Introduction to Post-Industrial Segregation:
After the London bombing of 7 July 2005, there was increased and heated discussion regarding the cultural integration, assimilation, coexistence of community groups and minority groups and enclaves within London. The media’s emphasis on the cultural dimensions of London has brought ethnicity and religion to the forefront of the study and understanding of social groups in London. A predominate theme, regardless of the London bombing, is that London is a multicultural society. As a global city, London’s advancements in communication technologies and population transience has led to singular ethnic enclaves and multi ethnic enclaves. As a result, it has created cultures of metropolis defining the modern city of London. With wealth creation as a global city which has attracted migrants and immigrants near and far, like the past, segregation will persist as the world progresses through the globalised world.
In Britain, 9% of the white population live in London, and 44% of Britain’s minority groups also, live in London (Johnston, et.al, 2002). Consequently, these numbers create the social and economic landscape of London, specifically, the social and physical settlement and organization social groups. Unlike, other global cities like New York, segregation in London is based more upon religious divide than ethnicity. Hence, the subsequent pages will include a detailed discussion regarding the social organization, specifically, the residential segregation of social groups through the examination of ethnic segregation, religious segregation, religious-ethnic segregation, and economic segregation.
Indexes of Segregation By Ethnic and Religious Group In London:
|Population||Index Of Segregation %|
|Mixed: White and Black Caribbean||70,928||17.75|
|Mixed: White and Black Africian||34,182||17.77|
|Mixed: White and Asian||59,944||11.69|
|Mixed: Other and Mixed||61,057||13.77|
|British: Other Asian||133,058||26.77|
|British: Other Black||60,349||67.33|
|Chinese or other ethnic group: Chinese||80,201||17.46|
|Other Ethnic Group||113,034||24.15|
|Religion Not Stated||621,366||6.86|
Source: Office for National Statistics.
Segregation based Ethnicity
The city of London is can be characterized as an ethnic enclave because more than two-thirds of those living in the 20 wards are of an ethnicity other than white (Brimicombe, 2007). The social structure in London has shaped the economic and social fabrics which have, historically, led to a divide between distinct ethnic groups. London is defined as a multicultural society, however, the first ethnic groups are among the Black Caribbeans (West Indians), the Indians, and the Bangladeshi (Bains, 2005). The mass migration of the West Indians, Indians, and Bangladeshi began in the 1950s at ports areas such London, Liverpool, and Cardiff (Phillips, 1998). The influx in these groups is attributed to their colonial ties to Britain. In addition, to colonial ties, another catalyst for the migration is attributed shortage of work at home and the desire to acquire cheap mobile labour forces abroad (Phillips, 1998). As a result, upon arrival there were preconceived ideas regarding race rooted in the colonial relations with South Asians and West Indian populations; thus leading to a racialised division in the residential areas and within the labour forces.
Residential segregation is a multi-dimensional concept. Massey and Denton (1988, 1989) state that members of an ethnic group live in areas where other members of that group predominate, but they are only averages for the entire group. If some of the group do live in relatively exclusive clusters whereas the others are dispersed through the rest of the urban area, the average for the entire group cannot indicate just how many live in the former, nor how exclusive those areas are.
The data for these residential concentration profiles for each of the eleven ethnic groups are given in Table 2. Three main conclusions can be drawn from them (Johnston, et.al, 2002):
(1) The great majority of self-identified black ethnic group members live in areas where they form less than 20 percent of the total population; indeed only in the case of black Caribbean residents is there any evidence of substantial concentration, and even here only 2.3 percent live in areas where black Caribbeans form more than 30 percent of a local area population.
(2) Among the Asian ethnic groups there is much more evidence of residential concentration of Indians and Bangladeshis than of Pakistanis and, especially, Chinese. For the latter two groups the situation is very similar to that for black residents, whereas, although majorities of both the Bangladeshi and Indian communities similarly live in areas where they form less than 1 in 5 of the local population, there is also substantial concentration of significant proportions, nearly 1 in 10 Indians live in areas with Indian majorities, and 1 in 5 Bangladeshis live in areas with Bangladeshi majorities.
