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Who are the strangers? Neighbour relations in socially and ethnically heterogeneous residential buildings in Geneva

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Published in Stijn Oosterlynck, Gert Verschraegen and Ronald van Kempen. Divercities: Understanding super diversity in deprived and mixed neighbourhoods. Bristol: Policy Press. 2019, p. 24-45
Abstract In Chapter 2, Maxime Felder investigates the complex relation between interest and indifference and separation and exposure between neighbours in four socially and ethnically heterogeneous buildings in the Swiss city of Geneva. He looks at the conditions under which urbanites learn about their neighbours and the factors that contribute to maintaining their strangeness (meant as unusual and unfamiliar characteristics). Felder draws an important distinction between not knowing someone personally but being familiar and not knowing of someone’s existence. From his empirical analysis, it seems that good neighbours do not need to be ‘like us’ as long as they are friendly and do not threaten our interests and privacy. Still, the combination of physical proximity and lack of acquaintance makes neighbours into strangers. Urbanites deal with their life among strangers and the incomplete knowledge they have of their neighbours with a back- and-forth movement between normalising and fantasising. In this way, urban residents balance their need for normality with their attraction to strangeness and diversity.
Keywords DiversityNeighbourhoodSocial relationsGenevaCoexistenceStrangersNeighboursNormalisationFantasisingNormalityStrangenessProximityCityUrban sociology
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ISBN: 978-1447338178
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Book chapter (Published version) (168 Kb) - document accessible for UNIGE members only Limited access to UNIGE
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Project FNS: 155747
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FELDER, Maxime. Who are the strangers? Neighbour relations in socially and ethnically heterogeneous residential buildings in Geneva. In: Stijn Oosterlynck, Gert Verschraegen and Ronald van Kempen (Ed.). Divercities: Understanding super diversity in deprived and mixed neighbourhoods. Bristol : Policy Press, 2019. p. 24-45. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:112745

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Deposited on : 2019-01-09

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