

    Chapter 5 Chapter 5 Semi-public space - corporate cafés, multiculture and everyday social life

    Chapter 6 Chapter 6: Conviviality and the social relations of social leisure organizations in diverse urban places

    Chapter 7 Educational spaces, identities and young people’s management of urban multiculture

    Chapter 8 Multiculture and policy imaginations – engagements with the capacities of the informal social world

    Chapter 9 Conclusions – precarious multiculture





    Sarah Neal is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociological Studies at the University of Sheffield.

    Katy Bennett is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Leicester.

    Allan Cochrane is Emeritus Professor of Urban Studies at the Open University.

    Giles Mohan is Professor of International Development at the Open University.

    Though we seemingly live in a time of flourishing anti-immigrant sentiment and a resurgence of the far-right.... the story on the ground is a whole lot more encouraging. Now more than ever it is important to document the fact that lived multiculture is mostly entirely ordinary. Not always rosy, but far from the pathological space of conflict the populist right would have us believe. This book marks a major contribution to our understanding of the spaces and places in which this at once extraordinary, yet unremarkable togetherness is achieved. In dark times, it offers a story of hope that we overlook at our peril.

    Amanda Wise, Associate Professor of Sociology at Macquarie University, Australia

    A brilliantly sane and accurate portrait of the fact of English multiculture. This book offers a much needed antidote to the panicked debate about immigration and the toxic parochialism of the post Brexit era. From branded corporate cafes where unfocused conviviality can be enjoyed anonymously over a cup of coffee to the common ground of public parks, we see the unspectacular triumph of how people actually live across differences of culture, race and nationality for most of the time. Its ultimate lesson is that we are defined not by the identity labels that are applied to us but rather by what we do everyday.

    Les Back, Professor of Sociology, Goldsmiths University, UK

    Lived Experiences of Multiculture brings together a rich seam of original empirical research with conceptual analysis to address the question of how multiculture is shaping and re-shaping urban spaces. It seeks to show that a sense of place is an important framing principle as to how we experience formations of race, ethnicity and class. It is an important contribution to current debates about how we live together in diversity.

    John Solomos, Professor of Sociology, University of Warwick, UK