Your Ghetto, My Comfort Zone: A Life-Story Analysis of Inter-Generational Housing Outcomes and Residential Geographies in Urban South-East England Ole Jensen

Introduction

Based on fieldwork carried out in an urban neighbourhood in south-east England, and using a life-story methodology with a focus on intergenerational change over time, I will analyse the housing outcomes of three ethnic categories – the White British majority population, the British-Italian minority and the British-Pakistani minority. Both minority populations are characterised by early moves into owner-occupancy. But where British-Italians typically have moved ‘up and out’, there has been a British-Pakistani residential consolidation in a ‘comfort zone’ where overlaying spheres of community and neighbourhood, underpinned by localised practices of cultural consumption, eventually have come to constitute a spatial and social habitus. Though policy discourse often perceives such practices as indicative of self-segregation, I will here argue that there are similarities between the British-Pakistani comfort zone and the memories of a neighbourhood-based white working-class community, articulated by White British residents.

Jensen, O. (2013) ‘Your Ghetto, My Comfort Zone: A Life-Story Analysis of Inter-Generational Housing Outcomes and Residential Geographies in Urban South-East England’, Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, 20(4): 438-454