Tag Archives: Bermondsey

They’ve Got Their Wine Bars, We’ve Got Our Pubs

Image result for Inter-group Relations and Migrant Integration in European Cities. Changing Neighbourhoods

A new publication, March 2016:

Inter-group Relations and Migrant Integration in European Cities: Changing Neighbourhoods

Publisher: Springer
Pages: 216
ISBN: 978-3-319-23095-5 (Print) 978-3-319-23096-2 (Online)
Available under Open Access at SpringerLink: http://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-23096-2
Year: 2016


This book presents a comparative analysis of intergroup relations and migrant integration at the neighbourhood level in Europe. Featuring a unique collection of portraits of urban relations between the majority population and immigrant minorities, it examines how relations are structured and evolve in different and increasingly diverse local societies. Inside, readers will find a coordinated set of ethnographic studies conducted in eleven neighbourhoods of five European cities: London, Barcelona, Budapest, Nuremberg, and Turin. The wide-ranging coverage encompasses post-industrial districts struggling to counter decline, vibrant super-diverse areas, and everything in between. Featuring highly contextualised, cross-disciplinary explorations presented within a solid comparative framework, this book considers such questions as: Why does the native-immigrant split become a tense boundary in some neighbourhoods of some European cities but not in others? To what extent are ethnically framed conflicts driven by site-specific factors or instead by broader, exogenous ones? How much does the structure of urban spaces count in fuelling inter-ethnic tensions and what can local policy communities do to prevent this? The answers it provides are based on a multi-layer approach which combines in-depth analysis of intergroup relations with a strong attention towards everyday categorization processes, media representations, and narratives on which local policies are based. Even though the relations between the majority and migrant minorities are a central topic, the volume also offers readers a broader perspective of social and urban transformation in contemporary urban settings. It provides insightful research on migration and urban studies as well as social dynamics that scholars and students around the world will find relevant. In addition, policy makers will find evidence-based and practically relevant lessons for the governance of increasingly diverse and mobile societies.


Ferruccio Pastore, Irene Ponzo

‘They’ve Got Their Wine Bars, We’ve Got Our Pubs’: Housing, Diversity and Community in Two South London Neighbourhoods
Ole Jensen, Ben Gidley

Rise and Resolution of Ethnic Conflicts in Nuremberg Neighbourhoods
Claudia Köhler

Comfortably Invisible: The Life of Chinese Migrants Around ‘The Four Tigers Market’ in Budapest
Boglárka Szalai, Krisztina La-Torre

Inter-Group Perceptions and Representations in Two Barcelona Neighbourhoods: Poble Sec and Sagrada Família Compared
Ricard Morén-Alegret, Albert Mas, Dawid Wladyka

Turin in Transition: Shifting Boundaries in Two Post-Industrial Neighbourhoods
Pietro Cingolani

News Media and Immigration in the EU: Where and How the Local Dimension Matters
Andrea Pogliano

Boundaries, Barriers and Bridges: Comparative Findings from European Neighbourhoods
Ferruccio Pastore, Irene Ponzo


For anyone who wants to understand a critical issue of the early 21st century–the integration of immigrant minorities in European cities-this book is essential reading.  In contrast to the all-too-common top-down view from the perspective of the national state, the authors provide us with essential ground-level insights from the daily round in urban neighborhoods. — Richard Alba, CUNY Graduate Center

This timely book makes a substantial contribution to our understanding of migration in Europe. Its focus on the neglected areas of negotiation, boundary-making and social relationships in European neighbourhoods make it especially compelling. It deserves to be read closely by academics and policy-makers alike. — Richard Gale, Cardiff University

Our chapter:

‘They’ve Got Their Wine Bars, We’ve Got Our Pubs’: Housing, Diversity and Community in Two South London Neighbourhoods Ole Jensen, Ben Gidley

This chapter explores how housing policies and the nature of housing stock have conditioned residential geographies and diversity patterns in two south London neighbourhoods, Bermondsey and Camberwell. The key drivers are policy changes to social housing allocation and the post-industrial reconfiguration of urban space expressed in processes of gentrification and the redevelopment of riverside docklands into expensive housing units. These developments have challenged existing narratives of community, but they have also shifted the focus of analytical enquiry towards emerging us-them divides based on class and generation. Within the context of diversity and social cohesion, both neighbourhoods are characterized by a comparatively unproblematic day-to-day muddling along with difference, but also a generally declining level of civic engagement and neighbourhood cohesion, expressed by a sense of ‘living together apart’.   >>> Download PDF (254KB) >>> View Chapter               

