IMER Lunch: Astrid Ouahyb Sundsbø – Social mixing policies: What You Want and What You Get
In the public debate and contemporary social policies in Norway as well as in other countries, concentrations of “immigrants” in certain areas of a city are considered to be unfortunate and something which needs to be fought against (see i.e. Gakkestad 2003; Akerhaug 2012). It is anticipated that spatial concentrations of “immigrants” enforces the social isolation of “immigrants” and triggers criminal activities, among other aspects. This becomes very obvious when a “high percentage of immigrants” in an area serves as basis for referring to that area as a “ghetto” or “insecure” (see i.e. Sæter 2005; Vassenden: 2007; cf. Akerhaug 2012).
In this lunch seminar, the idea of social mixing, which is not just common in the general public debate but also a manifested major urban policy and planning goal (Sæter & Ruud 2005; Huse, Sæter & Aniksdal 2010; cf. Musterd 2005) will be discussed. By using some illustrations both from the academic debate as well as own empirical work, it is shown that it is necessary to be critical about this concept.
It is referred to literature arguing that there is a lack of empirical evidence showing that the residential segregation of “immigrants” has any effect at all, for instance on “integration” and crime (for instance Musterd 2005; Galster 2007; Lees 2008). Furthermore, it is discussed that the imagination of social mixing as an ideal way to tackle the “multicultural challenge” might be founded on a highly problematic understanding of “immigrants“ and their norms and values as inherently “bad” (cf. Eriksen 1996: 51). This is shown by drawing on statements from interviews with members from the majority population residing in Oslo.
Astrid Ouahyb Sundsbø
Astrid Ouahyb Sundsbø (PhD) is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Georg-Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies in Berlin. She holds a doctoral degree in sociology from the Humboldt-University of Berlin (2012). From 2012-2014 she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for a Sustainable University at the University of Hamburg. Her main fields of research compromise: Social inequality, residential segregation in cities, migration and interethnic relations. Her most recent publication is Grenzziehungen in der Stadt. Ethnische Kategorien und die Wahrnehmung und Bewertung von Wohnorten (Springer VS, 2014) where it is discussed whether ethnic boundary making on the side of the majority population could be a possible explanation for the residential concentration of immigrants in Berlin and Oslo.
Lisa Kings: Contesting urban management regimes: The rise of urban justice movements in Sweden
Addressing segregation, racism and welfare transformation, a new form of grassroots mobilization among young adults is emerging in the peripheries of Swedish cities. The common denominator is that they define themselves as urban justice movements– with place as the social ground for mobilization. Witha Gramscian perspective, the article analysis the rise of urban justice movements in relation to contemporary urban policies in Sweden. We argue that Swedish urban policies during the last 20 years have created a hegemonic urban management regime underpinned by area based programs with a focus on network steering and new forms of partnership between civil society and public institutions. The emergence of urban justice movements is here understood in relation to firsthand negative experience of– and later active revulsion from– having participated in activities and issues related to the urban management regime. These experiences and the later proclaimed autonomy of the movements have been a key condition for the beginning of a broader struggle that merges local rootedness with wider structural-institutional conditionality. (co-authored by Aleksandra Ålund (Linköping University) and Nazem Tahvilzadeh (KTH Royal Institute of Technology).
Vanja Lozic: Problematizing parents, governing troubled youth
The paperfocuses on current debate on troubled youth, living in socio-economically deprived suburbs in Sweden, and particularly discourses on problems of alienation, crime, arson and anti-social behaviour among youth. In the paper, interviews with the representatives of different organisations involved in managing the youth problem are analysed. One recurring theme in the interviews is problem discourses representing the parent as a problem. Departing from Foucault´s understanding of governmentality and the formation of subjectivity, we analyse the construction of problems, problematization, and conceivable solutions, as depicted by the interviewees. The problematizations recurring in the interviews are the deficiency of urban space, dysfunctional family relations and parents as being passive and culturally different. On the basis of such problematizations the interviewees propose solutions in various ways fostering the parents to become responsible and active subjects, who have internalised current norms and values. Other central solutions emerging in the interviews are the development of various forms of communicative skills as well as a range of pre-emptive measures targeting the parents. An important conclusion in the paper is that this way of developing possible solutions to the problems of suburban youth tends to focus on the transformation of individual parents, while structural dimensions get out of focus. What appears is a desire to foster parents and thus to produce a certain kind of subject, namely an active, responsible and cooperative individual, involved in the local community. (The paper is co-authored with Magnus Dahlstedt.)
