London: Deprivation, Social Isolation and Regeneration
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Research undertaken for the London case study of the URBEX project forms the basis for this chapter. Evidence is presented from a number of in-depth, semi-structured interviews with residents felt to be the victims of social exclusion in two council estates (one core, the other peripheral), as well as from interviews with other local key-informants connected with the estates. The findings reveal that the processes and experiences of exclusion, and strategic responses, vary considerably with respect to Polanyi’s spheres of economic integration among the three groups, and that certain contextual factors distinguish the neighbourhoods. No evidence for a distinctive core-periphery ‘neighbourhood effect’ is found. Political tensions concerning the wider local regeneration efforts reflect similar conflicts elsewhere in London and the UK at large. Problems of low-income, poor housing and social isolation are common to all target groups in both estates. All groups, moreover, value and utilize their neighbourhood as an important resource as part of their struggle to make ends meet. Attachment to place, however, is paradoxical, reflecting socio-spatial immobility among deprived people, and the necessity of having to make do with spatially fixed assets such as housing.
KeywordsHousing Market Welfare Regime Minority Ethnic Group Lone Mother London Borough
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