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Negotiating the community:. How diversity provides a space for old and new immigration in Derby. Recent Studies. Dawson, A (2002) ‘The problem with asylum seeker dispersal: transitions, structures and myths’ Benefits, 10:1 9-14

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Negotiating the community

Negotiating the community:

How diversity provides a space for old and new immigration in Derby

Louise Richards: Open University

Recent studies
Recent Studies

  • Dawson, A (2002) ‘The problem with asylum seeker dispersal: transitions, structures and myths’ Benefits, 10:1 9-14

  • D’Onofrio, L and Monk, K (2003) ‘Understanding the stranger: Interim case study findings’ commissioned by The Information Centre about asylum and refugees in the UK (ICAR)

  • Subhra, V (2002) ‘Developing Services for Refugees and People Seeking Asylum: A Research project looking at the issues facing people seeking asylum and refugees and the development of services in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham’ Refugee Action/University of Derby

  • Goodall, C (2005) ‘Dealing with Difference: Towards a Model of Successful Relations between Established Communities and New Arrivals in Stoke on Trent’, Seeking Refuge, Seeking Rights, Seeking a Future, 3rd Annual Forced Migration Student Conference, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, 13-14 May 2005

Louise Richards: Open University

Literature review phd
Literature Review (PhD)

  • Theoretical – critical race theory, cultural theory, Foucauldian theory

  • Policy Driven – European migration policy, citizenship and migration, dispersal policy (asylum), restrictionist policy measures, ethnicity and community, ethnic identity

Louise Richards: Open University

Theoretical underpinning
Theoretical underpinning

  • ‘Why does ‘difference’ matter’ (Hall, 1995, p234)

  • How ethnically diverse communities form (Bauman, 1990, 1997)

  • The permeable realities of boundaries (Barth, 1966, 1970, 1984, 1989, 1996)

  • The effect of powerful discourses (Foucault, 1977, 1977a, 1982, Carter, 1997)


  • How British is this community? (Modood, 1994, 1997)

Louise Richards: Open University

Time line of immigration in derby since world war 2
Time line of immigration in Derby since World War 2

  • 1945 Poles, Italians, Ukrainians

  • 1950s Pakistani Muslims, African Caribbeans

  • 1960s Ugandan Asians (mainly Hindu, some Muslim)

  • 1970s Indian Sikhs, Vietnamese

  • 1990s Kosovan, Albanian, Bosnian refugees

  • 2000 onwards Iraqi Kurd, Congolese, Afghani, Iranian, Zimbabwean and other asylum groups

    (DCC 2004)

Louise Richards: Open University

Comparative statistics ons 2004
Comparative statistics (ONS 2004)

  • Predominant Groups




Louise Richards: Open University

Interview respondents
Interview Respondents

  • The local council

  • Director of a religious research centre

  • A local academic

  • A local NGO volunteer

  • A refugee community leader

  • A journalist

  • A Sikh dignitary

  • A Pakistani businessman and his Kurdish friend

  • Two men from NASS

  • A practice nurse

Louise Richards: Open University

Question areas
Question areas

  • Respondent

  • Boundaries

  • Local perceptions of difference (asylum seekers)

  • Local perceptions of difference (community)

  • Desire to self manage

  • Agencies working together

  • Myth of the ghetto

  • Do asylum seekers fit in

Louise Richards: Open University

Boundaries negotiating spaces
Boundaries:negotiating spaces

  • If you are going to use that resource of a community that is able to absorb diversity, quickly, easily and relatively painlessly, then I think you have to think in terms of, policy makers thinking in terms of ‘these communities are doing us a favour, so what should we put into that community as the payback?’

    And how could that be done?

  • Whether it is structural issues to do with housing repairs.. Whether it is to do with the funding of local authority departments who are going to be doing additional work in the area and whether it’s about the funding of the voluntary sector and agencies who will concentrate on that sort of celebration of diversity, championing conflict issues, that sort of work

    (local academic)

Louise Richards: Open University

Boundaries permeable reality
Boundaries: permeable reality

  • You know sometimes you can talk to an Indian, a Sikh or something, you can feel it that he is not very clean from the heart, he is talking on the side

    But then:

  • When asylum seekers first came into this country, the Pakistani community and the Sikh community they were going to stop renting houses to them … they (Sikhs) said if the government is not going to do anything about this, we are going to do something

    (Pakistani Businessman)

Louise Richards: Open University

Boundaries desire to self manage
Boundaries: desire to self manage

  • At one time, I used to get daily phonecalls complaining about asylum seekers (mainly from white people), racist talk, but not anymore (1:4) local council

  • There are examples…..where communities from particular countries or sharing a common language come together and use the structure of voluntary organisations as a vehicle to support and help themselves, self help groups, community groups and so on (3:12) local academic

  • It is our heart is open, it doesn’t matter the number of the people, so the Sikh community got a big heart, so we can accept people and we can maintain them as well. We have no problem (7:14) Sikh dignitary

