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Local Matters

How neighbourhoods and services affect the social inclusion and exclusion of young people in European cities

Edited By Simon Güntner, Louis Henri Seukwa, Anne Marie Gehrke and Jill Robinson

Where young people grow up makes a decisive difference to their life chances. Drawing on case studies from ten European cities, this book looks at how the local environment and the services available for young people affect their socialization. What comes to the fore are the local matters. On the one hand, there are experiences of discrimination and marginalization due to distance and isolation, decay and neglect but also related to piecemeal and top-down approaches to youth and social services. On the other, we find signs of positive transformation and drivers of social innovation: community building projects, the revitalization of abandoned places, appreciative approaches to servicing and a whole array of tactics that young people deploy to overcome their daily struggles.

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Malmö: North and South Sofielund (Martin Grander / Mikael Stigendal)

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Martin Grander and Mikael Stigendal

Malmö: North and South Sofielund

Abstract: This Chapter examines social structures in two deprived neighbourhoods in Malmö, analyses their potentials to tackle symptoms and causes of inequality and asks how they might be realised, used and developed. Finally, it asks how the operations of neoliberal strategies can best be understood and how to support agents of the social investment strategy.

1. Introduction

In this chapter, we make a comprehensive description and analysis of policies and social structures working against inequalities in two neighbourhoods, North and South Sofielund in Malmö. The aim of the chapter is to highlight the potentials of policies and social structures when it comes to combating social inequalities in these two areas. Inequalities are here understood as both symptoms and causes. A reason for that distinction is to highlight how certain policies and social structures may alleviate the symptoms of inequality, but at the same time might aggravate the existing causes of inequality or even create new ones. Most important is, thus, to counteract or even to remove the causes of inequality.

We will start by providing a few key insights in the societal context. Then the two areas will be described. Next, we will analyse four different social structures. By a social structure we mean enduring social relations which people take part in, produce and reproduce, by playing roles (Sum and Jessop, 2013). In line with the scientific paradigm called critical...

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