RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2016


40 Interdisciplinary approaches to understanding ethnicity and place (2): Roundtable Discussion led by ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE)
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 2 (11:10 - 12:50)
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 (1): Paper presentations
Contact the conference organisers to request a change to session or paper details: AC2016@rgs.org
Understandings of place: Learning from interdisciplinary research
Bethan Harries (University of Manchester/ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), UK)
Bridget Byrne (University of Manchester/ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), UK)
James Rhodes (The University of Manchester/ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), UK)
Stephanie Wallace (University of Manchester/ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), UK)
This paper will explore how we come to 'know' a place when a place is ethnically diverse. It will examine how different methodological approaches can produce varied understandings of place, which have implications for how a place comes to be known. This is important, because people make claims about place to legitimate action, including exclusion. Drawing on Lefebvre's work which sees the production of space as an interaction between practice and different types of representation, the paper will take one neighbourhood in Manchester (Cheetham Hill) as its point of reference and demonstrate how a multi-layered story of the area can be developed. Cheetham Hill is a super-diverse area which has a history of shifting migrant populations. It is, therefore, often conceived and experienced as a transient space but, for many, it is a long-standing place of residence with a particular and deeply rooted reputation. The paper draws on data from an interdisciplinary project. It will include historical analyses, qualitative interviews with residents of Cheetham Hill and people professionally engaged in the area, local area statistics from the Census, local authority statistics and locally sourced survey data from Housing Associations. These different types of data generate different stories about a place. They are used to highlight how the different knowledges produced, inter-relate or conflict with each other and how, separately, they risk emphasising certain features of localities at the expense of others.
Constructions of (the) 'local' in housing policy and practice and the marginalisation of migrants and minorities
Sue Lukes (University of Manchester/ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), UK)
Nigel Denoronha (University of Manchester/ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), UK)
Nissa Finney (University of St. Andrews / ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), UK)
This paper examines how constructions of and claims to (be) 'local' are embedded in housing processes in ways that serve to perpetuate disadvantage for ethnic minorities and migrants. Three domains of housing are considered: national law and policy, local policy and its implementation, and individual housing choice. On national law and policy we consider how the Right to Buy proposals of 2015 exclude migrants and minorities from places in which they are established through the funding mechanism of the sale of 'high value' council homes which, in London particularly, are the larger homes needed most by, for example, Somali, Roma and Bangladeshi communities. On local policy and its implementation we critique how the concepts of 'local people', as manifest in 'local connection' and residency test policies for social housing allocation, explicitly and implicitly exclude migrants and minorities in their constructions of who belongs and has rights as local citizens. The meaning of 'local' in relation to individual housing choice of migrants and minorities is examined in terms of perceptions of places which are inaccessible. Two forms of felt exclusion from place are explored: perceptions of places of everyday racism and hostility, and (mis)understandings of a lack of legal rights to housing in particular (types of) neighbourhoods. Through our interrogation of how 'local' is represented and used at three scales of housing processes we illustrate how exclusion of migrants and minorities is embedded in UK housing systems, perpetuating disadvantage and social and spatial marginalisation.
The Economic and Spatial Trajectories of New Migrants to the UK
Yaojin Li (The University of Manchester/ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), UK)
Kitty Lymperopoulou (University of Manchester/ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), UK)
William Shankley (University of Manchester/ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), UK)
Ken Clark (University of Manchester/ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), UK)
Lindsey Garratt (The University of Manchester/ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE))
In this paper we explore the economics and geography of the labour market outcomes of "new migrants" to the UK. Principally focusing on migrants who entered the UK after May 2004, we combine qualitative and quantitative data to analyse the employment, occupational attainment, earnings, proximity to employment and job search strategies of new migrants and how these have developed in different geographical contexts in the period since 2004. Quantitative data are drawn from the Labour Force Survey, Census of Population and Newham Household Panel Survey while for qualitative insights we draw on responses from semi-structured interviews carried out in four urban locations in the UK. Contrasts are drawn between recent migrants of white and non-white ethnicity and we also compare new with more established migrant groups. In the quantitative work we focus on how outcomes and trajectories vary between groups and over space. The qualitative data frame the discussion in terms of perceptions of the labour market and new migrants in four key locations and provide additional insights into potential explanations for, and implications of, the quantitative results. Emerging themes include: (i) the differential outcomes in terms of levels of earnings and employment for different groups in different types of area; (ii) differential labour market trajectories; (iii) local tensions between new and existing migrant groups over access to employment and perceptions of discrimination. Methodologically the combination of qualitative and quantitative data yields a richer picture of this particular aspect of the experience of migrants to the UK and their integration into the labour market.

Ethnicity and Place: Invited Discussant Comment
Deborah Phillips (University of Oxford, UK)