Vanja Lozic holds a PhD in history and issenior lecturer in Science of Education at Kristianstad University, Sweden. His research deals with issues in education from the perspectives of ethnicity, multiculturalism, gender, disability, youth cultures and work integrated learning. At present, he is participating in a research project “Cooperation, education and inclusion in multi-ethnic urban settings”, which concerns the connections between institutional restructuring, youth resistance and strategies for social inclusion. The aim is to investigate the measures for social inclusion within schools, local institutions and civil society actors in socioeconomically deprived areas of large cities in Sweden
Sara Kohne: The experience of change in culturally diverse urban areas. Examples from two districts in Berlin and Oslo.
During the last two decades, central inner city areas have constantly become more attractive to the middle class as places for living and leisure. It is especially because of their history and cultural diversity that these urban districts gain ”new” popularity. This development is, among other things, connected to larger processes of economic and societal change, such as globalisation and de-industrialisation, and it is often called gentrification – a process of urban transformation that results in the physical, sociocultural and economic upgrading of city districts.
In taking a qualitative oriented approach on two culturally diverse urban areas that are partly experiencing the process which has just been described, Kohne´s aim is to identify challenges and assets that are experienced by the residents living and working in such districts.
In her presentation, Kohne will present selected findings from her work with the areas Kreuzberg SO36 in Berlin and Grønland-Tøyen in Oslo. She will discuss them in a comparative context.
Sara Kohne is a PhD candidate in the discipline of Cultural Studies at the Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion at the University of Bergen. Her research interests lie within the areas of cultural understandings of place, processes of change, and inequality in urban contexts.
Active citizenship in culturally and religiously diverse societies.
In debates on citizenship in Europe, the need for active participation among citizens is increasingly stressed. But do normative ideas of what active citizenship is, reflect people’s lived experiences in present-day Europe? While the low electoral participation of young people is often highlighted as an indication of reduced civic participation, various studies show increased social media use leads to increased political and social debates and mobilization. And while politicians often lament the lack of civil-political engagement among immigrants particularly, many new citizens volunteer, work as activists, take up political causes, or set up associations in both their countries of residence and origin. In Europe’s culturally and religiously diverse societies, citizens have different frameworks for how they act and interact with their close and distant surroundings. The ACT project studies this diversified citizen participation through empirical data collection on (local, national and transnational) active citizenship in neighbourhoods in Oslo and Copenhagen.
Cindy Horst is Research Director and Research Professor in Migration and Refugee Studies at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). Her current research interests include: mobility in conflict; diaspora; humanitarianism; refugee protection; (transnational) civic engagement; and theorizing on social transformation.
Political protest is an increasingly frequent occurrence in urban public space. During protests, urban space transforms according to special regulatory circumstances abrogating normal laws. Territorial control is central to securitization of urban space. Protest is disruptive of urban spatial relations, so law enforcement considers it a threat conflated with crime and terrorism. The means to achieve spatial control vary by mode of protest policing, which are products of dominant socioeconomic models of society, influenced by local policing culture and historical context. Spatial tactics of control are outgrowths of the militarization of policing and the securitization of urban space. Protest policing innovation under neoliberalism has led to new modes of tactical spatial engagement, working to strategically nullify political dissent through manipulation of urban space. This has significant consequences for urban design and emergent urban form, particularly through the professional practice of CPTED, or crime prevention through environmental design.
Hans Sagan holds a Ph.D. in Architecture from the University of California – Berkeley. His recent work investigates the role of urban space in protest policing. He teaches architecture and urbanism at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
Susanne Wessendorf: Pioneer migrants in a super-diverse context
Urban areas in Europe and beyond have seen significant changes in patterns of immigration, leading to profound diversification. This diversification is characterized by the multiplication of people of different national origins, but also differentiations regarding migration histories, religions, educational backgrounds, legal statuses and socio-economic backgrounds. This ‘diversification of diversity’ is now commonly described as ‘super-diversity’. Despite an increasing number of studies looking at how people live together in such super-diverse contexts, little is known about new patterns of immigration into such contexts. What are the newly emerging countries of origin which add to the diversification of already super-diverse areas? Where do recent migrants from unusual source countries, who cannot draw on already existing migrant or ethnic ‘communities’, find support? And what kinds of social networks do they form? This paper discusses pathways of settlement among recently arrived migrants from non-traditional countries of origin in the London Borough of Hackney. Drawing on earlier migration literature and the notion of ‘pioneer migration’, the paper addresses the challenges of analysing increasingly fragmented migration stories and pathways of settlement in super-diverse contexts.
