Everyday integration: The Local Contexts, Practices, and Mobilities of Integration

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Sociology

Abstract

The recent Casey Review (2016) and Integrated Communities Strategy Green Paper (2018) have revived integration as a national policy priority. The problem these strategies address is the perceived lack of integration of immigrants and ethnic minorities. The fix they propose combines English Language provision and the promotion of 'fundamental British values' with curbs on immigration and interventions to address what are viewed as harmful cultural practices.

Whilst most will agree that integration is desirable, there are different views on what integration is and how best to achieve it. Our approach is distinctive in at least three ways.

First, we view integration as a process involving everyone, not just immigrants and ethnic minorities. The drawback of approaches that single out certain populations as 'unintegrated' is that they relieve other, 'integrated' populations of responsibility for integration. Integration, we argue, can only work if it involves everyone, where everyone shares its responsibilities and benefits.

Second, we view integration as beginning in the situated practices and local contexts of everyday life. The drawback of approaches that stress fundamental national values is they trade in abstractions that may have little bearing on people's day-to-day concerns. Integration, we argue, should be pursued and achieved through social intercourse grounded in everyday life, not (only) through the promotion of abstract national values.

Third, we view integration as a bottom-up phenomenon, where the aim of policy should be to capture and encourage existing best practices whilst simultaneously attenuating local barriers to integration. The drawback of approaches pitched at the national level is they are less sensitive to variation in local context. Integration, we argue, must begin with and attend to the specificities of local context.

Our Everyday Integration approach reclaims and retools integration for academic and policy purposes.

Our approach represents a step change in the scholarship on integration. Integration has been criticised for its assimilationist undertones and lack of conceptual clarity, leading some to abandon it in favour of cognate concepts such as incorporation or inclusion. Given integration's continued policy relevance, however, our aim instead is to redefine and reclaim it in ways that identify and then remedy its earlier shortcomings. We begin with integration as an assortment of locally grounded everyday practices and mobilities that facilitate meaningful and constructive social exchange. We will develop this approach as our main scholarly intervention to integration.

Our approach is designed to achieve maximum impact for the everyday users and agents of integration. Integration is not just a matter of fostering good relations between citizens and migrants in national contexts. Rather, integration occurs through the grounded practices, exchanges, and mobilities of everyday life in local contexts. Our policy interventions are designed to capture and facilitate existing good practices whilst simultaneously addressing remaining barriers to integration. Working with the Mayor of Bristol, the Bristol City Council, and a wide range of City and Community Partners, we will use our research findings to co-produce and implement an Integration Strategy for Bristol. We will then distil the insights from our research and Strategy to formulate an Integration Toolkit that can be flexibly adapted for other urban contexts across Britain.

Rather than simply seeing the lack of integration as a problem, we contend that a focus on the ways in which different groups of mobile and settled residents of the city already experience and practice integration - that is, the people who are its everyday architects and agents - can provide insights and creative approaches for scholars and policymakers seeking to understand and foster integration.

Planned Impact

One key objective of this project is to engage community partners, policymakers, and academics in collaborative research to co-produce an Integration Strategy for Bristol that will provide an evidence-based, locally grounded approach to promoting integration in the city. This will form the basis for an Integration Toolkit, which will offer a flexible set of principles, methodologies, and insights for other cities to develop their own locally-driven approaches to integration.

The project's aims and design have been developed and agreed through a series of workshops, meetings, and other discussions in 2017-2018 with local government and community organisations. We will continue this collaboration to: share knowledge between academics, practitioners and communities; co-organise Integration Roadshows to canvass local communities on their ideas and concerns about integration; run a series of Integration Workshops with 25 local Partners to shape the project's ongoing implementation; co-produce an Integration Strategy for Bristol; deliver the Integration Strategy to the Mayor of Bristol and Bristol City Council and work with them on a plan for its implementation and continued funding; and develop and disseminate the Integration Toolkit to stakeholders across the UK.

The beneficiaries of the project are the range of Partners in Bristol who are involved in and supporting this project. These include Bristol City Council and the Mayor of Bristol, who have pledged their support for the project and their commitment to collaborating with the research. Together they will ensure the dissemination and implementation of the Integration Strategy for Bristol, linking it with and embedding it in the Mayor's One City Plan for 'a coherent and socially inclusive city'. Our Bristol City Council Partners from the Housing Division, the Department for Neighbourhoods and Communities, the Department for Growth and Regeneration, and the Division of Culture will join the project's Steering Committee to inform the design and implementation of the research and ensure that it addresses the needs of local residents and policymakers.

