‘Island Homes for Island People’: Competition, Conflict and Racism in the Battle over Public Housing on the Isle of Dogs

  • Janet Foster
Part of the Explorations in Sociology book series (EIS)


It is well documented that residents, even in poor and run-down urban neighbourhoods, often feel a strong sense of attachment to the areas in which they live (Abrams, 1986; Bulmer, 1986; Young and Willmott, 1972). The Isle of Dogs in the heart of London’s Docklands is no exception. This chapter, which is largely descriptive and exploratory, describes the conflict and emerging racism which occurred on the Isle of Dogs between white working-class residents, some of whom had a strong sense of place and history perceived to be under threat, and the predominantly Bengali population who were forced by changes in local authority housing allocation to move into the area.


Public Housing Social Construction White People Homeless Family Indigenous Resident 
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© British Sociological Association 1996

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  • Janet Foster

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