What impact do the dual aims of the Community Cohesion agenda – to establish greater racial equality and a shared sense of British citizenship – have upon Bristol’s community and cultural organisations?
According to the Cantle Report, published in 2001, the physical segregation of the ethnic minority population is compounded by the absence of day-to-day interaction across the multicultural city – resulting in the existence of ‘parallel lives’. As a result ‘multiculturalism’ was condemned by practitioners due to its alleged divisive tendencies, and replaced by the Community Cohesion agenda. A national ‘race relations’ policy framework intended to foster a greater sense of ‘togetherness’ via the renewed promotion of British citizenship and greater racial equality. This thesis will evaluate the implementation of the dual aims of the Community Cohesion agenda, by examining their impact upon Bristol’s cultural organisations. It will also explore the significance of services provided by culturally specific organisations for both members of the established ethnic minority population and new arrivals. Analysis will be viewed through a network theoretical model. The benefit of this approach is that it accommodates the increasing multiplicity and fragmentation of ethnic identity and facilitates exploration of relations across the multicultural city that exist beyond policy perceptions of bounded cultural ‘communities’. It is anticipated, that due to the conflicting aims of the agenda, rather than establishing ‘community’ solidarity as expected, the Community Cohesion agenda is more likely to reinforce existing differences and inequalities across the city.
Segregation, neighbourhood dynamics, prejudice, class, identity, neoliberal policy and process, public participation and “community cohesion”.