The project has achieved the support of a wide range of local community organisations and stakeholders, including our four core City Partners: Voscur, Up Our Street, Ashley Community Housing, and the Black South West Network, who will join the project's Steering Committee with responsibility for representing the interests and needs of organisations working on integration issues in the city. Additionally, the project will work with 25 Community Partners, including Babbasa Youth Empowerment, Bristol Disability Equality Forum, Bristol Multi-Faith Forum, Community CoLab, Hartcliffe and Withywood Community Partnership, Refugee Women of Bristol, and United Communities (see Appendix 1 for a full list). These Partners will participate in the Integration Workshops and Roadshows to help develop the research's approach to addressing the concerns and views of diverse communities from across the city. Such commitment from our Bristol Partners ensures that our project is well positioned to achieve real impact on its Integration Strategy and related initiatives in the city to reach some of the project's most important beneficiaries, the people of Bristol.

Additionally, the project will draw on the insights, proposals and lessons learnt from the research and Integration Strategy to create a national Integration Toolkit for national launch and dissemination to other cities across the UK. Our Partner from the Mayor's Office, David Barclay (Good Faith Partnership/Advisor to the Mayor on Social Inclusion), will lead on the launch of the Integration Strategy for Bristol in London and the subsequent dissemination of the Integration Toolkit to local stakeholders in other cities and to national stake-holders, including parliamentarians and civil servants.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description We are in the sixth month of a collaborative and co-produced research project with Bristol City Council and more than thirty community partners across the city. The impact of the research has been found in the process thus far of collaborating with our partners to progress the work of the project. Those meetings include 1 large workshop (with the majority of partners present), 2 steering committee meetings (with representatives from 4 key community partners and Bristol City Council present), and approximately 10 work-package meetings (each with at least 1 key community partner, 1 Bristol City Council partner, and 1 University of Bristol partner). The main objective of the project is to co-produce an impact strategy for Bristol. We have thus far been scoping and collecting the knowledge we have in local communities (through our community partners) and identifying the integration priorities for both community and Bristol City Council partners. The process of meeting and collaborating on these and other objectives has put our community partners into direct dialogue with Bristol City Council on matters of shared concern and interest. This is building the capacity of our community partners to influence local policy on integration and other matters.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Meetings with Greater London Authority
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Title Annotated Bibliographies 
Description Annotated bibliographies for each work-package. We asked our key partners to send us information about relevant publications to include on these bibliographies. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Knowledge exchange between key partners and academic research team. 
 
Title Community Research Database 
Description Database of existing community research on integration. We asked our community partners for information about existing research, including research projects, evaluation, workshops, events and associated reports, and have compiled this information in a database. We have not yet shared this database with others but plan to create a searchable database that would be beneficial to our community partners. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Increased engagement of community partners in the project. 
 
