Modelling and mapping ethnicity is a methodological approach used to understand the changing socio-spatial structure of the city. Such an approach uses a range of indicators to identify ethnic groups, map them in urban space and explain the changing nature of ethnic concentrations. The unintended consequences, however, are the labelling, marginalisation and exclusion of ethnic minorities. Critical approaches, in contrast, focus on making visible the politics of representation that mark and stereotype ethnic minorities and ethnic concentrations. Within contemporary research on ethnicity such work has drawn attention to the exercise of power in the constitution of ethnic identities, the invisibility of whiteness and the inherent tensions that are likely to arise in negotiating ethnic cultural differences in local places. Although this article draws attention to such tensions in a particular place, Dandenong, it engages in this discussion to argue that the everyday negotiation of cultural difference also provides the potential to blur fixed ethnic boundaries and contribute to interethnic understanding and a sense of belonging. Drawing on in-depth interviews with people who live and/or work in Dandenong, suburban Melbourne, this article underlines that such positive insights from everyday multiculturalism have the potential to inform and broaden policy debates on diversity and social inclusion in the multicultural city.
Field of Research
Socio Economic Objective
959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified