Our interdisciplinary Urban Studies list examines how the built environment shapes behaviour and how to address complex problems like urban poverty, gentrification, climate change and educational inequality.
Subjects covered include urban planning, urban geography, urban policy, local governance and community-based participation, to offer a broad understanding of how urban dynamics shape both global interdependence and local spaces.
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Telling the stories of young refugees in a range of international urban settings, this book explores how newcomers navigate urban spaces and negotiate multiple injustices in their everyday lives.
This innovative edited volume is based on in-depth, qualitative research with young refugees and their perspectives on migration, social relations, and cultural spaces. The chapters give voice to refugee youth from a wide variety of social backgrounds, including insights about their migration experiences, their negotiations of spatial justice and injustice, and the diverse ways in which they use urban space.
In the concluding chapter, we reflect on the everyday experiences of young refugees and asylum-seekers in public spaces and how they are shaped by dominant political discourses in the host society, while also being expressions of (micro-)political claims to belonging and the right to the city. The complexity of political issues and the hostile political contexts in which refugee youth often find themselves is a key issue for ongoing research in this field. So too are the creative and engaging ways in which young refugees engage in, resist, challenge and rework political issues in different spaces and times. Such analyses also include reflections on what constitutes the publicness of public spaces and the role played therein of visibility.
For over 60 years the Tibetan refugee diaspora are still residing in ‘temporary’ largely refugee settlements in India. Whereas older Tibetans often still feel a strong attachment towards their homeland, among the younger refugees, who were born in India or moved there at a young age, a more ambiguous and ambivalent sense of belonging is emerging. We examine their sense of belonging through four main topics, namely receiving society receptivity, social capital, economic integration and exposure to the host society. Thirty-nine in-depth interviews were conducted with refugees in the Bylakuppe settlement, and participant observation and photography also supplemented the interviews. The findings of this study indicate that young Tibetans are developing a sense of belonging towards Tibet, India and the West simultaneously – thereby arguing for a more temporal and comprehensive understanding of belonging.
Participatory theatre, in a wide body of works, is discussed as an artistic format that allows marginalised subjects to articulate their voices and enact citizenship – especially in the context of migration and race. In this contribution, I will critically engage with these perspectives and investigate the ambiguities and ambivalences that come along with story-based theatre projects, particularly when involving young refugees and asylum seekers. Based on three months of fieldwork in a community theatre project in Leipzig (Germany), I will take a closer look at moments of silence, rupture and withdrawal and reflect on (dis)articulation as enactment of citizenship. This work is embedded in the Humanities European Research Area research project ‘The everyday experiences of young refugees and asylum seekers in public space’ (2019–2022).
In the year 2018, Brazil began to face its own migration crisis. Despite already receiving refugees from different countries, in recent years the situation became worrying when a large number of Venezuelans began to cross the border. The enrolment of foreign students in the country has doubled in recent years and most of them are concentrated in the public network. Considering this context, the aim of this chapter is to analyse the mechanisms enabling the reception of Venezuelan refugee youth in the school context. This represents a major challenge for Brazilian public education since there is no unity in Brazil in terms of law that indicates how to work with refugee youth in school. For our observations in the school context we use the methodological guidelines for ethnographic work in this context of Medvedovski and colleagues (2015) and Rockwell (2009)
Experiences within public spaces can influence the belonging of refugee youth communities. For those from these communities who are ‘visibly different’ from socially and politically constructed identity norms, this can disrupt their overall sense of belonging resulting in marginalisation within public spaces. Experiences within public spaces has become a pertinent issue for Australian Sudanese and South Sudanese youth at a time when their identities have been politicised within media and politics, situating these youth as dangerous ‘outsiders’. Utilising a voice-centred relational methodology approach, this chapter presents and discusses Australian Sudanese and South Sudanese youths’ perspectives on their experiences in public spaces in the city of Melbourne. Findings suggest that these young people’s experiences within public spaces are influenced by the consequences of negative racialised public and political discourses, whereby these youth feel they are under control and surveillance in public spaces relative to a sense of visible difference.
This chapter brings together the insights from analysis of the three study areas. It begins by considering the four sources of support in the analytical framework (markets, state, voluntary and community sector, and family and friends) and how they act cumulatively to offset or reinforce social exclusion and financial vulnerability. Much local employment is precarious with volatile and unpredictable incomes creating financial vulnerability. Welfare reforms have intensified this precarity, redistributing risk towards the most vulnerable. Specific rural dimensions arise from the volatility of incomes, digitalisation and digital exclusion, difficulties in accessing advice and support and typically lower claimant rates. Additionally, people experience higher costs of living and widespread fuel poverty. Voluntary and community organisations are active in supporting people disadvantaged by markets and the state, and their services are highly valued but under-resourced. There is a tendency to idealise rural communities as places where everyone looks after one another, but this may be more difficult for those who do not understand local social norms and lexicons or who are less well embedded in social networks. This suggests a need for synergies between person-based measures (such as welfare entitlements) and local, place-based measures (such as advice and support).
This chapter offers some closing reflections on the original contributions of this study to the understanding of poverty and social exclusion in rural Britain and on implications for policy and practice. It begins by reflecting on the main themes emerging from this study and highlights some of the new insights which have emerged. After reviewing previous studies’ suggestions for policy interventions, this chapter argues for an approach which combines person-based and place-based policy approaches to social exclusion in rural areas. Some of the most pressing policy challenges are then highlighted, including the cost of living crisis and the rural blindness of the UK welfare system, and practical opportunities for policy development to address these are proposed. The chapter ends by reflecting on issues of power and governance, and on the extent to which the framing of rural communities as self-reliant and resilient might facilitate the withdrawal of the state from rural areas and the abdication of its duty to rural citizens.
East Perthshire is an accessible rural area, mostly within commuting distance of Perth, Dundee and the central belt. It includes expensive middle-class housing as well as some of the 20 per cent most deprived communities in Scotland. In-work poverty was rising, with the growth of insecure employment or self-employment making it hard to budget or save. This precarity in labour markets was exacerbated, rather than ameliorated, by increasing precarity in state welfare systems. The complexity and high risks of the benefit system were major factors in financial vulnerability and hardship, and this chapter details these deficiencies and their relation to rurality. Support came instead from numerous voluntary and community organisations. From foodbanks to advice services, from women’s refuges to care providers, these provided a ‘first port of call’ and a crucial signposting role towards other sources of help. They all face challenges of trying to provide services across a large rural area in the context of funding pressures and rising demand and need. Support also came for some from family and friends networks, especially in substituting for the state’s social care, childcare and eldercare services.
Harris lies in the Outer Hebrides and is very sparsely populated, with one small town and others scattered around the island’s perimeter. The population has halved since 1951. Tourism, fishing and crofting remain but most employment today is in the service sector, with good jobs in the public sector health and education. In recent years, the development of the ‘Harris brand’ has generated a dramatic increase in economic activity and employment, beyond the capacity of the available workforce. Housing pressure, especially, has inflated house prices and caused difficulty in retaining or attracting key workers. Residents who did not benefit from this boom face difficulties accessing support and risk social stigma in small communities. While the community and voluntary sectors are strong, reliance on family and friends is often more socially acceptable. Over 70 per cent of the Western Isles is now in community ownership, but despite this and the localisation of local government in 1975, there is still a sense of distance from centres of power in Edinburgh, London and multinational boardrooms around the globe.