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A. Heringa

Pathways in Diversity: Inter-ethnic contacts and experiences of individuals and the role of the residential neighbourhood from a situational, activity-based approach

A. Heringa

Inter-ethnic relations in today’s diversifying urban populations are of major political concern, as inequalities and feelings of displacement and discrimination are leading to increasing polarisation and tensions. In the past decade, governments in the Netherlands and other western countries have tried to address these problems by focussing on the integration of ethnic minorities in mainstream society, in order to reduce inequalities and irreconcilable cultural differences. Creating ‘mixed’ neighbourhoods to facilitate inter-ethnic contacts has been one of the measures implemented. Past studies looking at either demand or supply-side, have however been inconclusive about the effectiveness of such area-based policies. In this dissertation, we look at inter-ethnic contact and experiences and the role of the neighbourhood from a situational, activity-based approach. We analyse existing survey data and additionally follow the life and daily paths of individual Turkish and Native Dutch in physical and cyber space. In the analysis we show the path-dependency in segregation patterns, strategies of individuals to experience belonging and provide gripping points for policy on where and how to improve relationships between different groups.