McGarrigle, Jennifer Leigh
Understanding South Asian residential preferences in Glasgow: neighbourhood attachment and suburbanisation.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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Although, much has been written about the housing conditions and segregation of minority ethnic groups, less has been written about their housing careers, residential mobility, and preferences. This thesis attempts to address these limitations in our knowledge and to enhance our understanding of the residential location and preferences of South Asian households. To fully explore these objectives the research adopts a triangulated approach; combining a quantitative study using census data of both the residential location and concentration of South Asian groups in the study area and in-depth interviews with migrating South Asian households. The major findings of the research show that over the past ten years Greater Glasgow has seen changes in the residential location of its South Asian population; the results of the census analysis detail the maintenance of both residential differentiation and continued concentration in the inner city as well as evidence of dispersal to traditionally white suburban areas, areas adjacent to the core and in-between areas. The processes underlying these changes are shown to be dynamic and complex, encompassing elements of choice and constraint and reflecting negotiated choices. Cultural expectations, religious observance, financial constraint and limited housing options interact with choice in sustaining ethnic clustering in the inner-city. On the other hand we seen the spatial ramifications of changing practices social aspirations and economic opportunity for a selected group of movers. Although ethnicity and religion play a continuing role in shaping the residential choices of the South Asians interviewed, these factors were not independent but interacted with individual/personal factors, class, economic status, gender, age, family issues and the dynamic nature of culture in determining locational needs and preferences. The South Asian population is shown to be differentiated from within. This suggests that the idea of a coherent ‘Asian community’ obscures differences and generates assumptions regarding residential behaviour and ‘in-group’ identities not matched in the empirical data presented here.
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