Residential differentiation and disadvantaged urban residents : approaches towards the study of socio-spatial environments in the city of Bradford
The inability of the social sciences to contribute to the better understanding of the intraurban problems of contemporary society has provided the primary influence for an approach that is strongly grounded in the method and philosophy of social analysis. The underlying aim is to reinterpret the 'theory 1 of residential differentiation away from the classical ecology of the Chicago School and towards Neo-Marxism. The thesis divides into three main sections. The first discusses the theoretical formation of social science using, partially, the conceptual outline of Strasser with the aim of making the geographer not only.re cognise his own perspective (ideology) but also of locating this and competing perspectives in time and social structure. Metaphysical theories of society are examined and the myths of orthodox positivist social analysis, particularly the Chicago School and later factorial ecologists, are critically evaluated. The second section is an orthodox empirical analysis of the spatial extent and the concentration of deprivation utilising standard statistical techniques. The operationalising of this part of the research is based on data collected for Bradford County Borough. The main data source has been the 1971 Census Small Ward Library for 632 enumeration districts. Fifty-four variables have been selected to cover the complete range of demographic, ethnic, migratory, economic activity, social, commuting and housing characteristics likely to be relevant. A large range of single and multi-factor indices of deprivation have been computed in the positivist tradition to delineate Housing Action Areas and General Improvement Areas. For example, a multi-factor index has been computed using 14 census variables by transforming them into Z-scores with means of zero and unit variance; these have been used to give a composite . index of the spatial coincidence of areas with high levels of deprivation. The central tenets of ecological theory are derived from several factorial ecologies and cluster analyses (both R- and Q- mode). The technical and methodological problems of multifactor designs are discussed at length and concluded as providing serious 'negative 1 effects in which error compounding can further detract from the soundness of the corpus of ecological theory. The third and final section is a re-evaluation of the patterns of segregation observed in the factor ecological maps that attempts to consider the dialectics of post industrial capitalist society. The differentiating factor of social groups in space is seen to lie in the broader forces of class structuration. The primary force is the power relation between capital and labour, though it is also recognised that secondary (or, better, supportive) forces arise from the necessity of preserving the process of capital accumulation. The key theoretical link between the primary social relation and the role of space is made with the help of Lamarche's exposition on the concept of the circulation of capital. The aim of the thesis is to achieve higher levels of explanation for the segregation of different social groups throughout, and for the social networks of housing intermediaries within, urban spaceparticularly as this is revealed by the disadvantaged members of society.