(3) Of the two other groups, the pattern for the Irish is like that of the blacks, Pakistanis and Chinese. For the whites, on the other hand, the concentration profile is the inverse of that for the immigrant ethnic groups: the great majority of London’s whites live in areas where they predominate with two-thirds living in areas where they form more than 80 percent of the local population.
In general terms, the first two of these points confirm Peach’s conclusions: the residential patterns of black Londoners are consistent with Boal’s assimilation scenario, as are those of the Pakistani, Chinese and Irish communities; but for the Bangladeshis and Indians there is evidence consistent with either the early stages of the spatial assimilation process or of pluralism tendencies within the two groups, considerable proportions of which live in relative isolation from other members of society. What these profile data clearly show, however, is the extent to which all of the groups, with the partial exception of Bangladeshis and Indians, are spatially mixed with the remainder of society; London, in Peach’s terms (1999: 319), is a city with immigrants and minorities, unlike New York which he portrays as a city of minorities and immigrants.
The organization of space on the basis of ethnicity essentially excluded minority groups, specifically, the West Indians, Indians, and the Bangladeshi from certain segments of the housing market (Phillips, 1998). Consequently, minority ethnic groups, unlike, the charter group, was denied access to adequate housing and lived in the worst owner-occupied housing in declining areas and were also denied from public housing (Arbaci, 2001). The exclusionary practices created distinctive geographies within London through the creation of immigrant reception centers; which symbolised inner city overcrowding and housing derivation (Arbaci, 2001) (Figure 1). For the minority population, constraints were placed on their mobility by the council tenants in Greater London. For instance, the Caribbeans, Bangladeshi, and the black Africans were excluded from the full access of a wide variety of housing types including detached and semi-detached houses than white housing applicants (Peach, 1999). As seen in Figure 1, the prevalence of minority settlement, which coincides with the poor housing stock which was more accessible to the minority population (Knox and Pinch, 2006). The dominant settlement are in and around the city center, with populations between 100 and 500 that are greater than 0.75-1.25 concentrated in these regions.
Figure 1: The concentration of ethnic minority groups in London, England, 1991. (Source: Peach, 1999)
Immigrant reception centers based on ethnic sorting (which sometimes reflected religious ties) where places such as the inner London where the Caribbean population settled (Phillips, 1998). The West Indian population were the first to arrive in London in larger numbers (Phillips, 1998), as seen in figure 2.
Figure 2: the concentration of the Carribean-born population in the London, England, 1991. (Source, Peach, 1999).
Furthermore, the Inidan community established in Leicester and Southall (West London) which was Leicester and Southall also became a desired settlement for East African Asian refugees (of Indian origins) and Punjab Sikhs; and Newham (Bains, 2005) (as seen in figure 3).
Figure 3: The settlement of the Indian population in the wads of London, England, 1991. (Source, Peach 1999).
The Indian population migrated to London after the Caribbean population and are the largest individual minority population residing in London (Phillips, 1998). Also, unlike, the West Indian and Bangladeshi population, the Indian populations were distributed a bit further from the inner city region and sometimes settled in middle class neighbourhoods (from Heathrow Airport to Harrow) (Bains, 2005). Lastly, the Bangladeshi community located in the dockland borough of Tower Hamlets: Little Ilford. The Bangladeshi community display the most distinctive settlement as they cluster in a small segment of London (Tower Hamlets), and display much smaller populations which extend beyond this region (Figure 4). In comparison to the other ethnic groups, the Bangladeshi is more segregated and resides in the most deprived housing in the worst locations (in addition to the Pakistani community) (Bains, 2005).
Social Closure and the Constraints of Residential Mobility:
The idea if social closure is the situation which ‘winners’ are persons who possess the ability to exercise power in a downward direction, thereby, excluding less powerful groups from desirable places and resources (Knox and Pinch, 2006) . This is also defined as exclusionary closure: this is exemplified in the exclusionary practices in the London housing practices (Bains, 2005). In London, the spatial isolation of minority groups in the housing stock forced and limited the specific groups into small niches. As a consequence, the ethnic minority groups have been disadvantaged within the public sector based on three factors: 1) There was difficulty for minority groups due to their limited period of residence in certain local government areas 2) Minority groups were often allocated to poor-quality property, especially older flats 3) Ethnic minority groups were disproportionately re-located to the most unpopular inner-city housing markets; therefore increasing the segregation of social groups. Clearly, the discriminatory practices will “...render much the housing stock unavailable to members of minority groups...” (Knox and Pinch, 2006, pg 173). These groups are forced into the private sector of the market segment, thus, there mobility is restricted to a spatially limited and often inferior housing stock (Arbaci, 2001). This systematically perpetuates the cycle of segregation and concentration as groups are forced into the private sector or rental form landlords of similar ethnic origin (Arbaci, 2001).
