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Title: A shared future? : territory, space and identity in post-agreement south Belfast
Author: Huey, T.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5373 0322
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2014
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Since the Good Friday Agreement (1998), Northern Ireland's community leaders, politicians and service providers have struggled to build improved relations both horizontally (between communities) and vertically (with service providers). The legacy of over thirty years of inter-communal violence has led to an exclusive view and use of territory and space. It has acted as a physical barrier of exclusion rather than potential meeting point or ground of inclusion. In south Belfast, a traditional interface situation between the indigenous Loyalist and Republican communities has been ruptured by the emergence of permanent Chinese community now in its fourth generation. The majority of this community worked, and continue to work, in the catering industry. This thesis seeks to understand the role of territory and space in inter-community relations - particularly those of the Chinese community for whom south Belfast is now 'home'. Spatial alteration can then be perceived as marking dilution of cultural identities or those ways of life to which communal loyalty is pledged. This perspective shapes identity and perceived reduction in levels of spatial 'control' can increase a sense of loss amongst communities threatened by demographic change. This thesis examines space and territory as part of community relations through the use of semi-structured interviews combined with · desk-based research. The thesis illustrates how exclusive space encourages poor community relations, increases democratic deficit and entrenches social marginalization. More inclusive spatial creation and use promotes positive contact between communities and allows constructive, mutually beneficial relations with service providers to be instigated. A key factor in this change is not just spatial creation, but how it is used and the types of civic education undertaken within it. How this form of civic education meshes with more formal education undertaken in schools will determine the ability of communities to achieve social integration and engagement.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available