  • More we would probably go to their community centre and have a word, and say, look I think this is an issue (8:8) Pakistani businessman

Louise Richards: Open University

Boundaries groups form dialogue begins
Boundaries:groups form/dialogue begins

  • And so they are helping themselves… because they are coming from countries where there is not a history of that sort of process. Groups that are popping up are supporting themselves in all sorts of ways

    (local academic)

  • Yes, not in the past, I mean, not in the beginning, ever since I have got their leader, a relationship you know, so they will always discuss with us you know if there is any problem, obviously he is new in this city, I have been here so long, so obviously I am in a position to help him. It depends upon the issue of course

    (Sikh dignitary)

Louise Richards: Open University

Boundaries agencies working together
Boundaries: agencies working together

  • Agencies could work together better, but people are working together (1:4) local council

  • Depends on the personalities involved, the people involved within those statutory and voluntary groups (2:12) religious research centre

  • There was a sense of chaos, many agencies wanting to do something but not many actually doing something. No sense of leadership or direction and it has certainly moved from that picture where agencies are consolidating, building partnerships (3:12) local academic

  • They agreed enthusiastically that everybody worked together very well. These agencies included the statutory and voluntary sector (notes) (9:3) NASS

Louise Richards: Open University

Local perceptions of difference asylum seekers
Local perceptions of difference: asylum seekers

  • I don’t know about the Kurdish but the Pakistanis yeh, they wouldn’t like to be called asylum seekers…… got already the Pakistani people and the Sikh communities living in this country and they are not labelled and there is a caste system in our communities (8:11) Pakistani businessman

  • I call them ‘newcomers’ to the city which I feel is a better term (1:3) city council

  • I think ‘People seeking asylum’ is as good as it gets really (3:7) local academic

  • Of course, I don’t like this name, but we have no other choice (5:7) local refugee leader

  • It has connotations these days that aren’t particularly positive (6:5) charity/media

  • In the beginning it was negative, because everyone was frightened of them you know, but now it is settling because the police are doing their practice now (7:10) Sikh dignitary

  • In the media it is used interchangeably (asylum seeker, refugee economic migrant). I don’t know what would be a better term. It has got negative connotations (10:8) practice nurse

Louise Richards: Open University

Local perceptions of difference within groups
Local perceptions of difference: within groups

  • The Pakistani community have helped a lot. The Kurdish people need help and the Pakistani people have helped. I don’t know about the elders, you know the youngsters

    (Pakistani businessman)

  • I like……********* you know, we are like brothers, we share a lot you know what I mean, with all his brothers

    (his Kurdish friend)

Louise Richards: Open University

Local perceptions of difference community enclave ghetto insider outsider view
Local perceptions of difference:Community: Enclave/GhettoInsider/Outsider view

  • It is perceived as being disadvantaged from the outside but I do not feel that it is disadvantaged (1:5)(City Council)

  • It has an incredible richness… I don’t know the unemployment statistics (2:17)(Religious Research Centre)

  • Of course it is a good community (5:8). Let me tell you about the word ‘poor’. When we say poor in fact from our perspective the word does not exist in England (5:16) Refugee Leader

  • Yeh I do. Poor in the monetary sense…just walking around and looking at the shops and housing stock indicates that it is a relatively poor area compared to a lot of places. It looks like a lot of other inner city areas (6:5) Charity/Media partnership

  • They didn’t really know the community too well (from notes)(9:3) NASS

  • A lot of respect in this community…..over the past years, how many times have we had joint functions. Is there any other area where they have a joint function? (7:15) (Sikh dignitary)

  • Safe (8:14) Pakistani Businessman

Louise Richards: Open University

Local perceptions of difference do asylum seekers fit in
Local perceptions of difference: do asylum seekers fit in

  • Other asylum seekers can be wary of new asylum seekers coming in because they are worried that it may rock their boat (1:6) local council

  • I don’t know the answer to that. I haven’t got my ears to the grass roots of Normanton and Peartree (2:19) religious research centre

  • You think things are OK and you have very good friends, it’s nice, everything is perfect and you are happy then suddenly you are walking on the street and someone approaches you bad word because you are a foreigner (5:21) refugee leader

  • You kind of like to think that if people have had experience of you know, people from different cultures, they might be more likely to you know…I really couldn’t say, it concerns individuals (6:6) charity/media

  • I welcome them because I mean, being an immigrant myself, I think I had experience of you know, that’s where you can be from time to time so you should help them (7:17) Sikh dignitary

  • I think the people in Normanton do a lot better than the people outside…I know a lot of Kurdish lads yeh, and they are doing so well for themselves (8:18) Pakistani businessman

  • They felt Derby was quite welcoming overall of asylum seekers and instances of hostility were few (notes) (9:3) NASS

Louise Richards: Open University