Commonplace Diversity: Social Relations in a Super-Diverse by Susanne Wessendorf

By Susanne Wessendorf

Drawing on in-depth ethnographic fieldwork, Wessendorf explores existence in a super-diverse city neighbourhood. The booklet provides a vibrant account of the day-by-day doings and social relatives one of the citizens and the way they pragmatically negotiate distinction of their daily lives.

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This does not mean that resentment against newcomers does not exist among long-established residents. According to one of the local councillors I interviewed, these resentments are usually linked to the allocation of housing, and they were not aimed at specific groups, an issue confirmed in my research. But if people do evoke a narrative about newcomers, it is one in which the long-established residents as well as the newcomers are imagined as diversified groups which are not defined along clear ethnic lines.

I also meet two male South Asian doctors and a male Muslim nurse (with a traditional Muslim hat and beard). When I have to undergo a small operation, I deal with about ten people, only two of whom are white British. The rest of them are African, Greek, Filipino, West Indian, Asian American, etc. Although these people do not necessarily live in the area, they also reflect the diversity of the patients. For example, when I attend a class for pregnant women, there are three white British women among the ten participants, the rest of them coming from south Asia, Africa and South America, some with good English, and others who are struggling.

According to one of the local councillors I interviewed, these resentments are usually linked to the allocation of housing, and they were not aimed at specific groups, an issue confirmed in my research. But if people do evoke a narrative about newcomers, it is one in which the long-established residents as well as the newcomers are imagined as diversified groups which are not defined along clear ethnic lines. e. young middle-class people who are dressed very fashionably) do not stick to rules of public orderliness, for example when it comes to rubbish, an issue I discuss in more detail in Chapter 6.

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