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This Introduction highlights the specific features and the most innovative aspects of the book. First, the focus is on the relational aspects of integration understood not as a rigid state of peaceful coexistence but as a dynamic achievement which may pass through negotiations and conflict, providing a theoretical framework suitable for understanding what has been happening in several European cities over the last two decades. Second, the boundary-making approach proposed by Fredrik Barth as early as the 1960s, but seldom coherently operationalized in empirical research has been adopted, so that in the analysis groups were not identified a priori but on an empirical basis, and sometimes appear to be predominantly defined on criteria different from ethnicity, thus widening the book’s scope beyond migration studies. Third, European neighbourhoods have been investigated as crucial arenas of integration where public narratives displayed by policy communities and media interact with cognitive frameworks and relations developed in everyday life, producing different and changing ideas of ‘us’. Finally, the Introduction offers an overview of neighbourhoods investigated in the following chapters by classifying them into two broad groups – former industrial neighbourhoods and central service-oriented neighbourhoods – distinguished by different degrees of population turnover and diversity.
Pastore, F., & Ponzo, I. (2016). Introduction. IMISCOE Research Series. Springer Science and Business Media B.V. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-23096-2_1