Living the multicultural city: acceptance, belonging and young identities in the city of Leicester, England

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Abstract

Drawing upon research conducted with young people in the city of Leicester, England, this paper explores what it means for those from black and minority ethnic communities, particularly more recent arrivals, to live within and adapt to specific multicultural urban contexts. After introducing prevailing racisms and accommodations, the paper examines how forms of belonging are expressed, re-produced and negotiated through the spatial trajectories of everyday life. This includes the value of emerging versions of place through community, religious practice as a form of social capital, the importance of routine, and the construction of multifaceted identities. Such experiences relate to contingent hierarchies of acceptance and legitimacy, histories of settlement, economic marginalization, as well as gendered and generational roles. These young people negotiate everyday life and belonging by retaining, extending and forging local and trans-national ties; highlighting the relationship between sociospatial positions, everyday practice and identity formation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1673-1693
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Volume35
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012

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