Challenging negative perceptions of everyday leisure spaces in a superdiverse neighbourhood

Vodicka, G. 2017. Challenging negative perceptions of everyday leisure spaces in a superdiverse neighbourhood. RGS-­IBG Annual International Conference. London, UK 29 Aug - 01 Sep 2017

TitleChallenging negative perceptions of everyday leisure spaces in a superdiverse neighbourhood
AuthorsVodicka, G.
TypeConference paper
Abstract

Drawing on data from a wider research project exploring intercultural sociability in everyday public spaces through interdisciplinary socio-spatial enquiry, this paper will focus on migrant leisure spaces and their relationships to community wellbeing. Located in Sheffield, the research focuses on a superdiverse neighbourhood that, in the last few years, has become known for the tensions between its resident communities. These seem primarily to relate to the use of public open spaces by groups of relatively recently arrived Eastern Europeans of mostly Roma background. However, despite this generally negative portrayal of the area, some positive aspects of the use of outdoor spaces have been identified. These include various benefits for the wellbeing of local communities and experiences of living with difference. The paper will specifically discuss the role of local parks as leisure spaces for social inclusion as well as the constraints on this and the emergence of negotiating strategies amongst the residents. The focus will be on several parks, which differ in terms of their spatiality, character and main users. The methodology draws on ethnography and includes intense observation, collaborative group activities, and formal and informal interviews with everyday users of those spaces. Furthermore, the paper argues the need for a deep, on-going and critical reflection on ethical issues, for example ensuring that the participants themselves benefit from their engagement in the research processes.

Keywordspublic space, parks, urban design, superdiversity, ethnography
Year2017
ConferenceRGS-­IBG Annual International Conference
Web address (URL) of conference proceedingshttp://conference.rgs.org/AC2017/189
Web address (URL)http://conference.rgs.org/AC2017/189

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Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/qvvx2/challenging-negative-perceptions-of-everyday-leisure-spaces-in-a-superdiverse-neighbourhood


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