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The Struggle of Becoming Established in a Deprived Inner-City Neighbourhood


  • David May

    (Aalborg University, Aalborg)


The theory of established-outsider figurations developed by Norbert Elias is a use-ful tool for examining deprived neighbourhoods. The case of this paper is Dort-mund Nordstadt in Germany, an old inner-city neighbourhood which from its early days has housed the newly arrived immigrants. Elias claims that the social cohesion of the established together with the stigmatisation of the outsiders lead to status and power differentials that exclude the outsiders. In Nordstadt, three lev-els of established-outsider relations overlap and affect each other. On the first, the societal level, the Germans stand opposite to the immigrants. On the second, the city level, Nordstadt is put into the outsider position. Furthermore, the spatial hierarchy is linked with the first level of established-outsider relations as Nord-stadt is a traditional immigrant neighbourhood. On the third, the neighbourhood level, the other established-outsider relations are in part reproduced and in part changed by recent developments.

Suggested Citation

  • David May, 2003. "The Struggle of Becoming Established in a Deprived Inner-City Neighbourhood," Working Papers 2003.101, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2003.101

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    Deprived neighbourhoods; Immigration; Integration; Established; Outsider; Elias;

    JEL classification:

    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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