I’m pleased to announce the publication of a new co-authored article with my University of Birmingham colleague, Surinder Guru. Published by Sociological Research Online, the full paper is available free by clicking here.
The abstract for the article is reproduced below:
In recent months I’ve been supporting in one way or another the Birmingham Social Inclusion Process. As part of its project, the Social Inclusion Process has a website – Fair Brum – which regularly posts about how the project is developing and moving forward.
A few weeks ago however, I was perplexed – and if honest, annoyed – by post on the website entitled, “The Notting Hill of Birmingham”.
The post focuses on the Balsall Heath area of Birmingham and how in recent years, the area has changed. As the author of the post – Deborah Tillsley – puts it:
“…it still wasn’t somewhere I would immediately consider when looking for somewhere to live…[however, since having] recently visited a project run by ‘Saheli Women’, and spoke to residents of Balsall Heath. My previous misgivings have now changed completely.”
As it goes on, residents described the area as ‘a hidden gem’ and – wait for it – ‘the Notting Hill of Birmingham’. Deborah describes these comments as “two of the really positive descriptions that came from the residents”. But in what way is this positive and what exactly was meant by ‘the Notting Hill of Birmingham’?
As part of a double page spread, Buzz covered the “Faith in the City” event that I facilitated in November at the Green Lane Masjid. You can download a free copy of Buzz to read the article by clicking here.
Alternatively, you can read the article below:
Faith in the City: Dr Chris Allen reflects on faith, community and the city
As part of the ESRC’s Festival of Social Science 2011, I organised the Faith in the City: communities, regeneration, interaction event here in Birmingham. Held in the city, at the local Green Lane mosque, the event sought to explore how faith inspires and influences people to live, work and act in today’s
Attracting around 70 delegates across the day, representatives from most of the city’s different faith communities were joined by delegates from Birmingham City Council, West Midlands Police and West Midlands Fire Service, as well as academics and students fromlocal and national universities. Alongside presentationsfrom Birmingham-based organisations with a faith heritage – including Islamic Relief, St Peter’s Saltley Trust and Birmingham Citizens – researchers from the University spoke about how their research was helping to raise awareness of a number of critical issues relevant to modern faith communities. Of particular interest was Dr Ricky Joseph from the Centre for Household Assets and Savings Management (CHASM) who spoke about the disparity between different faith groups in terms of wealth and assets, something that delegates had not previously considered.
Reproduced below is a short piece from the IASS website at the University of Birmingham about the recent ‘Faith in the City’ event. If you want to see the article in its original form, you can find it by clicking here.
‘Faith in the City’ event a success
Around 70 people attended last week’s ‘Faith in the City: communities, regeneration and integration’ event at the Green Lane Mosque in the Small Heath area of Birmingham. Organised as part of the ESRC’s Festival of Social Science 2011, event organiser, IASS’s Chris Allen, was overwhelmed by the response.
“In the diverse city that is today’s Birmingham, faith is an important part for many people. It inspires and influences the way people live, work and act and this event sought to explore some of this”.
Local people are invited to take part in an exciting event to discuss the role faith can play in building cohesive communities in Birmingham.
“Faith in the city: communities, regeneration, interaction” brings together academics from the University of Birmingham with representatives from Birmingham’s faith communities to tackle the sometimes controversial role faith plays in modern Britain.
The event, which is part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science takes place at Green Lane Mosque in Small Heath Wednesday 2nd November 2011 (10:00-16:00).
The researchers will use the event to launch the findings of a series of briefing papers about Islamophobia. These papers are the result of workshops hosted by the University involving representatives from across academia, policy institutions and grassroots community organisations.
The event will explore the way in which faith inspires and influences people to live, work and act in Birmingham’s diverse urban spaces. Bringing together individuals from different faith communities and organisations with researchers from within the social sciences at the University of Birmingham to consider a range of timely and relevant issues, some of the highlights will include: