Modes of Inter-ethnic Coexistence in three Neighourhoods in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area: A Comparative Perspective. By Jennifer McGarrigle and Maria Lucinda Fonseca (Reviewed by Lu Wang)
Modes of Inter-Ethnic Coexistence addresses a critically important issue on inter-ethnic coexistence that has become increasingly common in ethnically diverse cities both within and outside Europe. As part of a larger collaborative research project “GEITNONIES” (Generating Interethnic Tolerance and Neighbourhood Integration in European Urban Spaces) involving six European cities (Lisbon, Bilbao, Thessalonica, Rotterdam, Vienna and Warwaw), this book focuses on the study conducted in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area. The book achieved a nice balance between reviewing relevant theoretical perspectives on neighborhoods and social capital and presenting empirical analysis of first-handed field data collected from the project. It provides important insights into the understanding of how neighbourhood contextual factors and individual compositional characteristics affect daily social practices and social interactions of immigrants and native-born residents in three strategically selected neighbourhoods in Lisbon.
The book is divided into six chapters. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the immigrant population in the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon and discusses the rationale for selecting the three study areas/neighbourhoods: Costa da Caparica, Monte Abraao and Mouraria. Survey methodology, sampling, unit of analysis and sample profile are discussed in this chapter. Survey results are presented in Chapters 2, 3, 4 and 6. Specially, Chapter 2 focuses on the cognitive elements of inter-ethnic coexistence and explores perceptions of neighbouring and the neighbourhood that includes physical and social environment around one’s housing unit. Chapter 3 examines the structural elements of coexistence by analyzing contacts with and knowledge of people in the neighbourhood and contacts in the workplace. Chapter 4 aims to measure and characterize the dimension and ethnic composition of social networks and the evolution of interethnic relations. Detailed descriptive statistics is reported in tables in Chapters 2, 3 and 4 and contrast is made between immigrants and natives, and among the three study areas. Chapter 5 employs factor analysis of fourteen indicators representing various levels of embeddedness in neighoubhood and identifies five independent factors. Cluster analysis then allows for the development of a typology of modes of coexistence and embededness in the three neighbourhoods. Chapter 6 summarizes main findings and discusses policy recommendations.
In addition to the rich survey-based empirical findings discussed in the book, theories concerning the relationship among social capital, neighbourhood and social network are well discussed and linked to the overall discussion. The book provides an abundance of tables, maps and charts generated from the survey. These illustrations are in general helpful for the reader to understand the data and scope of the study. However, the amount of illustration in Chapter 1 seems to be a bit high. Some of the tables and maps could have been combined and presented on the same page for ease of comparison. At the end of the book, it would have been helpful to attach the original questionnaire that was administered in all six European cities included in the project. The short summaries provided at the end of each main section and each chapter are helpful for the reader to understand the content of the book. The book is a timely addition to the growing scholarship on the relationship between neighbourhood contextual effect and composition effect and provides insight into the definition of neighbourhood in the context of immigration and settlement. It also yields important knowledge on the ways in which multi-ethnic groups coexist in modern cities. The book should be of interest to researchers and graduate students in areas such as immigration and settlement studies, social capital and social network and neighbourhood studies. It should also appeal to urban planners and policy makers who are interested in understanding the role of neighbourhood physical (and social) attributes in shaping social practice and social network.
health, transnationalism, GIS and health, marketing geography and using mixed-method approach in research.