Figure 4: The settlememnt pattern of the Indian population in London, England, 1999. (Source: Peach, 1999).
Segregation within the Workforce:
Similar to the housing market the labour market is also segmented along ethnic divisions (Brimicombe, 2007), for instance, black minority workers earn less than similarly qualified white workers and they also possess less career prospects (Philips, 1998). Moreover, inequalities exists in the occupations possess in the charter population and minority populations, for instance there is the absence of the minority population in managerial positions and positions in large firms (Phillips, 1998). The profile of the ethnic groups are the Indian community are in white-collar, suburbanized, semi detached and owner occupying; the Bangladeshi population is blue collar and live in council houses in the inner city properties; and the Caribbean population are blue collar with the majority represented in the council housing, however, they are less segregated than the Bangladeshis (Knox and Pinch).
Has Segregation in London Changed?
Figure 5: The map displays the variation of ethnic segregation from 1991 and 2001. Clearly, ethnic groups have left the city center and are located in the peripheral regions because of increased affluence and assimilation in the third generation cohort and onwards.
Segregation between and among minority groups has been on the decline since 1991. The decline is due to both structural and behavioural assimilation. Structural assimilation is the diffusion of members of the minority group through the social and occupational strata of the charter group (Phillips, 1998). Examples where the minority group converges with the charter population is the increased representation of black minority groups in higher-status occupations. Also with each generation, fewer are employed in blue collar jobs. Thus, there is upward mobility of ethnic groups as they move out of traditional inner city neighbourhoods into the more affluent suburban neighbourhoods (Bains, 2007). The scatterplot in figure 6 display the progressive decentralization of the Caribbean population and the Indian population. As Peach's (1996) theory of the Three Generational Model of Assimilation states, from stage (1) New minority population arrive and settle in immigrant centers in the inner city, stage. (2) Immigrants children: the second generation is better assimilated and move into ethnic villages, and stage (3) The Third Generation: the level of assimilation increases to the point where the ethnic group is fully or almost assimilated. The ideas of Peach (1996) are reinforced in the dispersal pattern of the scatter plot from 1981-1991. The Caribbean population has experienced a highest proportion if decentralization and the Bangladeshi population have experienced lower rates of dispersion away from the city center into peripheral regions (Peach, 1999).
Figure 6: The scatterplot displaying the distribution of Caribbean populations (top left), and the Indian population (top right), and the Bangladeshi community (bottom), from 1981-1991. (Source: Peach, 1999).
The detailed analysis of segregation based on ethnicity has illustrated that the phenomena was for the most part forced by the charter population through policy and exclusionary practices in the workforce and housing. Consequently, the discriminatory practices inevitably effected the socioeconomic status of ethnic minorities; thus inherent in the spatial organization of ethnic groups was their economic standing.
Against the US assimilation model, recent decades have seen the promotion of multiculturalism in a number of societies, whereby difference is both accepted and celebrated. The society’s goal is not assimilating peoples from all backgrounds, religions and cultures into a single, ever-changing hybrid within which one group’s cultural norms (those of the host society) predominate, but rather a situation in which different cultural and religious groups can co-exist but in a context of equal opportunity for all. One instance that comes to mind is that of U.S.A. and Canada. U.S.A. is seen as a melting pot for different cultures, ethnicities and religions where everyone is forced into being solely American and perusing the American Dream. Even when migrating to the U.S.A one of the many exams that an individual has to give is based on American history and independence. In comparison to U.S.A., Canada proudly potray’s itself like a mosaic, where everyone maintains their own identity to form one large picture. It is as if Canada is a salad bowl, and the salad in it (Referring to the total population of Canada) is made of various ingredients. Each ingredient retains its own characteristics and mixes with other ingredients to form the salad. In Australia, multicultural and national solidarity is promoted in such a manner that they should transcend ethnic identity (Smolicz, 1995).
