Schmidt, Garbi. ‘Space, Politics and Past–Present Diversities in a Copenhagen Neighbourhood’. Identities, vol. 23, no. 1, Routledge, Jan. 2016, pp. 51–65.
This article responds to the need for a cautious use of the concepts of diversity and social cohesion in migration research. Presently missing in the literature is a historicisation and contextualisation of these concepts that can highlight the heterogeneity of diversity. In our investigation of the cities and neighbourhoods in which migrants settle and how migrants affect these neighbourhoods, it is important to ask whether the diversity of today is significantly different from the diversity a hundred years ago. To provide the missing perspectives, I offer a situated historical analysis of empirical data and ethnographic fieldwork in Nørrebro, a neighbourhood of the Danish capital, Copenhagen. Situating the contemporary heterogeneous characteristics of cities and neighbourhoods within a local history of diversity is useful for our understanding of past and contemporary social solidarities that underlie the perceptions of ‘otherness’ and the changing implications of the focus on immigrant identity.