HOW TO CITE: Jensen, O. & Gidley, B. (2016) ‘They’ve Got Their Wine Bars, We’ve Got Our Pubs’: Housing, Diversity and Community in Two South London Neighbourhoods’, in Pastore, F. & Ponzo, I. (eds) Inter-group Relations and Migrant Integration in European Cities: Changing Neighbourhoods, Springer, pp. 19-38

The application process for the EU-MIA Academy is now open

APPLY NOW!ITC-ILO, in partnership with the research institutes COMPAS Oxford and FIERI, will be implementing the training academy on migrant integration in Europe (EU-MIA). The aim is to reinforce integration capacities in European cities by using existing knowledge and networks in order to establish dynamic and operational connections between researchers, practitioners and training institutions.

The training academy is taking place within the context of a project that has been structured in three phases: (1) background research to create a repertoire of promising practices in the field of integration at local level, (2) field missions in cities where a total of ten selected functioning practices have been analysed in depth, and (3) the development of a cooperative learning kit to be delivered in a structured training activity which targets and directly involves public officials and local stakeholders.

This training academy is thus the final phase of the project and will contribute to improve the capacity of key actors in the field of integration at city and neighbourhood levels through the presentation of the ten functioning practices and the sharing of knowledge and experience among practitioners and experts.

The ten functioning practices are:

• Barcelona (Spain) Xarxa BCN Anti-Rumors (Network against “rumours”)

• Bilbao (Spain) Programa Mujeres, Salud y Violencia (Women’s Health in Women’s Hands)

• Hamburg (Germany) Eltern vor Ort (Parents on the spot)

• London, Borough of Southwark, District of Bermondsey (United Kingdom) St. George’s Day Festival

• Nantes (France) Coprod Migrants CNCEConseil Nantais pour la Citoyenneté des Etrangers (Council for the Citizenship of Foreigners)

• Reggio Emilia (Italy) Spotello per l’assistenza familiare (Family Assistance Desk)

• Turin (Italy) Rete delle Case del quartiere (Network of Neighbourhood Houses)

• Vejle (Denmark) Dansk Simulator (Danish Simulator)

• Vienna (Austria) Gelebte Divärsität (Lived Diversity)

• Visby (Sweden) Demokrati För Barns Framtid (Democracy for Children’s Future)

To apply [click here].

To download the flyer [click here].

To contact us [click here].

For more information on the project, [click here].

For more details on the learning methodology, [click here].

EU-MIA update

This is an extract from a post by Ole Jensen on the COMPAS blog. Read the whole original here.

Over the past few months most of my time has been spent on fieldwork relating to the European Migrant Integration Academy (EU-MIA). The academy, to take place in Turin in February 2014, will be based on case study material from 10 integration projects in different EU-countries. Together with FIERI – a Turin-based research centre – we have, over the past few months, been visiting these projects, carrying out and filming interviews with key stakeholders and beneficiaries.

Whereas FIERI is doing five field missions in southern Europe (France, Italy (2), Spain (2)), we at COMPAS have so far visited projects in Austria, Britain, Germany and Sweden, and this week I will be off, together with Ida Persson, to Vejle, Denmark for the final mission. In the next paragraphs I will attempt to summarise the experiences from the missions that I have been part of : Bermondsey (Southwark), Hamburg and Vienna. (The mission to Visby, Sweden was carried out by Ben Gidley, Ida Persson, and Simon Rowe.)

St. George’s Festival, Bermondsey
For our pilot mission, we returned to Bermondsey where we previously have done fieldwork as part of the Concordia Discors project. Whereas the St’ George’s Festival, staged every April since 2006, was the central event that we focused on, it was important for us to establish a broader understanding of how the festival is nested within a broader context of community development. These are primarily the South Bermondsey Partnership, implemented  2004-11 and led by a small locally based team from the London Borough of Southwark, and, since 2012, the Big Local, led by two well-established organisations with a long history in the area – Bede House, and Time and Talents.

