Migrant place-making in super-diverse neighbourhoods: moving beyond ethno-national approaches

Jennifer Phillimore, Simon Pemberton

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Whilst attention has previously focused on the importance of monolithic ethnic identities on migrant place-making less attention has been paid to how placemaking proceeds in super-diverse urban neighbourhoods where no single ethnic group predominates. This paper makes an original contribution by identifying the factors that shape migrants affinity with, or alienation from, super-diverse neighbourhoods. Through using and critiquing an analytical framework developed by Gill (2010) that identifies ‘ideal’ and ‘pathological’ place-making strategies, the paper contrasts two super-diverse neighbourhoods in the UK with different histories of diversity. We show how ‘ideal’ migrant place-making is more likely to occur where there is a common neighbourhood identity based around diversity, difference and / or newness, and where those with ‘visible’ differences can blend in. In contrast, ‘pathologies’ are more likely
where the on-going churn of newcomers, coupled with the speed and recency of change, undermine migrant’s affinity with place and where the diversity of the neighbourhood is not yet embedded. Even where neighbourhood identity based on diversity is established, it may alienate less visible migrants and culminate in a new form of (minority) white flight.
Original languageEnglish
JournalUrban Studies
Early online date5 Jul 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jul 2016


  • Super-diversity
  • neighbourhood
  • migrant place-making


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