Leicester's Cultural Diversity in the Context of the British Debate on Multiculturalism

By Richard Bonney and William Le Goff.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Leicester is regarded as providing a unique model of the harmonious working of a multicultural city. This article examines the reasons for its success and the challenges faced, both to the practical working of the model and its theoretical basis (the current debate in the UK on the future of multicultural society). Critics of multiculturalism argue that the model leaves communities within the city leading 'parallel lives' and may even be a cause of youth alienation and protest. Champions argue that whatever shortcomings the model may have had in practice the alternative is enforced assimilation of different religious and cultural communities at a faster pace than they are willing to go, and will therefore be politically destabilizing. The debate has taken on added urgency since the 7/7 bombings in 2005. Professor Richard Bonney, who has lived and worked in the city for over twenty years, reviews the history of the pattern of migration to the city, the work of equal opportunities which has led to the
affirming of the identities of different communities and the present practice. The implications for the debate on multiculturalism are drawn out in the conclusion.

Keywords: Leicester, Multicultural City, Multiculturalism, Inter-faith Relations, Community Cohesion

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp.45-58. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.635MB).

Revd Prof Richard Bonney

Markfield Institute of Higher Education, University of Leicester, UK

Richard Bonney From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Richard Bonney (born 1947) is an English historian and priest. Bonney's first degree was at Oxford. He submitted his D.Phil. on the intendants of Richelieu and Mazarin (1624-1661) in 1973, which was subsequently revised and published as Political Change in France under Richelieu and Mazarin, 1624-1661 by Oxford in 1978. Numerous other publications on French history and European fiscal history followed. He was appointed Lecturer in European History at the University of Reading in 1971 and Professor of Modern History at the University of Leicester in 1984, a post from which he retired in 2006. He was the founder of the Society for the Study of French History in the UK and the founding Editor of its Journal, French History, between 1987 and 2001. In 1997 he was ordained as a priest in the Church of England. His work on religious pluralism, and particularly his study on Jihad from Qur'an to Bin Laden (2004), have been frequently cited. He is Chairman of the Europe-Islamic World Organization.

William Le Goff

Markfield Institute of Higher Education, chercheur associé à l'Institut d'Aménagement du Territoire de Reims, France

William Le Goff’s PhD thesis, ‘Divisions socials et question du logement en Grande-Bretagne: entre ethnicisation et privatisation, les cas de Leicester et Bradford’, Thèse de Doctorat de l’Université de Caen has been qualified by the Conseil National des Universités in the sections 23 "Géographie" and 24 "Urbanisme et aménagement He is chargé de mission at the Délégation interministérielle à la ville.

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