Two posts by Ole Jensen on the COMPAS blog:
Early January, and I am in the process of finalising the fieldwork that I have been carrying out in two neighbourhoods in Southwark during much of 2011. The final interviews have been set up, and we are in the process of organising neighbourhood forums in Bermondsey and Camberwell in order to discuss our findings with research participants and local stakeholders.
Headlined by emotive notions of a society ‘sleepwalking to segregation’, the retreat from multiculturalism has in Britain triggered policy development and debates that emphasized ethnic, religious and cultural difference at the expense of an examination of social cohesion in material terms – for example local access to employment, housing and welfare services. In addition, with the notion of ‘parallel societies’ seemingly emerging as the lasting emblem of reviews of the 2001 riots in the northern English mill towns, there has been a lack of analysis of how the marking of communities on ethnic and religious grounds gels with the lived, local experiences of community and belonging. Continue reading →