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Title: Negotiating the educational spaces of urban multiculture: Skills, competencies and college life
Authors: Bennett, Katy J.
Cochrane, Allan
Mohan, Giles
Neal, Sarah
First Published: 24-May-2016
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Citation: Urban Studies, 2016, 1-17, 0042098016650325
Abstract: This paper contributes to research on urban multiculture and debates as to how people routinely live and experience ethnic diversity in their everyday lives. This research takes an ‘unpanicked’ approach to multiculture that sits differently to, although not unaffected by, multiculturalism as policy objective and those debates around multiculturalism that variously celebrate cultural difference or construct it through crisis talk. Critical to this paper are the routine phenomenologies of multiculture and the everyday practices, competencies and skills of young people attending college. Because of their diverse intakes and the openness of young people to difference, colleges are key sites within which urban multiculture is experienced and through which it is defined. Based on participant observation, repeat in-depth discussion groups and interviews, the focus of this paper is young adults attending post-16 colleges and schools in three ethnically diverse urban locations. Colleges and schools are urban spaces that mediate sociality and student experience but are also woven into the wider urban setting in which they are placed. The paper explores the skills and competencies that young adults develop to negotiate college and we particularly focus on their use of jokes and the exercise of restraint to get along with others.
DOI Link: 10.1177/0042098016650325
ISSN: 0042-0980
eISSN: 1360-063X
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © Urban Studies Journal Limited 2016. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Geography

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