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Title: Receptive cities? : institutional narratives of migrants' integration and migrants' own perceptions of receptiveness in Brighton and Bologna
Author: Mazzilli, Caterina
ISNI:       0000 0004 7960 9803
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2019
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Located at the intersection of human geography and political sociology, this thesis examines how two cities have constructed and established public narratives of 'receptiveness' and the degree to which their respective narratives include or exclude ethnic diversity. The study is a cross-country city-level comparison between Brighton, UK, and Bologna, Italy. It draws on eight months of qualitative field research including 58 in-depth semi-structured interviews and participant observations at public events held explicitly to foster diversity in the local community. Both cities are noted for being 'tolerant' (Brighton & Hove City Council 2014) and 'hospitable' (Scuzzarello 2015), which forms a core element of their public self-image. Built as a party town and well-known for being the home of the largest Gay Pride of Britain, Brighton is popularly described as young, artistic and unconventional. Bologna, with its historical role as the leader of the Italian Left and the oldest university in Europe, has a reputation as a city of culture and political rights. In both cases, the study shows that 'diversity' is the main - albeit not unique - factor on which local receptiveness is built. To gauge how narratives on receptiveness produced from 'above' and from 'below' interact and/or contrast, my analysis differentiates between the perspectives of representatives of the local government, on one side, and members of migrants' grassroots associations, on the other. Looking at similarities and difference between institutional and grassroots narratives, this study provides valuable insights on how diversity and, in turn, receptiveness are framed in distinct contexts. I first pay attention to diversity as a social fact, by examining local demographics, then shift to diversity as a public narrative or 'trademark' of the city. Secondly, I focus on the political formations through which migrants can participate in local politics and on the collective identities that are deemed to 'fit in' the local community. While these place-narratives of openness undoubtedly project a positive self-image, migrants criticise this 'receptiveness' as superficial, restricted to certain groups, and based on 'desired ends' (Stokowski 2002).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JV6091 Emigration ; JV6201 Immigration