The struggle to belong: Dealing with diversity in 21st century urban settings

Amsterdam 7-9 July 2011

The central concern of the Research Committee 21 annual conference is the ways in which individuals and communities in an urban context respond to the major social processes of globalisation and individualisation: how do they articulate various forms of diversity and develop inclusive or exclusive strategies to ‘belong’? Moreover, we aim to understand better what types of (new) policy responses and forms of governance have developed to manage diversity in urban settings.


The RC-21 2011 Conference will analyse how globalisation and individualisation have given rise to new forms of diversity -ethnic, religious, gender, sexual, class and otherwise-, and new deliberations and conflicts over citizenship and belonging in urban settings. 30 thematic sessions will be organised, covering topics among which feature:

  • Youth geographies and spatial identities;
  • Urban order, crime and citizenship;
  • Urban neighbourhoods as spaces of production and consumption;
  • Housing Markets, Urban Transformations;
  • Governance and diversity in cities.

These sessions will be guided by the input from papers that have been submitted in December 2010, and which will be published on the conference website.


RC21 is a non-profit Research Committee of the International Sociological Association (ISA), and in order to cover the conference costs it is necessary to pay a conference fee. Early bird (before May 15th) and standard rates apply. Registration will open the 1st of March 2011.


Enquiries can be directed to Yuri Kazepov:
Tel: (+39) 0722 305739

About: Robert Grimm

All over Europe, cities are faced with the challenge of using cultural resources to re-position their city in an increasingly culturally and economically diversified European space. Related to this is a clear recognition of the growing importance of cultural resources for economic and community development. This produces new opportunities and challenges for local cultural planning and management. In order to fully exploit the innovative and supportive role of culture in European urban development, it will be necessary to develop a new socially and culturally sensitive professionalism, able to cross the boundaries between the arts, design, urban and spatial planning, public policy and the market, artistic creativity and cultural management. The MA in European Urban Cultures offers a specialist programme aimed at graduate students from Europe and elsewhere with undergraduate degrees in subject areas such as the social sciences; cultural and leisure studies; art, design and architecture; urban theory and planning; cultural marketing and management. The course is also targeted at professionals and administrators eager for the latest experiences, ideas and insights in urban cultural policy.