Key barriers to community cohesion: views from residents of 20 London deprived neighbourhoods

Article


Bertotti, M., Adams-Eaton, F., Sheridan, K. and Renton, A. 2011. Key barriers to community cohesion: views from residents of 20 London deprived neighbourhoods. GeoJournal. 47 (2), pp. 168-183.
AuthorsBertotti, M., Adams-Eaton, F., Sheridan, K. and Renton, A.
Abstract

The notion of community has been central to the political project of renewal of New Labour in the UK. The paper explores how the discourses of community are framed within New Labour and discusses these in the light of the results from research which focuses on how people within urban deprived areas construct their community. It draws upon the results of one part of a larger research project (the ‘Well London’ programme) which aimed to capture the views of residents from 20 disadvantaged neighbourhoods throughout London using an innovative qualitative method known as the ‘World Café’. Our results show the centrality of young people to the development of cohesive communities, the importance of building informal relationships between residents alongside encouraging greater participation to policy making, and the need to see these places as fragile and temporary locations but with considerable social strengths. Government policies are only partially addressing these issues. They pay greater attention to formally encouraging citizens to become more involved in policy making, largely ignore the contribution young people could make to the community cohesion agenda, and weakly define the shared norms and values that are crucial in building cohesive communities. Thus, the conclusion is that whilst an emphasis of the government on ‘community’ is to be welcome, more needs to be done in terms of considering the ‘voices’ of the community as well as enabling communities to determine and act upon their priorities.

Keywordscommunity cohesion; social capital; community participation
JournalGeoJournal
Journal citation47 (2), pp. 168-183
ISSN1468-2656
Year2011
PublisherSpringer
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-ND
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cdj/bsr020
Publication dates
Print18 Mar 2011
Publication process dates
Deposited02 Nov 2012
Copyright informationhis is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Community Development Journal following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version [insert complete citation information here] is available online at: http://cdj.oxfordjournals.org/content/47/2/168.abstract
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