Racial Inequalities in Continental European Cities: Expanding Diversity
University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
Since 19th century’s massive processes of urbanisation following industrial development, diversity has unfolded along with socio-economic stratification and inequality. In the current global order, where non-citizens or just-citizens are overrepresented within cheap-labour market niches including low–skilled jobs, a major marker of urban inequalities in the Global North is skin colour and generally physical appearance. A large body of research has shown how racist assumptions and thinking behind policy and actions keep “others” on worse socio-economic conditions than the (white) majority. From such a global perspective, this paper questions the virtually complete absence of racial inequalities in the burgeoning diversity scholarship on continental urban Europe, and theoretically expands the concept of diversity to include racial inequalities as constitutive of hyper-diversification processes in this part of the Global North. Drawing on my long-term ethnography (2007-2013) of the housing conditions of Roma in Italian and Romania cities, the paper shows the pivotal role of racial thinking behind state policy and civil society discourses and actions. It historically and ethnographically dissects key economic, political and cultural factors behind residential inequalities between Romani people and the majority in Pescara (Italy) and Cluj-Napoca (Romania). It shows how local political economy concerning social housing (Pescara) and land (Cluj) merge with electoral interests, capitalising on the racist everyday and local media discourse on Roma based on racial assumptions and thinking. In order to expand the concept of diversity, the paper theoretically builds on the scholarship highlighting the need to acknowledge racial inequalities in continental Europe (e.g. E. Fassin; D.T. Goldberg; A. Lentin), and complements this literature with an accent on cities as key sites for scrutinizing diversity.
THE MECHANISMS OF GENDERED SEGREGATION OF URBAN SPACE IN CASE OF ANKARA
Hacettepe University, Turkey
Since the second half of 1970s, the theoretical and methodological turning point considering urban space as a social construction has provided a path for looking socio-spatial relations from a gender sensitive approach. Although early approaches focused on women’s exclusion from urban public space through public sphere – private sphere dichotomy, especially since 1980s with women’s increasing labour force participation rates, the analysis on gendered segregation of urban space with regard to gender roles has become a dominant endeavour. This endeavour enables us to question the binary approach to public-private sphere and to focus on dialectical relations between them which, restrict women’s access to opportunities and their transformative power over urban space.
Within this scope, this study aims to analyse socially constructed barriers in front women in accessing social, economical and political opportunities in urban space and examine the mechanisms reproducing these barriers. Study questions the factors determining women’s relations with urban space, the impact of their reproductive responsibilities on their in/visibility in urban public space, their access to public services, their relations with local administrations, their representation and participation to local planning and decision making processes. This analysis is based on qualitative research and a data set collected through 40 in depth interviews conducted with women living in Ankara, capital of Turkey. In the context of study, the woman is not considered as a homogeneous category. Instead, by considering the impact of education level, household composition, marital, motherhood and employment statuses, this study aims to reveal the factors that differentiate women’s experiences with urban space.
Ethnic Diversity and Change in the Neighbourhoods of the Accra Metropolitan Area, Ghana, 2000-2010
University of Ghana, Ghana
A combination of historic, socio-economic and cultural conditions results in areal concentration of ethnic groups in cities, a phenomenon described as ethnic residential segregation. However, studies on ethnic segregation in Sub-Saharan African cities in general and Ghana in particular are far in between. This situation is partly blamed on the negative use of the ethnic question by people in authority during national crises, which in some instances has resulted in conflicts in many African countries; absence of data for any meaningful analyses and; the view that ethnicity in Africa represents a vestige of traditional society which will disappear with modernization. Consequently, the subject of urban ethnic residential segregation has engaged the attention of social scientists in Europe and North America than Sub-Saharan Africa. This paper examines the changing ethnic geography of Accra, Ghana’s national capital, for the period, 2000-2010 – a period noted for unprecedented urban growth, economic liberalization, globalization and social change. Using the census data of 2000 and 2010, and location quotient results, the paper examines the patterns of ethnic residential segregation by assessing the extent of concentration and mixing of the populations of the city of Accra over the decade. It also examines the drivers of changing ethnicities in the Accra Metropolitan Area, and their implications for ethnic co-existence as well as the future development of the country’s varied and diversified ethnic groupings.
Does context Matter? Governance networks and urban regeneration, a view from Andalucia (Spain)
Pablo de Olavide University, Spain
The study of the processes of interaction between governmental and non-governmental actors in order to influence local political decisions is a classic field of study of urban sociology. In addition, recent studies have showed how different policy domains generate different governance networks. In that sense, urban regeneration initiatives represent a particular policy area that produces specific governance networks that involve a plurality of actors, given that, urban regeneration projects operate specifically on the consequences derived from the effects of urban segregation rather on the social inequalities between individuals. These processes of collaboration are developed in particular contexts that, from an analytical perspective, configure specific interaction systems delimited by at least two components. On the one hand, by the presence of different actors who have specific resources, interests or beliefs. On the other hand, contextual elements that configure specific opportunities structures in which it is possible to develop a certain courses of action or not. The objective of this paper is to analyze the different networks of collaborative governance that are developed in the implementation of urban regeneration programs in the region of Andalusia (southern Spain) considering the particular context in which these are developed. To do this, governance networks will be analyzed in six case studies in neighborhoods of different cities in which urban regeneration and housing rehabilitation programs have been implemented. Three neighborhoods belong to historic centers and three to peripheral neighborhoods. In this way we will be able to see if the different urban contexts or the existence of previous institutional collaboration networks, form different coalitions of implementation and different patterns of relation between the actors involved in the processes of urban regeneration.
Faces and urban geographies of solitude in current Spain
University of Jaen, Spain
The rise of solo living in Western societies is a vivid reflection of several processes which eventually partake of the momentum of sociological change. Increasing numbers of people live alone as a consequence of longer (and more autonomous healthier lives) once separation, divorce or widowhood occurs. Also, individualization is taking over many dimensions of society which necessarily influences residential choices. And, finally, some structural determining factors do not invite to family life as it used to be in past times. These processes are expected to derive in different sociological profiles among one-person households which, we hypothesize, are attracted and clustered as a function of different needs and/or expectations. In turn spatial patterns of solo dwellers may fuel social dynamics with important implications for diverse realms of social welfare. This might be the case of urban areas in particular.
In this work, we aim at defining and examining sociodemographic profiles of one-person households in large urban areas of Spain as well as its spatial distribution. For this purpose, we use two types of data from the Spanish census held in 2011: aggregate data at census-district level and microdata at province level. Among the key individual variables of our analysis we have age, sex, educational attainment and labor status. As for the main contextual variables, we have information about the sociodemographic composition of census-districts and provinces all of which is supplemented with economic indicators from the local authorities in the case of big towns. All this information is mapped by using official digital cartography from the National Statistics Office.