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A Discussion on Whether Segregation and Integration Shape Social Life in Cities

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Words: 1155 |

Pages: 2|

6 min read

Published: Oct 2, 2018

Words: 1155|Pages: 2|6 min read

Published: Oct 2, 2018

Segregation refers to the building of boundaries between groups. These boundaries can be both spatial and social, which creates connection within a group, but disconnection with the other groups (Dixon and Hinchcliffe, 2014, p96). Integration refers to the unification of a group based on something people may have in common, for example race. Race may result in unification of a group of people who are of the same race, this creates connection within a group however can also create disconnection from other groups such as people of a different race.

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A more indepth example of race segregation and integration includes the southern states of the USA during the Jim Crow era. Within this era, where a person could live, work or attend school was determined by their race; whether they were black or white. This became a formal law of racial segregation, and also required white and black Americans to be completely separated. The two races were required to use different entrances to buildings such as cinemas, use different toilets and drink from different water fountains. Race segregation also occurred in South Africa during the apartheid era, resulting in the ‘Petty apartheid’ legislation dictating who the people of South Africa could spend time with or form relationships with (Dixon and Hinchcliffe, 2014, p96-97).

Both of these examples create disconnections with other races due to being segregated, as black citizens could not associate with white citizens. Within their racial groups this created connections based on their race and only being able to associate with one another in the same group, therefore showing integration as a result of legislations and laws. By being segregated, this limits and shapes the social life of a city as citizens are connected and disconnected with other people based solely on their race. Becoming part of a group often creates bonds of solidarity, a sense of common belonging and creates people feeling connected to each other, whilst feeling disconnected by other groups due to social division(Dixon and Hinchcliffe, 2014, p96).

Class divisions can also be used as an example of segregation and integration within a city. Within the city of Manchester, the richer class were able to divide themselves from the poorer class within the 1850’s therefore showing segregation between the two groups. The poorest class were located in the working-class terraced houses within the inner ring of Manchester, and the richer class lived in suburban villas on the outer ring of Manchester. This was referred to as the ‘doughnut’ shape of the city and can still be observed within today’s city of Manchester .

Class based segregation remains unchanged within Manchester however mixed housing in most areas has been initiated in order to amend this type of segregation within the city (Dixon and Hinchcliffe, 2014, p96). This example of class segregation also created disconnection between the two classes, as the richer people indirectly did not have to live, work with or attend school with the poorer class due to being in different areas of Manchester, however in recent society the two classes may integrate and connect due to the mixed housing that has been developed within most areas. This means different classes may live in the same areas as each other therefore preventing class division and segregation.

Portland Street in London is also another example of how class division can be reduced due to two classes living in the same area, however it can also be used as an example of segregation due to class. Portland Street is the home to the poorer class and the richer class, both living on the same street therefore it increases the chances of class division being reduced due to mixed housing on the street ranging from £5,000,000 homes to homes for the poorer class. Within the same example, class segregation can also be observed due to the poorer class living on the North side of the street and the richer class living on the south side of the street, therefore showing disconnection between citizens based on which side of the street you live on (The Open University 2017, Portland Road video).

Integration can be seen when connections and relationships between two communities in Belfast are created through activities, events and projects such as the Skegoneill Glandore common purpose project (SGCPP). The purpose of the project is to integrate the two protestant and catholic communities together to create social capital (The Open University 2017, ‘Making Connections’ video). Social capital refers to social connections and ease within the community (The Open University 2018, DD102 Glossary). In the past, violence and conflicts have existed between the two communities, resulting in the communities being segregated and disconnecting with each other. The aim of the SGCPP is to bring both communities together to form relationships and connect with each other (The Open University 2017, ‘Introduction’ video).

The SGCPP includes volunteers who help the project in many ways such as working in the community centre and helping to organise events to help integrate both communities. William’s shop was assembled by William himself to help connect members of the community. The shop provides a shared place for members of the community to shop and connect with each other as their paths cross on a regular basis.

The project also helps to integrate young teenagers and children by holding an after school facility and allotment projects where young teenagers and children come together with each other and volunteers that help to facilitate the groups (The Open University 2017, ‘Making Connections’ video). This shows integration as members of the community are forming groups such as the after school group and the allotment group, therefore connecting with one another and helping the prevention of segregation and disconnection within the community.

The attempt to integrate two communities also has barriers such as the fear of attacks from other communities and prejudice thoughts and opinions of others (The Open University 2017, ‘Perceptions and Fears’ video).This may show connections between citizens who share the same prejudice thoughts and opinions of members of the other community, as they connect through common thoughts. This may result in segregation within the same community. For example, if some members of the protestant community believed that they will be attacked by members of the catholic community, they may form their own group within the protestant community resulting in disconnection with the other protestants and also with the catholic community.

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In conclusion, segregation and disconnections can occur due to factors such as fear, race, class and also religion. Segregation results in others disconnecting with each other, however connect and integrate with each other in their own group. The evidence and examples given show a variety of integration and segregation, showing the different ways that this can affect and shape a society in different cities and countries, both in the past and present societies.

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Cite this Essay

A Discussion on Whether Segregation and Integration Shape. (2018, September 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 25, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-discussion-on-whether-segregation-and-integration-shape-social-life-in-cities/
“A Discussion on Whether Segregation and Integration Shape.” GradesFixer, 27 Sept. 2018, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-discussion-on-whether-segregation-and-integration-shape-social-life-in-cities/
A Discussion on Whether Segregation and Integration Shape. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-discussion-on-whether-segregation-and-integration-shape-social-life-in-cities/> [Accessed 25 May 2024].
A Discussion on Whether Segregation and Integration Shape [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Sept 27 [cited 2024 May 25]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-discussion-on-whether-segregation-and-integration-shape-social-life-in-cities/
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