Talking to different stakeholders enabled us to understand how different meanings were invested in the festival. At policy level the aim was to challenge the association between Bermondsey and the British National Party in a manner that didn’t denigrate the neighbourhood. But among local residents there was a feeling that while a wide range of events were taking place to celebrate diversity, nothing much was done for the local white population.  The St. George’s Festival served both purposes, ‘reclaiming’ the English flag from BNP while also providing a hugely popular, and inclusive, community event in a neighbourhood that is increasingly diverse. Furthermore, as many told us, while St. George is closely associated with English identity, he is also the patron saint of many other countries.


Nostalgia and diversity: Understanding integration at the local level

This was published in the COMPAS Blog in May 2013.

Bermondsey, Ben Gidley 2013

They never call it Bermondsey any more
A couple of weeks ago, in Bermondsey, South London with my colleagues Ole Jensen, Simon Rowe and Ida Persson, we met a man called Albert, at the entrance to his council flat. Born on Christmas Day 1926, Albert had lived his whole life in Bermondsey (apart from his national service at the end of the war, spent in Scandinavia). He had lived over half a century in his current flat, since it had been built as part of the massive post-war social democratic housing expansion whose legacy completely dominates the landscape of South London. He worked as a drayman at the Courage brewery, brought up three daughters and a son – and slowly watched his neighbourhood change almost beyond recognition.

The Metropolitan Borough of Bermondsey was merged into the London Borough of Southwark in 1965. Its town hall had been bombed in the war, and Bermondsey no longer exists as an administrative unit. “They never call it Bermondsey any more”, Albert insisted. At its height, the docks employed huge numbers of men; the Peek Frean biscuit factory employed thousands of women. The docks closed one by one from the 1960s, the brewery closed in 1981, and the biscuit factory houses work units for creative businesses. The council estates are no longer sites of utopian hope but now carry the stigma of residualised poverty. A tidal wave of gentrification ripples down from the riverside, and the UK’s decade of mass migration has transformed the demographics. Continue reading

Integration and neighbourhood relations in South London

From the COMPAS Blog, by Ole Jensen

London is seen as being a vibrant multicultural city that attracts and houses people from all over the world.  How is this diversity experienced in everyday life though? And how is it that different areas of the same city can have vastly different experiences of diversity despite both having similar levels of immigration?

The Concordia Discors project aimed to investigate questions like these. Starting in early 2011, in cooperation with universities and research institutes in four other European cities – Barcelona, Turin, Nuremberg and Budapest the research focused on the everyday experiences of getting along at the local level.

Fieldwork (as described in a previous blog) was conducted in five cities and for each, two inner-city neighbourhoods were selected that are characterised by relatively high levels of ethnic minority and immigrant populations. Please visit the project webpages for further details – http://www.concordiadiscors.eu/


Secret Streets

Drawn map of Deptford High Street, London

The Secret History of Our Streets has been a fascinating and brilliantly made BBC documentary series on London and its recentish historical geography. It tracks particular streets mapped by Charles Booth in the 1880s, with streets in Deptford, Camberwell, Bermondsey, Shoreditch, Caledonian Road and Notting Hill. The links in the previous sentence are to illuminating blog posts about these by Laura Vaughan of UCL’s Bartlett School. There’s also an Open University webpage and booklet with the series.

It’s quite strange for me, as I know Deptford High Street so well, and have recently been researching (with my colleague Ole Jensen) both Bermondsey and the very street in Camberwell, Camberwell Grove, the programme looks at.

The programmes have had some flaws, in particular the constant but un-articulated presence of the politics of race and racism, and occasional lapses into the kind of golden age discourse of nostalgia, melancholy and resentment that drives white backlash culture.

Here are some of the key links on the Deptford programme, which was both excellent TV and the most flawed of the series, via BfB: “Ken’s responsethe Brockley Central discussion thread,the Crosswhatfields postthe Deptford Dame’s responseCaroline’s comments… Bill [Ellson]’s post on sexy fish and the Les Back/Dawn Lyons production it links to.” In addition, read Bill’s return to the question of fish;  the definitive account of Deptford, Jess Steele’s Turning the Tide; and  Deptford: Putting the Record Straight, produced by friends and family of Nicholas Taylor.

If you are interested in Booth, read the Occasional paper I wrote about him [.pdf] a decade ago.