As European countries are being confronted with increasing diversity in terms of ethnicity, language, religion and identity, questions on the desirability and governability of a multicultural society are a topic of intense scientific and public debate. These debates have increasingly centered on the lives and futures of young people. There is both an optimistic and a pessimistic view on the effects of (hyper-)diversity on young people. On the one hand, this is a group for which diversity is a normal part of their lives and which is often imagined as being at the vanguard of new forms of multicultural nation-building. At the same time young people are also seen as those most inclined towards fundamentalism and racism. Moreover, there is concern that young people with a minority ethnic background in particular are increasingly marginalized and isolated from the rest of urban society. This tension will be the departure point of this workshop in which we focus on the following themes:
– The everyday experiences of young people with living in diverse cities and neighbourhoods, and how these experiences differ from adults.
– The opportunities and challenges of growing up in diverse neighbourhoods for young people.
– Youth work in diverse neighbourhoods and how this can contribute to meaningful interactions and positive social outcomes for youth. What are best practices and challenges?
Youth work in Haringey, London
Marlon Bruce, Community Empowerment & Strategic Delivery Manager at Haringey Council
Marlon Bruce, community empowerment manager and former youth worker in London, will share his experiences with working with young people in one of the most the ethnically and socio-economically diverse places of London.
Young peoples’ everyday experiences of belonging in Rotterdam and London
Kirsten Visser, Assistant Professor in Urban Geography, Utrecht University
In the last decade, the public debate on multiculturalism has increasingly centered on young people from immigrant backgrounds, often referring to their perceived failure to assimilate to the host society. Issues of ‘belonging’, either to the host society or the country of their parents are central in this debate. In this presentation we will look at how young people from immigrant backgrounds living in a highly diverse neighbourhoods (Tottenham, London and Feijenoord in Rotterdam), experience and negotiate belonging to their neighbourhood and to wider society.
Polarisation and radicalisation
Ron van Wonderen, senior researcher The Verwey-Jonker Institute
Ron van Wonderen will report on his survey on 2500 young people, carried out to analyse the determinants of discrimination, polarisation and radicalisation.
Image courtesy of **AB** (Flickr)