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.
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
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