Adriano Cancellieri

How to survive difference. Ethnography of social boundaries in a multicultural condominium

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Multicultural places, social boundaries, spatial turn, public spaces, re-territorialisation of space

In an increasingly multicultural society, it is rather paradoxical that research on the ways multicultural spaces function is still relatively rare; in fact, this kind of place is generally depicted as one entailing (automatic) conflict or (automatic) convergence. The aim of this study is to contribute to opening up the black box of multicultural spaces by analysing a place called Hotel House. This is an enormous building containing four hundred and eighty flats and almost two thousand inhabitants (about 90% of which are immigrants from forty different countries). My objective is to answer the following question: how can one survive difference in a such a place? I have tried to find an answer by focusing on the everyday dialectic relationship between social actors and space and, in particular, by highlighting the role played by the use and the re-appropriation of space in the processes of re-construction/de-construction of social boundaries and forms of membership.

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