Ethnic polarisation in British cities

Ethnic polarisation in British cities

We’ve been reading about religious polarisation in Indian cities, particularly with regards to the emergence of Muslim ghettoes/enclaves. Its interesting that we can see similar trends taking place in other parts of the world. This article talks about how British cities are becoming more ethnically polarised. How might be explain this?

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May 6, 2013 · 12:54 pm

Muslims in Indian Cities

Muslims in Indian Cities

We have been discussing Muslim marginalisation in cities across India in class, particularly in Bombay and Delhi. This is a review that I just published of a book dealing with this issue across various cities in India. Feel free to add your comments about the issue of religious insecurity in India (and Pakistan) and growing spatial segregation in cities. Why do you think this is occurring in India? Can we see similar trends in Pakistan?


April 16, 2013 · 1:10 pm

The Segregation Paradoxes

The Segregation Paradoxes

This article traces the historical evolution of racial segregation within cities across the world. It demonstrates the ways in which dividing cities across racial lines was key to colonial projects. As such, it relates very closed to the issues we have been discussing in class.

What might the consequences of such racialised spatial practices be in the contemporary period?


April 4, 2013 · 6:13 pm

Why Don’t Americans Riot Anymore?

Why Don't Americans Riot Anymore?

Wacquant discusses the occurrence of urban riots in the UK, France and the US throughout the 80s and 90s. Since the time of his writing, few riots have erupted in the US, while riots have continued to occur in France and the UK despite the growing inequality in the US. Why might this be the case? Emily Badger puts forward some possible explanations. What do you think?


March 26, 2013 · 2:50 pm

Badami Bagh

Badami Bagh

On March 8th-9th, a mob of several thousand men entered Joseph Colony, which is part of the Badami Bagh area of Lahore. The proceeded to loot and burn approximately 178 Christian homes all supposedly as a retaliation for an incident of blasphemy committed by one of the residents of the area. Now we know that the story is much more convoluted than this and involves the local land mafia, factory owners, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, local politicians and the police all working together to clear the area out for their own interests. This case relates to our class in more ways than one. How do you think the Badami Bagh incident will impact the city as a whole?


March 12, 2013 · 5:08 pm

White fear

I am not sure whether you all are following this Oscar Pistorius case in South Africa, but it raises some interesting questions related to our course.  (Oscar Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend and claims that he thought she was an intruder.)  This article talks about whether the fear amongst white people of crime in Johannesburg has any basis in reality and touches on issues related to race, class, insecurity, spatial segregation and gated communities that we have been discussing.  Feel free to comment or even write a reflection on the issue.


March 6, 2013 · 5:52 pm

In Search of Repect

in-search-of-respectIn Search of Respect is a ground-breaking ethnography of East Harlem, which focuses on crack dealers in particular. Bourgois spent three and a half years living with crack dealers and learning about their struggles for survival. This study raises many key issues in terms of our understanding of cities, space and marginalisation. Feel free to share your comments about this book here, and hopefully we can get a good discussion going what we can learn from Bourgois’s study and from the lives of the crack dealers he is presenting.


March 4, 2013 · 2:23 pm

The Hazara Ghetto

The case of the Hazaras in Quetta illustrates many of the points we have been discussing in class with regards to ethnic/religious segregation and discrimination.  Please have a look at the work of Asim Rafiqui, our artist-in-residence this semester, who has been documenting the struggles of this community under siege.

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February 21, 2013 · 9:23 pm

Residential Segregation and Class Polarisation



Check out this recent report published by Pew about increasing economic polarisation in US cities and spatial segregation.  The report does not mention race, but we can imagine that many of the low income areas in red are also areas where ethnic minorities, and particularly African American and Hispanic populations are concentrated.  The maps are super interesting. Have a look and comment.




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City, Space, Power: Lahore’s Architecture of In/Security

This is an excellent piece written by Sadia Shirazi, an architect who was visiting Lahore last year.  Have a look and comment.  It is extremely relevant to our discussion yesterday about surveillance and control.

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February 20, 2013 · 10:27 am