Description Partnership with Bristol City Council 
Organisation Bristol City Council
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Research expertise, intellectual input and access to data.
Collaborator Contribution Professional expertise, intellectual input, network of contacts.
Impact Annotated bibliographies, community research database, workshop participation, Mayor's blog post.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership with community partners 
Organisation Age UK
Department Age UK Bristol
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Research expertise, intellectual input.
Collaborator Contribution Professional expertise, intellectual input, participation in engagement workshop, assistance with recruitment of research participants.
Impact Workshop (contribution to decisions made over direction of research and GPS sample construction), workshop report, annotated bibliographies, community research database.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership with community partners 
Organisation Ambition Lawrence Weston
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Research expertise, intellectual input.
Collaborator Contribution Professional expertise, intellectual input, participation in engagement workshop, assistance with recruitment of research participants.
Impact Workshop (contribution to decisions made over direction of research and GPS sample construction), workshop report, annotated bibliographies, community research database.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership with community partners 
Organisation Babbasa
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Research expertise, intellectual input.
Collaborator Contribution Professional expertise, intellectual input, participation in engagement workshop, assistance with recruitment of research participants.
Impact Workshop (contribution to decisions made over direction of research and GPS sample construction), workshop report, annotated bibliographies, community research database.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership with community partners 
Organisation Barton Hill Settlement
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Research expertise, intellectual input.
Collaborator Contribution Professional expertise, intellectual input, participation in engagement workshop, assistance with recruitment of research participants.
Impact Workshop (contribution to decisions made over direction of research and GPS sample construction), workshop report, annotated bibliographies, community research database.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership with community partners 
Organisation Bristol Disability Equality Forum
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Research expertise, intellectual input.
Collaborator Contribution Professional expertise, intellectual input, participation in engagement workshop, assistance with recruitment of research participants.
Impact Workshop (contribution to decisions made over direction of research and GPS sample construction), workshop report, annotated bibliographies, community research database.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership with community partners 
Organisation Bristol Green Capital Partnership
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Research expertise, intellectual input.
Collaborator Contribution Professional expertise, intellectual input, participation in engagement workshop, assistance with recruitment of research participants.
Impact Workshop (contribution to decisions made over direction of research and GPS sample construction), workshop report, annotated bibliographies, community research database.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership with community partners 
Organisation Bristol Multi-faith Forum
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Research expertise, intellectual input.
Collaborator Contribution Professional expertise, intellectual input, participation in engagement workshop, assistance with recruitment of research participants.
Impact Workshop (contribution to decisions made over direction of research and GPS sample construction), workshop report, annotated bibliographies, community research database.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership with community partners 
Organisation Bristol Refugee Rights
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Research expertise, intellectual input.
Collaborator Contribution Professional expertise, intellectual input, participation in engagement workshop, assistance with recruitment of research participants.
Impact Workshop (contribution to decisions made over direction of research and GPS sample construction), workshop report, annotated bibliographies, community research database.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership with community partners 
Organisation Community CoLab
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Research expertise, intellectual input.
Collaborator Contribution Professional expertise, intellectual input, participation in engagement workshop, assistance with recruitment of research participants.
Impact Workshop (contribution to decisions made over direction of research and GPS sample construction), workshop report, annotated bibliographies, community research database.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership with community partners 
Organisation DMAC UK
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Research expertise, intellectual input.
Collaborator Contribution Professional expertise, intellectual input, participation in engagement workshop, assistance with recruitment of research participants.
Impact Workshop (contribution to decisions made over direction of research and GPS sample construction), workshop report, annotated bibliographies, community research database.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership with community partners 
Organisation Knowle West Media Centre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Research expertise, intellectual input.
Collaborator Contribution Professional expertise, intellectual input, participation in engagement workshop, assistance with recruitment of research participants.
Impact Workshop (contribution to decisions made over direction of research and GPS sample construction), workshop report, annotated bibliographies, community research database.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership with community partners 
Organisation LGBT Bristol
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Research expertise, intellectual input.
Collaborator Contribution Professional expertise, intellectual input, participation in engagement workshop, assistance with recruitment of research participants.
Impact Workshop (contribution to decisions made over direction of research and GPS sample construction), workshop report, annotated bibliographies, community research database.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership with community partners 
Organisation Refugee Women of Bristol
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Research expertise, intellectual input.
Collaborator Contribution Professional expertise, intellectual input, participation in engagement workshop, assistance with recruitment of research participants.
Impact Workshop (contribution to decisions made over direction of research and GPS sample construction), workshop report, annotated bibliographies, community research database.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership with community partners 
Organisation Southmead Development Trust
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Research expertise, intellectual input.
Collaborator Contribution Professional expertise, intellectual input, participation in engagement workshop, assistance with recruitment of research participants.
Impact Workshop (contribution to decisions made over direction of research and GPS sample construction), workshop report, annotated bibliographies, community research database.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership with community partners 
Organisation Stand Against Racism and Inequality
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Research expertise, intellectual input.
Collaborator Contribution Professional expertise, intellectual input, participation in engagement workshop, assistance with recruitment of research participants.
Impact Workshop (contribution to decisions made over direction of research and GPS sample construction), workshop report, annotated bibliographies, community research database.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership with community partners 
Organisation The Architecture Centre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Research expertise, intellectual input.
Collaborator Contribution Professional expertise, intellectual input, participation in engagement workshop, assistance with recruitment of research participants.
Impact Workshop (contribution to decisions made over direction of research and GPS sample construction), workshop report, annotated bibliographies, community research database.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership with community partners 
Organisation The Bristol Somali Resource Centre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Research expertise, intellectual input.
Collaborator Contribution Professional expertise, intellectual input, participation in engagement workshop, assistance with recruitment of research participants.
Impact Workshop (contribution to decisions made over direction of research and GPS sample construction), workshop report, annotated bibliographies, community research database.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership with community partners 
Organisation Trinity Centre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Research expertise, intellectual input.
Collaborator Contribution Professional expertise, intellectual input, participation in engagement workshop, assistance with recruitment of research participants.
Impact Workshop (contribution to decisions made over direction of research and GPS sample construction), workshop report, annotated bibliographies, community research database.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership with community partners 
Organisation Ujima Radio
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Research expertise, intellectual input.
Collaborator Contribution Professional expertise, intellectual input, participation in engagement workshop, assistance with recruitment of research participants.
Impact Workshop (contribution to decisions made over direction of research and GPS sample construction), workshop report, annotated bibliographies, community research database.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership with community partners 
Organisation United Communities
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Research expertise, intellectual input.
Collaborator Contribution Professional expertise, intellectual input, participation in engagement workshop, assistance with recruitment of research participants.
Impact Workshop (contribution to decisions made over direction of research and GPS sample construction), workshop report, annotated bibliographies, community research database.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership with community partners 
Organisation Wellspring Healthy Living Centre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Research expertise, intellectual input.
Collaborator Contribution Professional expertise, intellectual input, participation in engagement workshop, assistance with recruitment of research participants.
Impact Workshop (contribution to decisions made over direction of research and GPS sample construction), workshop report, annotated bibliographies, community research database.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership with key partners (ACH, BSWN, Up Our Street, and Vosur) 
Organisation Ashley Community Housing
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Research expertise, intellectual input, research management, access to data.
Collaborator Contribution Professional expertise, intellectual input, access to data, network of contacts.
Impact Annotated bibliographies, community research database, workshop participation, ACH news report.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership with key partners (ACH, BSWN, Up Our Street, and Vosur) 
Organisation Black South West Network
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Research expertise, intellectual input, research management, access to data.
Collaborator Contribution Professional expertise, intellectual input, access to data, network of contacts.
Impact Annotated bibliographies, community research database, workshop participation, ACH news report.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership with key partners (ACH, BSWN, Up Our Street, and Vosur) 
Organisation Up Our Street
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Research expertise, intellectual input, research management, access to data.
Collaborator Contribution Professional expertise, intellectual input, access to data, network of contacts.
Impact Annotated bibliographies, community research database, workshop participation, ACH news report.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership with key partners (ACH, BSWN, Up Our Street, and Vosur) 
Organisation Voscur
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Research expertise, intellectual input, research management, access to data.
Collaborator Contribution Professional expertise, intellectual input, access to data, network of contacts.
Impact Annotated bibliographies, community research database, workshop participation, ACH news report.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Ashley Community Housing News Article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact News article announcing project with quotes from PI Jon Fox, Marvin Rees Mayor of Bristol and the CEO of key partner ACH.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://ach.org.uk/news-and-features/uk-first-ps960000-project-explores-integration-bristol
 