Although ethnicity and religion are closely related, researchers have suggested that London's social divide can be contributed to religious affiliation. Thus, the patterns of segregation and mobility across the city is due to factors based on religion. Some religious groups prefer to live in relatively exclusive areas among those who share their identity, thereby to promote their religious difference within the multicultural whole. In this context, some writers have argued that urban residential segregation of religious groups can generate advantages as well as disadvantages (van Kempen and Ozuekren, 1998).
The advantages identified are:
(1) The existence, development and nurturing of social contacts or networks, through which people can derive benefit from each other and can offer one another support in the face of disadvantage or discrimination.
(2) By joining the religious cluster, members of that group reduce their isolation, while the existence of the group itself within a clearly defined area allows the development of an organised defence of the group and its members.
(3) Religious entrepreneurship, where group networks can give a competitive edge at least within the group and a supply of loyal employees from within the group is facilitated. In turn, newly arrived immigrants can gain the experience and knowledge they will eventually need to start their own businesses.
For instance in the Sikh Gurudwars, where new Sikh immigrants and other members of the religious group who need help in light of housing and money are allowed to come and live in the temple till they are able to find an accommodation.
Among the main disadvantages they refer to:
(1) The results of in-group segregation networking may be social exclusion from mainstream society, and lack of such contact may significantly limit access to information on job availability.
(2) Segregation in the education system, where children with a foreign background are seen as having less chance of receiving a good education and positive life-chances, if they live in a concentration area. In particular, it is harder for such children to become fluent in the language.
(3) Residents of concentration areas may develop a negative image with the host society, whose understanding of the religious group is consequently inadequate and superficial, based as it will be on the newspapers, hearsay or television reports.
This exercise of residential choice by members of some religious groups may create spatial separation that not only reinforces religious differences, which is considered a positive benefit, but also stimulates intergroup tensions that generate discord and conflict. Thus successful multicultural ‘EthniCities’ (Roseman et.al., 1996) may be spatially divided cities, reflecting their ethnically plural character, but not as fragmented as those where access to many residential areas is a function of not only economic ability to pay but also a willingness to abandon traditional cultural characteristics and also of the host society’s prepared to accept that willingness. In other words, a segregated and multicultural city can exhibit limited fragmentation an ordered mosaic. Also, though Roseman may refer to such neighbourhoods as EthniCities, but what is worth noting is that even in the neighbourhoods, people further segregate themselves by congregating along with people of the same religion, culture, place of birth, and relatives.
The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines multicultural as of or relating to or constituting several cultural or ethnic groups within a society (Thompson, 1995). Britain is commonly upheld as a multicultural society. In the weeks following the London suicide bombings of 7 July 2005, and the attempted bombings two weeks later, there was much discussion in the media about multiculturalism, minority groups, religion, assimilation, integration, and the coexistence of communities (Brimicombe, 2006). A Mori poll of 1004 people in the UK (national survey) plus an additional 204 British Muslims (booster survey), conducted for the BBC, found that 62% and 82%, respectively, thought that multiculturalism made Britain a better place to live (BBC, 2005). England and Wales have a population of just over 52 million people, of which 87.5% are self-identified as White British (Brimicombe, 2006). The geographical distribution of the 12.5% ethnic minority and religious minorities in particular are highly concentrated.
Whereas only 9% of White British live in London, 44% of the ethnic minority population live there (15% of the population in England and Wales live in London) (Brimicombe, 2006). Together, the thirty-three London Boroughs and the thirty-six Metropolitan Districts in England and Wales (6% of the land mass) account for two thirds of the ethnic minority population and less than one third of the White British population. Britain's multicultural society would appear to be an urban/metropolitan phenomenon (Brimicombe, 2006).
