28 October 2010
Venue: David Sizer Lecture Theatre, Francis Bancroft Building, Mile End
Speaker: Professor Ash Amin, University of Durham
Thinking on the politics of integration in plural and diverse societies has just begun to recognise how everyday habits of encounter shape feelings of affinity or distance among strangers. This lecture will consider the balance between bodily experience of the other and habits of urban dwelling in shaping relations between a city’s diverse communities. Although worthy, attempts to break down community barriers through initiatives to bring people from different backgrounds together can only have a limited effect since most people in cities interact only fleetingly or rarely with strangers. There must be a far broader approach based around building on the shared experiences of people living in an urban environment and making interventions in a city’s public infrastructure and its cultures of shared concerns and attachments. However, little progress will be made unless a new public aversion in the West towards the stranger can be overcome.
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