Description Bristol 24/7 News Article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A news report on the project, including an interview with PI Jon Fox.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.bristol247.com/news-and-features/news/bristol-integration-project-a-uk-first/
 
Description Bristol Mayor's blog post 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees announced the collaboration between UoB and BCC on this research project on his blog. He described the project, its approach to integration, the phases of research and the Integration Toolkit output.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://thebristolmayor.com/2019/07/05/bristol-wins-bid-for-1m-everyday-integration-project/
 
Description Epigram News Article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact A news article in the online newspaper Epigram, 'Post-Brexit social concerns' of Uni professors inspire Bristol city integration research.' The article describes the project and invites people to contact the PI with thoughts on the topic.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://epigram.org.uk/2019/08/01/everyday-integration-project/
 
Description Migration Mobilities Bristol blog post 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Blog post for the Migration Mobilities Bristol Specialist Research Institute website that introduced the project and its main objectives and approaches.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://migration.blogs.bristol.ac.uk/2019/07/23/everyday-integration/
 
Description Twitter 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Twitter account with 205 followers. We have used this to promote news related to the project (job advertisements) and to promote the work of our community partners. We will use it to promote future events related to the project and to announce research outputs.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
URL https://twitter.com/everydayinteg
 
Description Workshop with Community Partners 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact A workshop to involve community organisations in the research project. We asked attendees to share their experiences of integration and non-integration in Bristol, which we collected and analysed for themes. We sent a report on our findings to our mailing list contacts. We also asked for feedback on our approach to GPS sampling, which has informed our approach to the sample construction. As a result of the event, we have received requests for further collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019