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TitleLived Experiences of Multiculture: The New Social and Spatial Relations of Diversity
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Total Pages193
Table of Contents
Half Title
Book Title
Table of Contents
List of illustrations
1 Spatialising multiculture: changing formations of urban diversity and the difference a place makes
	Urban diversity and cultural difference: between crisis and the ordinary
	Situated multiculture: the return of place in debates about migrant settlement and cultural difference
	Multicultural drift and super-diversity:evolving urban multiculture
	Putting multiculture in its place
	The value of the comparative gesture
	Making the argument: introducing the chapters of the book
2 The increasingly ordinary and increasingly complex nature of ethnic diversity: Conviviality, community and why the micro matters
	Explaining the ascendency of conviviality – emphasising the everyday
	Situating multiculture and the importance of place
	Repositioning conviviality
	From community to conviviality – and back again?
3 Researching difference: differentiated populations, lives and places
	Research practice for complex multiculture: settings, observation, participation, research populations and interviewing
	Researching difference: fixing or connecting difference?
	Researching place in places
	Using research data – processes of listening
4 Multiculture and public parks: social practice and attachment in urban green space
	Multiculture, public space and urban green spaces
	Researching urban parks and affective urban green space
	Park practices – everyday activities and diverse populations
	Park affections: materialities, memories and mixings
5 Semi-publicspace: corporate cafés, multiculture and everyday social life
	Rethinking corporate café spaces
	The project’s café spaces
	Multicultural and localised chain café spaces
	Not all cafés are the same
6 Conviviality and the social relations of social leisure organisations in diverse urban places
	Social leisure organisations – generators of social capital or conviviality in practice?
	Research with social leisure organisations – immersion in quotidian social life
	Social leisure groups, locality and convivial place-making
	Social leisure groups, projected conviviality and atmospheres
	Social leisure groups, conviviality and collaborative practice
7 Educational spaces, identities and young people’s management of urban multiculture
	An introduction to three colleges
	Institutional framings of learning and multiculture
	Negotiating college space: banter, joking and restraint
	College multiculture, urban context and students’ worlds
8 Multiculture and policy imaginations: engaging with the informal social world
	Policy drifts in the formal policy management of multiculture
	A brief note on methods and policy participants
	Policy in, around and beyond the state
	Informal policy-makingin places
	Formalising the informal in localised policy worlds
9 Conclusions: precarious multiculture
	Against the death, problem and failure of multiculture discourse
	Resilient and grounded multiculture
	Conclusion – a developing concept of conviviality
Document Text Contents
Page 2

Associate Professor of Sociology at Macquarie University,

Professor of Sociology, Goldsmiths University, UK

Lived Experiences of Multiculture

Professor of Sociology, University of Warwick, UK

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Semi-public space and everyday life 85

laptop and there are a young white (English) couple talking on one of the
squashy sofas. There is music on and an atmosphere of general comfort and
shelter from the weather [… Later] we go to a small café which is quite sweet
and much smaller than Costa, but with a few little tables and a nice lunch menu
but it is quiet – no music – and completely empty apart from me and my col-
league. There is just one person serving. There are the same posters and adverts
on the notice board (as there is in Costa). As we finish our lunch – talking in
hushed tones as it is so quiet – an older white (English) man and woman (a
couple?) come in for lunch too. But other than them no one else comes.

While the contrasts between the scale and interior design of the two café spaces
and the ethnic and age diversity/non- diversity, busy- ness/emptiness, noise/quiet
are all obvious in this note, it is the way in which these accumulate into a dis-
tinction between the familiar ‘brand atmosphere’ of Costa and the unfamiliar
‘teashop atmosphere’ of the small café that is striking. The small café with its
‘teashop’ associations resonates with some participants’ village visions of Oadby
and in this way, and like the farmers’ market, the small, local café can be seen as
having a particular social (‘villagey’) and spatial (of Oadby) character (see
Chapters 1 and 8).
The way in which place and geography is inflected in the types of café
spaces was as apparent in Hackney and Milton Keynes. In Milton Keynes the
consistently mixed and ethnically diverse population of McDonald’s was more
evident than in some of the other chain cafés that make up the majority of the
central city’s ‘café landscape’. For example, in the department store cafés in
John Lewis and Marks and Spencer’s there was a different population which
was mostly older and not as ethnically diverse. While we have observed how
the project’s particular geographies and the nature/imaginings of places were
inflected in local café-scapes, it is clear that class, taste and generation can be
read into these patterns too, although corporate branding can obscure obvious
class delineations.
These class- taste convergences were most explicit in Hackney where the dif-
ferences between café populations are particularly distinct. Some of this differ-
ence seems to reflect the complexities of the population and rapid processes of
gentrification in the borough that we described in Chapter 1 (Butler 1997; Wright
2009; Jones 2014). While rising house prices and competitive school places are
key gentrification indicators, the social changes are very immediately visible in
the proliferation of independent bars, cafés and restaurants that have appeared in
Hackney’s streets and these were an ongoing part of our conversations with
participants in Hackney. Participants expressed an intense awareness of how the
area was changing, often accompanied by anxiety about the implications. This
excerpt from a group interview with a Hackney creative writers’ group that the
project worked with, which was a socially and ethnically very diverse group
whose members nearly all had long- term connections to Hackney (see Chapter 6
for an extended discussion of this), represents this sense of displacement experi-
enced through the lens of café spaces. This conversation involves Muna (an