A question on ethnicity (as opposed to place of birth) was introduced into the 1991 census of England and Wales with a voluntary question on religious affiliation added in 2001. The religion question was answered by 92% of the population. From Table 1 the concentration of religious minorities into urban areas is overall slightly more than for ethnic minorities (Brimicombe, 2006). Religion does not necessarily have a direct correspondence with ethnicity, as Christians or Muslims. Religious self-identity is possibly the most enduring trait of immigrant populations and their descendants, more so than other cultural aspects (Bauman, 2002). The literature on residential segregation is dominated by studies along the lines of race and ethnicity with very few studies along the lines of religion (Brimicombe, 2006). Given the recent availability of ethnic and religious profiles for small-area geographies, this is a timely opportunity to study the contrasting landscapes of ethnicity and religion across multicultural London.
Boal (1999) has recently summarised the variety of processes involved with ethnic segregation into four scenarios
(1) Assimilation, which occurs when economic and cultural differences between an ethnic group and the population at large disappear over time, accompanied by declining levels of residential segregation. As Boal (1999, p. 588) expresses it, “difference reduces and social and spatial boundaries dissolve”.
(2) Pluralism, which involves the maintenance of cultural differences, with individual ethnic and religious groups encouraging ‘group diversity and the maintenance of group boundaries’. Such groups may participate fully in some aspects of society again, notably the economic, but their members (or at least a substantial proportion of them) may act to retain their cultural identity, which involves living in relatively isolated communities concentrated in certain parts of the residential fabric only.
(3) Segmentation, which produces much sharper spatial divides within society. Religious groups occupy distinct areas within the city because of antagonisms both among groups and between each group and that section of the wider society where assimilation has been the norm. In this scenario, Boal (1999, p. 590) contrasts “deteriorating interethnic and religious relations, which is characterised by insecurity and mistrust” with the “mild separations of pluralism”. In contrast to pluralism, therefore, segmentation is developed and sustained by the dominant group in society.
(4) Polarisation, is an extreme case of segmentation, where local divisions reflecting wider international and/or intra-national conflicts result in a fractured, even dichotomised, social environment involving the virtual exclusion of a group’s members from many areas and their almost exclusive occupancy of defined neighbourhoods and areas.
For almost half a century, studies of religious segregation in cities have relied on a number of summary indices, most notably the indices of dissimilarity (ID) and segregation (IS) popularised by Duncan and Duncan (1955). These focus on one aspect of the comparison between two distributions. Massey and Denton (1988) have argued that segregation is a multidimensional concept and have identified five separate components
(1) Unevenness, the distribution of any two groups across areal units in a city relative to each other;
(2) Exposure, the degree of neighbourhood sharing between a minority group and the host society, hence potential exposure of newcomer to host;
(3) Concentration, how minority groups physically occupy space in a city;
(4) Centralisation, the degree of inner-city focus; and
(5) Clustering, the spatial distribution of ethnic groups relative to each other.
Peach’s work, following Philpott’s (1978) study of Chicago, identifies three dimensions of ethnic group concentrations which should be taken into account in assessing their extent and intensity:
(1) The degree of residential concentration into relatively exclusive residential areas of each ethnic group;
(2) The degree of group assimilation into the host society; and
(3) The degree of separation from all other groups.
These three dimensions are also quite apt for religious segregation in London. Figure 1, 2, 3 and Table 2 show the development of these dimensions.
Following Poulsen et al. (2001), a multi-group classification scheme, based on analysis of thresholds, has been developed which applies these three criteria. It employs non-unique, absolute measures of majority, dominance and concentration levels, such as the proportion of an area’s population who identify with a particular ethnic group, and has the advantage of being comparable across places and periods.
The following operational criteria are used:
(1) Degree of residential concentration for each group at various thresholds;
(2) Degree of residential assimilation-pluralism the degree to which a minority group shares a residential area with the host society;
(3) Degree of group separation, which measures the degree of separateness among groups other than the host society. The more separated they are, the greater the residential polarization; and
(4) Degree of group isolation, measuring the level of separation of a group from the rest of the urban society.
These provide the basis of a dwelling neighbourhood typology, defined according to population composition. Before continuing minority enclaves are defined as those neighbourhoods where the host society forms less than a majority of the population total, and are sub-divided into (Johnston, et.al. 2002):
(1) Associated assimilation–pluralism enclaves, where the host society is a large element in the population (30–50 per cent) and one or more ethnic groups comprise at least 20 per cent of the total, with none exceeding 60 per cent.