Thomas Hylland Eriksen: The tension between superdiversity and cultural reproduction
From a bird’s eye perspective, Alna borough in eastern Oslo definitely looks superdiverse. Scores of languages are spoken in its population of 40,000, and its inhabitants come from about as many countries. Yet at the local level, social and cultural reproduction takes place to a great extent at the ethnic or community level. As one of our informants says, ‘I sometimes feel as though I am in Pakistan’. Had it not been for the strong presence of the Norwegian state, the suburb would have resembled the plural societies described in the mid-20th century by Furnivall and Smith, where ethnic groups, like pearls on a necklace, lead parallel lives but meet in the marketplace. How comprehensive is the influence of the state; in what ways does diversity in public affect the private sphere, and what are the main elements in the cultural reproduction of minority groups?
Echoes of race in Amsterdam
In this talk, I will discuss how racialized discourses on multicultural failure and the trouble with the children of migrants is taken up and contested in multicultural Amsterdam. Like in other Western European countries, multiculturalism backlash discourses have dominated public debates in the Netherlands since the 1990s. I ask how people who are framed as part of the problem engage the moral imperatives of such backlash discourses and the anxieties they broadcast. Amsterdam’s Diamantbuurt provides a good vantage point for such an exploration since the neighbourhoods’ unruly Moroccan-Dutch young men have played an important role in Dutch backlash discourses. How do Moroccan-Dutch Diamantbuurt residents, who are closely identified with these iconic bad guys, negotiate the dominant narrative regarding their neighbourhood? This article demonstrates that for these residents, the anxieties articulated in backlash discourses become the grounds for an anxious grappling with abjectness and identification.
Anouk de Koning is assistant professor in Anthropology and Development Studies, Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. She is the author of Global Dreams: Class, Gender and Public Space in Cosmopolitan Cairo (AUC Press, 2009) and, with Rivke Jaffe, Introducing Urban Anthropology (Routledge, 2016).
A light lunch will be served
CANCELED More infoermation about eventual repacements will be available sook
Predatory security: Reshaping the city and the state in Mozambique
Notions and practices of security colonise both state and urban contexts across Africa. Arguably, these notions and practices are also integral to wider global political formations where urban formations in Africa are often cast as pre-figuring the shape of future global cities more generally. Based on fieldworks in the Mozambican cities of Maputo and Chimoio, this paper sees security there as related to violent crime and capital accumulation in ways that undermine policy-oriented representations of security provision as solely undertaken by state police supplemented by neoliberal assemblages of security firms. Rather, and more specifically, the paper shows how security is not only subjected to a spatialized logic of race and social control but also renders violence – in all its forms – central to its exercise and cosmologies. This point will be emphasised by analysing how various forms of policing must be understood beyond the security-development nexus. These forms of policing increasingly involve a gradual emergence of what I call ‘predatory security’ that is central to violent modes of capital accumulation that shape African urban landscapes as well as define the contours of the state. The paper suggests that as a configuration of accumulative violence such predatory security has consequences for how we should approach calls for rights to the city as well as the state in urban African orders and beyond.
Bjørn Enge Bertelsen, associate professor, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen, has researched issues such as state formation, violence, poverty and rural-urban connections in Mozambique since 1998. Bertelsen has published extensively internationally and is publishing the monograph Violent Becomings: State Formation, Culture and Power in Mozambique (Berghahn Books, 2016) and has co-edited the anthologies Crisis of the State: War and Social Upheaval (with Bruce Kapferer, Berghahn Books,  2012) and Navigating Colonial Orders: Norwegian Entrepreneurship in Africa and Oceania, ca. 1850 to 1950 (with Kirsten Alsaker Kjerland, Berghahn Books, 2015).
A light lunch will be served! All welcome!