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86 Semi-public space and everyday life

African- Caribbean woman), Tristan (an African- Caribbean man) and Solomon
(a Black African man),

MUNA: […] you know what I want to make a little comment about all these
dinky little cafés that are springing up and I kind of feel, ‘Mm, what’s that
about?’ Just like – maybe this is the reverse of the betting shops [laughter –
there had been a long conversation about betting shops in poor areas of
the city]

TRISTAN: One extreme to another.
MUNA: Yeah, but the little dinky cafés that spring up all over the place. Even if

I’m feeling thirsty I think, ‘Oh let me just go in and’ – I just kind of feel – I
haven’t been into one of them yet (laughs), put it that way. I just kind of
thought, ‘Oh who are they kind of – who are their/

SOLOMON: /Their target audience?
MUNA: Yeah their clientele. Who are they really targeting? Maybe it’s just me,

but you know that’s how I feel […]
TRISTAN: […] it’s like every month there’s a new coffee shop opening and from

Upper Clapton Road going down towards Lower Clapton past Lea Bridge
Road past a roundabout it’s like I don’t know, three or four coffee shops.
And Dalston, just before Dalston Kingsland Station, you’ve got like six
lined up and I just think, ‘Why do you need so many coffee shops?’ And
again my question is, ‘Who are they targeting?’ because it seems as if it’s a
very niche thing where the people that are opening them are not local
people, they’re people coming in from the area and they seem to be target-
ing their friends and their demographic and this is quite worrying.

We quote this conversation at length because of the strong sense of exclusion, of
being on the outside of the ‘dinky cafés’, that is conveyed. Muna’s description
of ‘feeling thirsty’ yet unable or unwilling to go into one of the cafés is both
poignant and striking. Her struggle to articulate what is actually stopping her
underlines the experience of discomfort and exclusion. Class is part of this and
is also there in Muna’s description of the dinky café phenomenon as being the

occupation and repeated questioning of ‘who the cafés are for’ and Tristan’s
detailed, micro mapping of the rapidity of the spread of cafés across the borough
collapses class into particular taste as well as localist distinctions (Bourdieu
1984; Savage et al. 2013) – the cafés are described as ‘very niche’ and for ‘not-
Hackney’ locals, for example. This is an account in which Hackney’s new, inde-
pendent cafés are part of the borough’s social polarisations but it also shows how
the character, image and ‘knowing’ a café may work as cultural and taste
markers sifting and generating (self-)selective populations (Hall 2012: 102).
It is these taste and elective dynamics that make the new café spaces in
Hackney and independent café spaces in Oadby more exclusive and distinct
from the corporate openness and familiarity of franchised café spaces. Despite
being local they do not have the embedded localism of Nick’s Caff nor do they

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Index 181
ethnic difference in 68; Knighton Park,
Leicestershire 52, 62, 65–73;
materialities, memories and mixings
69–71; municipal park 62; park affect
61; as place of ‘urban escape’ 70;
process of valuing park space 70; profile
of 62–3; public space in 59; researching
61–3; as site for intermingling of
different ethnic groups 59; social
affinity, feelings of 71; Springfield Park,
Hackney 62–3, 66, 69–72, 108, 143;
successful parks 62; Willen Lake and
Campbell Park in Milton Keynes 63

urbanism, idea of 18

Valentine, Gill 23, 30
Valentine, Gill and Sadgrove, Joanna 30,

village life, norms of 91, 147

Ward, Kevin 18, 148
Weberian rationalisation 76
Wessendorf, Susanne 23, 30, 47, 140, 151
Wise, Amanda 6, 25, 31–2, 77–8, 87–8,

100, 115, 125, 127, 130, 141
worrying romanticisation 30
Wright, Patrick 46–7

Young, Iris Marion 34, 41, 48, 58, 72, 151

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