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Constructing Community in Cosmopolitan SE Wales

Grant Holders: Prof Terry ThreadgoldDr John Jewell

Researchers: Sadie Clifford, Dr Xinyi Jiang, Vanessa Buccolli, Zahera Harb

Funder: Rowntree Foundation

Based at: Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies (JOMEC)


This project probes the relationships between long-standing residents in a ‘community’ and recent arrivals. It will focus on five contiguous and overlapping communities in South-East Wales to consider how movement of peoples intervenes and forms new kinds of belonging within this city as part of ‘multicultural Britain’, The city of Cardiff, and the valleys communities of the former Welsh coalfields, have a long history of inward and outward migration which has always had a somewhat ambivalent relationship with Welsh nationalism.

This dualism between what is indigenous to Cardiff and the valleys and the constant migration which challenges and changes national identity produces a tension between the categories of Welsh residents (black, Asian or white) and newcomers.

The project will consider how so-called ‘host communities, whether white or non-white are constantly reconstituted through diversity and difference, how some members of these communities see themselves as long-standing and others as relative newcomers and how this impacts on social cohesion.

We will explore these issues comparatively, historically and over the past ten years. Through this work we aim to provide answers to three of the clusters of research questions outlined in the project specification.