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A shared or multicultural future? Community cohesion and the (im)possibilities of hospitable social capital

Chan, Wun Fung (2010) A shared or multicultural future? Community cohesion and the (im)possibilities of hospitable social capital. Space and Polity, 14 (1). pp. 33-46. ISSN 1356-2576

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Abstract

Following the upheavals of 2001 in the northern England mill towns, there has been a renewed effort in policy circles to reconceptualise the terms of civic engagement between Britain's ethnic communities. Labelled 'community cohesion', the official agenda has drawn extensively from scholarly observations on social capital and, more recently, on an 'ethics of hospitality', to recommend a doctrine of social integration at a local scale. This paper suggests the ideals and ethos behind the development of such cohesion policies are incomplete and bear a productive contradiction, which promises an ethical reflection on the values at the intellectual core of New Labour's race relation policy.