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Generating Interethnic Tolerance and Neighborhood Integration in European Urban Spaces (GEITONIES)
Start date: May 1, 2008, End date: Apr 30, 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"In the context of the growth of diversification within European nation states there has been much debate in public and policy discourse regarding the cultural specifics of immigrant groups and their descendents. As global processes and events have stressed cultural differences concerns about the cohesion of society, related often to a perceived cultural mismatch between immigrant and indigenous groups, have propelled multiculturalism and integration to the top of the political agenda. Whilst there has been a trend across several European states where a discourse of failing multiculturalism has been accompanied by fears regarding integration, the republican model in France has also been criticised due to its failure to recognise inequality and diversity. Both of these perspectives have been further endorsed by recent urban conflicts in different European cities. These policy shifts and debates are also relevant to the newer destinations of the South where issues of integration are pertinent as in the new reception countries of the East. Whilst being politically important these debates reveal a gap in the evidence base regarding how and in what form cultural engagement and communication actually occurs in urban settings and on the subsequent impacts on integration in social and economic terms. This cross-comparative project intends to address these issues from a relational perspective through the lens of place, assuming that in contemporary multi-ethnic cities spaces of intercultural communication and engagement are vital to promote tolerance and cohesion. A survey will be administered not only to immigrants but also indigenous individuals in 6 European cities at the neighbourhood level, given this is a place were daily social practises, representations and group relations develop. Furthermore, the role that place or neighbourhood dynamics (in their national/urban contexts) play in developing or hindering intercultural interaction and tolerance will be deliberated."

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