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CEEDR Seminar Series for the Academic Year 2013 - 2014

Wednesday, 29th January 2014; 16.00 - 18.00; Hendon campus , W142

Living with difference in a global city, The case of Dalston (East London)
By Paola Briata; Bartlett School of Planning, University College London

The paper examines the case of Dalston, a multi-ethnic neighbourhood in East London. The local society's reactions' to a mixed tenure policy aimed also at creating a "new centrality" in the area, are used as lenses to explore the often hidden cross-cultural resources of the "cities of difference" (Fincher, Jacobs, 1998), as well as to understand the different ideas of "diversity" that "insiders" and "outsiders" may have.

This case is part of a broader research aimed at developing innovative methodologies and intellectual approaches to multi-ethnic and problematic environments, challenging one of the most common way of intervention in these places: social mixing policies. As the debate on urban space and immigration has been dominated by the topic of the problematic aspects of the newcomers' concentration in specific neighbourhoods, space policies have been characterized by a dominant approach aimed at mitigating forms of concentration (Arthurson, 2012). The "concentration" issue seems to be a powerful assumption that is both descriptive and prescriptive: social mixing policies may thus be seen not as a possible answer to concentration, but as an embedded answer to descriptions based on concentration. In this context, the paper considers some narratives that underpin analysis and forms of intervention in these places as assumptions that, far to be proven, play a large part in conditioning the public debate and policy agenda, but also in orientating research. A core point is thus deconstructing the most common narratives of stigmatised places, produced to justify initiatives aimed at stimulating "diversity" through often unsuccessful forms of social engineering.


Arthurson K. (2012), Social Mix and the City, CSiro Publishing, Collingwood.
Fincher R., Jacobs J. (eds.) (1998), Cities of Difference, New York-London, The Guilford Press.

Wednesday, 11th December 2013; 16.00 - 18.00; Hendon campus , W142

Older People's Work/Retirement Decisions: The Role of Social Entrepreneurial Activity
by Bianca Stumbitz

Demographic changes and social policy concerns have led to a debate regarding the roles and levels of involvement of older people in the economy and society. In this context, social entrepreneurship could provide a form of transition or an alternative to retirement, providing an alternative or 'middle way' between 'mainstream' entrepreneurship and voluntary work. At the same time, older people's involvement in social entrepreneurial activity could make a contribution to tackling the issues of an ageing society.  

This study aims at examining these trends in more depth and also explores what older people gain through their social entrepreneurial activities. Rather than homogenising older people as 'frail, poor, lonely and dependent', this project recognises the diversity of the group in terms of gender, race/ethnicity and the wider socio-economic and cultural background in which they are embedded. Furthermore, it identifies those older people who look forward to getting involved in new roles rather than to remove themselves socially and economically.  

Dr Bianca Stumbitz is Research Assistant at Middlesex University Business School. She has been involved in research on social entrepreneurship since 2008. Her ESRC funded study on Older Social Entrepreneurs was carried out as part of the Social Enterprise Capacity Building Cluster at CEEDR and in collaboration with UnLtd, a charity that supports social entrepreneurs in the UK. Bianca's interests also include small businesses and equality issues in the labour market. She recently completed a project for the International Labor Organization (ILO) on the outcomes of improving working conditions in SMEs and is currently working on another ILO review on maternity protection in SMEs.

Wednesday, 27th November 2013; 14.00 - 16.00; Hendon campus , W142

Skills: the solution to low wage work? by Caroline Lloyd is Professor at the School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University AbstractOver the past 30 years, the UK has experienced a continual rise in the number of low wage jobs, with more than 1 in 5 now experiencing low pay. A central focus of policies under New Labour and, to a more muted extent, the Coalition government has been to emphasise the need for low wage workers to upskill in order to progress to higher paid work. This approach is founded upon a series of assumptions; low skilled jobs are disappearing, employers will invest in workers who have the requisite basic skills and progression and higher wages will follow from upskilling. In this presentation, evidence from workplace case studies undertaken in five low wage sectors will be used to show that, even prior to the recession, there continued to be substantial numbers of low skilled jobs, many workers are over-qualified for their jobs and there are few opportunities for progression. If reducing low pay is a priority, then low paid jobs have to be tackled directly. By drawing on comparative research, it is argued that the national institutional environment can have a major impact on the size of the low wage workforce through a combination of collective bargaining, regulatory platforms, skill formation systems and welfare policies.

Wednesday, 23rd October 2013; 16.00 - 18.00; Hendon Campus, W142

The State, the Market and Regional Inequality: Critical Reflections on the South East by Professor Allan Cochrane, Open University

The South East of England often  escapes categorisation as a 'region' – other places are 'regions', whereas London and the South East is implicitly (and sometimes explicitly) assumed to be the core, the metropolitan heartland. What happens if this often unspoken assumption is overturned, and the South East is understood not only to be a (city) 'region' in the same sense as others, even if it on a different scale? Refocusing in this way as the Seminar outlines provides a helpful way into understanding the spatial politics of England In the first decade of the 21st century. The policy emphasis (reflected in housing targets and in the sustainable communities plan) was on supporting the market to deliver sufficient housing in the region for the labour force required to sustain economic growth.  And, in practice state policy continues to foster regional inequality, seeking to ride the tiger of market led housing development in the South East.

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