Chapter

Can we promote cohesion through contact? Intergroup contact and the development of community cohesion

Matthew J. Goodwin

in Changing local governance, changing citizens

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9781847422170
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301677 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847422170.003.0006
Can we promote cohesion through contact? Intergroup contact and the development of community cohesion

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This chapter discusses the concept of ‘community cohesion’ and the role of group contact within this field. The concept of community cohesion emerged following urban disturbances in parts of northern England in summer 2001. It seeks to promote a more inclusive notion of citizenship, identity, and belonging, and the development of integrated communities that while ethno-culturally diverse, are grounded in a set of shared values and understandings. According to the report of the Commission for Integration and Cohesion, community cohesion is the process that must happen in all communities to ensure different groups of people get on well together; while integration is principally the process that ensures new residents and existing residents adapt to one another. The chapter explores the wider theoretical and empirical base that underpins the contact approach. While the contact approach is supported by a large body of evidence, it poses a number of challenges for policy makers and practitioners. Finally, the chapter raises several questions concerning the implementation and effects of contact-based interventions.

Keywords: community cohesion; citizenship; contact approach; England; integration

Chapter.  7388 words. 

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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