(2) Mixed-minority enclaves, shared by two or more minority groups, but where there is no polarisation and few members of the host society.
(3) Polarised enclaves, with one minority group substantially concentrated i.e. comprising at least 60 per cent of the total population and so not sharing the area with significant numbers from other minorities.
(4) Ghettos, which satisfy two criteria: a high degree of concentration of the minority group (at least 60 per cent, as with the polarised enclaves); and, a substantial percentage of the group’s population living in such areas. They are polarised enclaves which many (30 per cent or more) of the group members live in.
The host communities are divided into two sub-categories:
(5) Non-isolated host communities, where the host society forms 50–79 per cent of the total population, and minority groups form a substantial minority within the area’s population with perhaps a significant concentration of one group only. Or,
(6) Isolated host communities, with 80 per cent or more of their population from the host society, and thus minority groups largely absent, with none forming as much as 20 per cent of the total.
These bases as defined by Poulsen and Johnston and partners, of comparison can be used for religious and ethnic groups.
Storkey and Lewis (1996) refer to London as a ‘true cosmopolis’ and Abrahamson (2004) refers to it as one of the three Global Cities in the world (New York City and Tokyo being the other two. In 1991, for the first time, the UK Census collected data on ethnic identity, in which respondents were asked not only their country of birth but also which ethnic group they identified with: seven specific groups were identified, and responses to the ‘other’ categories allowed further groups to be identified at the coding stage. These data allow detailed evaluation of the ethnic geography of UK cities which previous data, on birthplace only, precluded: 53 percent of the black Caribbean ethnic group were born in the UK, for example, as were 84 percent of the ‘black others’ and 45 percent of the Pakistanis. (Bulmer, 1996; Coleman and Salt, 1996). Of the 6.7 million people enumerated in Greater London County by the 1991 Census, 24 percent identified themselves as members of ethnic minorities, with 1 in 10 being of Asian ethnicity and 1 in 12.5 self-categorized as black: the major groups were of black Caribbean and Indian origin, and there was also a substantial component (over quarter of a million individuals) who indentified themselves as Irish (see Table 1).The largest group of those categorizing themselves as ‘black other’ were born in the UK, who classified themselves as ‘black British’ (Owen, 1996a); among those self-categorized as ‘Asian other’, the main groups were those born in Britain, Sri Lanka and Japan, followed by those born in the Philippines, Mauritius, Malaysia and Vietnam (Owen, 1996b); the largest component tof the ‘other’ category came from the Middle East and North Africa (Al-Rasheed, 1996; Storkey and Lewis, 1996).
Each of these ethnic groups, including many individuals who identify with them even though they were born in the UK, has traditionally been associated with certain areas of London: the Brixton area in south London for black Caribbean’s, for example; parts of west and northwest London for Indians; and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets for Bangladeshis (Peach, 1996 b, 1999). But how concentrated are the various groups in these ‘enclaves’, and how ethnically exclusive are those areas? Peach (1996 b, 1999; Peach and Rossiter, 1996) has suggested:
(1) That, unlike New York, where hypersegregation characterizes the African Americans’ situation (Massey and Denton, 1989, 1993; Peach, 1999), London has no ghettos; and
(2) That whereas there is evidence of spatial assimilation over the period 1971–91 for black Caribbeans in London, there is much less evidence of this for South Asians, especially Bangladeshis, suggesting that Boal’s assimilation scenario applied to the former and his pluralism model to the latter, which were mentioned previously.
The exploration of the forms and dimensions of London has provided insight into intricate makings of the social order and strata within the region. An understanding the London, and England's, history was imperative to the research because it important to the understanding of the contemporary forms of segregation, whether it was based on socio-economics, ethnicity and religion. Thus, in order to explain and put present patterns in context an in-depth understanding of its inception was necessary. As London remains a global city into the 21st century, it has and will continue to be a desirable location for immigrants as an ideal location to improve their standard of living. Researchers maintain that segregation will always be apart of the modern city. However, they have not indicated as to the type of segregation. It is possible that segregation based on ethnicity and religion may decline as globalization creates a monoculture and due to the accessibility to different regions and knowledge, the barriers between the differences on ethnicity and religion may be broken.
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