14th Annual IMISCOE Conference, Rotterdam, 28-30 June, 2017 - ‘Migration, Diversity and the City’ Session: Social cohesion revisited – community cohesion and ethnic diversity
Organiser: IMISCOE Research Group “Diversity, Migration and Social Cohesion (Div/Mig/Soc)”
Chair: Aneta Piekut (Sheffield Methods Institute, the University of Sheffield)
Social cohesion is usually understood as a sense of belonging, having a common vision of the community and strong relations with other community members (Cantle 2005; Demireva 2015). Yet, the vision(s) of community cohesion can be very different in increasingly multicultural societies, where some cities are even called ‘super-diverse’ (Vertovec, 2007), and more people express complex ethnic identities (Nandi, Platt 2014).
There has been recently a plethora of studies investigating how social cohesion is related to ethnic diversity for different ethnic groups (Van der Meer, Tolsma 2014), what increasing diversity and changing ethnic composition of communities means for their social cohesion in its various dimensions: common values, social order and control social solidarity; social networks and social capital and place attachment (Forrest, Kearns 2001). Yet, the link between identity(ies) and social cohesion has not been explored (an exception is a study by Schmid and colleagues (2013)). Although many national and international surveys include questions about different aspects of social cohesion, we would like to discuss in the session whether these measures still work (i.e. are valid measures) in times of increased international mobility and urban population sorting. It might be that the role of interpersonal trust or common values is differently perceived by local communities in times of global mobility and super-diversity.
This session invites papers on the following topics:
- Theoretical conceptualizations of social cohesion
- Measuring social cohesion in quantitative studies, e.g. concept operationalization and validity, reliability of measurement scales
- Exploration of social cohesion in qualitative studies: mundane understanding of social cohesion, tensions around and solutions for different visions of community cohesion, etc.
- Challenges for social cohesion of urban communities: population mobility and sorting
- Differences in social cohesion dynamic between urban and rural communities
- Cross-national comparisons of social cohesion conceptualisations
- The relationship between social cohesion and complex ethnic identities (dual and multiple-identities)
- Public and policy understandings of social cohesion
We welcome submissions from a broad range of theoretical perspectives, methodological approaches, and geographical locations.