Wednesday, 13 February 2013

‘Them and Us’: ‘Black Neighbourhoods’ as a Social Capital Resource among Black Youths Living in Inner-city London

an article by Tracey Reynolds (London South Bank University, UK) published in Urban Studies Volume 50 Number 3 (February 2013)


This paper will examine the views and experiences of Black youths living in socially deprived areas of London in order to examine the way in which they recognise the term ‘Black neighbourhood’ as a resource for ethnic identity formation and collective mobilisation.

Despite the apparent problems that are typically associated with ‘Black neighbourhoods’ for many Black youths, these neighbourhoods also represent urban spaces through which a range of bonding social capital resources are generated including ties of reciprocal trust, solidarity and civic participation. These spaces hold intrinsic value for these young people providing them with a sense of well-being and belonging.

However, the analysis will also show that the young people’s experiences of the neighbourhood are not always positive ones, and such spaces create negative outcomes for Black youths residing there.

In particular, the data will highlight the restrictive capacity of ‘Black neighbourhoods’ and the various ways in which they limit Black youths’ opportunities to ‘get on’ in terms of social mobility and their ability to move beyond neighbourhood boundaries.

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