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The Urban Community – Racism, Regeneration and Policy

Rani Dhanda
University of Strathclyde
Rani Dhanda
University of Strathclyde
Open Panel

Abstract

In many cities in the UK (Bradford, Manchester, Glasgow and others) there are neighbourhoods in which many different communities - “white” indigenous including Irish, Asians, Chinese, Africans and Eastern Europeans – reside in the same area, however, their paths seldom seem to cross. There seems to be few shared activities between them and they mainly operate, socially and culturally, separate from one another. To investigate this phenomenon a case study is currently being conducted in the neighbourhood of Govanhill in Glasgow. The study sets out to examine and appraise the proposition that structural and institutional approaches to the eradication of racism in Scottish urban communities including changes in legislation have not been effective. It will identify the structural and institutional barriers which have been the cause of exclusion of community and political participation by some of the citizens. The study will discuss and evaluate the way in which such approaches have been constructed and implemented from an ideological and political perspective and the manner in which attempts have been made to operationalise them by local government with particular regard to regeneration policies and practice. Data for the study will include primary and secondary document analysis such as: non-participant observations; interviews; and community and institutional literature for public distribution. This is the second year into the doctorate study. It is envisaged that the completed study will inform better government policies on “race” relations and community and political engagement, and will assist local government in developing alternative approaches to engagement with minority communities.