RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2016


9 Interdisciplinary approaches to understanding ethnicity and place (1): Paper presentations
Affiliation Population Geography Research Group
Geographies of Justice Research Group
Race, Culture and Equality Working Group
Convenor(s) Nissa Finney (University of St Andrews / ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), UK)
Chair(s) Nissa Finney (University of St Andrews / ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), UK)
Timetable Wednesday 31 August 2016, Session 1 (09:00 - 10:40)
Session abstract A substantial and growing empirical literature paints a picture of persistent ethnic disadvantage in the UK and recognition of the diversity in how this disadvantage manifests and is experienced (e.g. Jivraj and Simpson, 2015). A recurring theme in these debates is the role of place. However, much work on ethnicity and inequality takes a narrow conceptualisation of place, as a unit of geographical location. A fuller conception sees place as a combination of historical, cultural and social forces, a product of human activity, a site of human experience and emotional attachment, an interaction between practice and representation and an expression of social inequalities (e.g. Agnew, 1987; Massey, 1995; Lefevbre, 1974; Deleuze, 1988; Waquant, 2007; Dorling et al, 2007). Understanding how different ethnic groups’ experiences, identities and outcomes are shaped requires an engagement with broader and fuller understandings of place. The dialogue in this session aims to contribute to this. The session will have two parts: Part 1 will be a presentation of papers on the theme of ethnicity and place; Part 2 will be a roundtable discussion, led by short presentations from the ESRC’s Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) Interdisciplinary Approaches to Understanding Ethnicity and Place project and with comment from an invited discussant; Both parts of the session will consider (i) how ideas of specific places, as ethnic or racialised spaces, are formed and change through time; (ii) how the nature of these places, in representation and materially, conditions the experiences of those who live within them; (iii) the use of mixed methods and interdisciplinary approaches for understanding ethnicity and place; The session aims to generate critical discussion and connections to further social science understandings of ethnicity and place in the broader context of questions of contemporary ethnic identities and inequalities.
Linked Sessions Interdisciplinary approaches to understanding ethnicity and place (2): Roundtable Discussion led by ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE)
Contact the conference organisers to request a change to session or paper details: AC2016@rgs.org
Placing Migration: the urban co-production of diversity and discrimination
Suzanne Hall (The London School of Economics and Political Science, UK)
Our exploration of the power effects of global urban migration emerges from the space and lens afforded by the city street. Our research draws on the formation of migrant livelihoods in comparatively deprived urban places, focusing on four ethnically-diverse streets in the UK, including Rookery Road in Birmingham, Stapleton Road in Bristol, Narborough Road in Leicester, and Cheetham Hill in Manchester. In this paper, we engage with how the intersections of varied regulatory regimes, the hierarchical structures of work and employment and the embedded nature of urban place intersect co-produce diversity and discrimination. In particular we focus on two core processes of variegation in which urban place is implicated: policy-driven diversification and economic diversification. We direct our analysis of policy diversification by tracing which proprietors are on the street and how they came to be there. We then analyse the practices of livelihood that emerge once on the street, exploring both the economic processes that sort the migrant into certain sectors of the economy and city, and the range of spaces and skills that are developed to span local and global spheres. Through the street we reflect on the lively effects of macro political and economic structures, and the impositions and possibilities of urban space that emerge for an ever-diverse array of migrants.
Place-Making and Divergent Experiences of Community
Christian Roggenbuck (RMIT University, Australia)
The paper investigates the relationship between the conceptualisation of community in planned housing estates and the divergent experiences of residents from a culturally diverse background settling in these new social environments. The research draws upon findings from a case study in Melbourne, which focuses in a mixed methods approach on the aspirations and everyday lives of residents coming from a Filipino and Indian background and settling in a so called Masterplanned Estate. These estates are developed in Australia around specific narratives of place-making and community-building, which as a social code enable and constrain certain behaviours, lifestyles and values. These developments are increasingly attracting an ethnically diverse population, for whom 'community' may have a completely different social meaning. The study focuses on the ambivalence between the visions of these estates in creating a locally based community and the lived experiences and aspirations of the residents shaping the place. Coming from a different cultural background and settling in a new social environment may require a transition of their understanding of community and their local social interaction. Therefore, the research aims at theorising community as a 'learnt capacity' as well as providing a better insight into the multiplicity of place beyond the mere representation of these estates.
Ethnic inequality and tenure
Frances Darlington-Pollock (Queen Mary University of London, UK)
Paul Norman (University of Leeds, UK)
Health varies by tenure with better health afforded to those in owner-occupation and poorer health to those in rented accommodation. The poorest health is most often found amongst those in socially rented accommodation. Given the health disadvantage often experienced by minority ethnic groups, it might be expected that of those minority groups in rented accommodation, particularly socially rented accommodation, their chances of good health would be notably lower than the similarly housed White majority. However, analysis of the 2011 Samples of Anonymised Records suggests to the contrary. In the context of discussions of ethnicity and place, this paper will review how probability of good health for different ethnic groups has changed over time according to housing tenure, region of residence, residential mobility status, and social class. Probabilities of poor health will be calculated for different ethnic groups according to the results of a binary logistic regression analysis using census microdata from 1991, 2001 and 2011. These models adjust for key socioeconomic and demographic variables, and are stratified by housing tenure. The evidence from this case study will provide the stimulus for a discussion of how the housing and migration histories of different ethnic groups shape ethnically differentiated experiences of place and substantively influence wider ethnic inequalities in society. It will be argued that the unexpected findings presented in this paper are the product of complex and historically defined experiences of place varying between ethnic groups, thus demonstrating the importance of place as more than a unit of geographic location.

Race, religion, youth and place: discussing diversity, managing racism
Peter Hopkins (Newcastle University, UK)
Gurchathen Sanghera (University of St Andrews, UK)
Kate Botterill (Edinburgh Napier University, UK)
This paper explores how ethnic and religious minority young people in urban Scotland experience and manage racism (discursively and materially). In particular, we examine how and why young people displace racism onto other national and urban locations and how such transpositions are tied up with debates about - and understandings of - ethnic and religious diversity. Our analysis of qualitative data from an AHRC project with 382 young people in Scotland found that the vast majority of participants placed racism as happening elsewhere – either in other cities or south of the border in England – and tended to argue that racism was more likely to happen in places that are more diverse. We critically explore the assumptions underlying such understandings in order to deepen understandings of the relationships between ethnicity, place and young people's everyday lives. We demonstrate how such discourses work to silence particular experiences of racism in contexts that are less diverse whilst simultaneously homogenising experiences of difference in more diverse locations.