The New Integrationism and the Possibilities of Hospitable Social Capital

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Following the upheavals in the north England mill towns of 2001 and with the added impetus of the attacks on the London Underground on the 7th of July 2005, there has been a renewed effort in policy circles to re-conceptualise the terms of civic engagement between Britain’s ethnic communities. Labelled community cohesion, this new policy agenda has drawn extensively on scholarly observations on social capital and, more recently, an ethic of hospitality to recommend a new doctrine of social integration at a local scale. This paper suggests the policy articulations, ideals and ethos behind the development of such cohesive spaces are incomplete and, moreover, bear a productive contradiction which promises an ethical reflection of the values situated at the intellectual core of New Labour’s race relation policy.

Keywords: Integration, Community Cohesion, Social Capital, Ethics of Hospitality
Stream: Identity and Belonging; the Politics of Diversity; Globalisation
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr. Wun Fung Chan

Lecturer in Geography, Department of Geography and Sociology
Glasgow, UK

Wun Fung Chan teaches at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK, and writes in the field of urban studies and cultural geography, with a particular interest in the emergence of ethnic and immigrant subjects within the official discourse and material spaces of British cities. His writing has addressed issues of urban planning knowledge, social exclusion as well as the characterisation of ethnic minorities in policy agendas and the popular media. He uses deconstruction and postcolonial theories to underwrite the conceptual take of this research and is currently interested in how planning professionals are placing “diversity” at the centre of their working practices.

Ref: D08P0436