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Everyday discrimination in the neighbourhood: what a ‘doing’ perspective on age and ethnicity can offer

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 May 2018

ANNA WANKA*
Affiliation:
DFG-funded Research Training Group ‘Doing Transitions’, Goethe University, Frankfurt on the Main, Germany.
LAURA WIESBÖCK
Affiliation:
Department of Sociology, University of Vienna, Austria.
BRIGITTE ALLEX
Affiliation:
Institute of Landscape Development, Recreation and Conservation Planning, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria.
ELISABETH ANNE-SOPHIE MAYRHUBER
Affiliation:
Unit Medical Anthropology and Global Health, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Center for Public Health, Medical University of Vienna, Austria.
ARNE ARNBERGER
Affiliation:
Institute of Landscape Development, Recreation and Conservation Planning, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria.
RENATE EDER
Affiliation:
Institute of Landscape Development, Recreation and Conservation Planning, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria.
RUTH KUTALEK
Affiliation:
Unit Medical Anthropology and Global Health, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Center for Public Health, Medical University of Vienna, Austria.
PETER WALLNER
Affiliation:
Department of Environmental Health, Center for Public Health, Medical University of Vienna, Austria.
HANS-PETER HUTTER
Affiliation:
Department of Environmental Health, Center for Public Health, Medical University of Vienna, Austria.
FRANZ KOLLAND
Affiliation:
Department of Sociology, University of Vienna, Austria.
*
Address for correspondence: Anna Wanka, DFG-funded Research Training Group ‘Doing Transitions’, Goethe University, Frankfurt on the Main, Dantestraße 9, Germany E-mail: wanka@em.uni-frankfurt.de

Abstract

Despite the fact that urbanisation, population ageing and international migration constitute major societal developments of our time, little attention has been paid to studying them together in a comprehensive manner. In this paper, we argue that, when treating age and ethnicity as practical processes for addressing and identifying with social groups, it is necessary to do so from a ‘doing’ perspective. The question we ask focuses on which social memberships are made relevant or irrelevant in residential environments and how that relevance or irrelevance is established. Drawing upon a quantitative study among individuals of Turkish migrant origin living in Vienna, Austria, we find that it is rather common for the respondents to have been assigned to multiple intersecting social groups and that they were treated unfairly in their own neighbourhoods. However, such ascriptions do not necessarily correspond to objective categorisations of research or subjective identifications. Hence, the discrimination that is present in a neighbourhood does not necessarily lead to decreased place attachment or a diminishing sense of home. In fact, we find that the ‘satisfaction paradox’ is quite common in environmental gerontology and that it may actually intersect with the ‘immigration paradox’. Applying processual intersectionality is not only fruitful for research, it can also improve the conceptualisation of age-friendly cities.

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Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2018 

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