Programme > By author > Fabula Szabolcs

Wednesday 6
4.5.a. Technology, innovation, culture, sustainable development and urban decision-making processes I (Grazyna Chaberek-Karwacka and Sabrina Auci)

› 11:20 - 11:40 (20min)
› salle Marie-Thérèse (palais)
Discourses on urban diversity: a case study from Budapest
Szabolcs Fabula  1@  
1 : University of Szeged

In this study I examine how constructions of 'diversity' are used in contemporary Hungarian urban policy. Applying a Foucauldian approach, I particularly focus on the social production of diversity through discourses, and on how the term is deployed by various actors and how these actors exercise power through producing knowledge on the concept. I draw on a case study of Józsefváros, one of the administrative districts of Budapest (Hungary), which is a dynamically changing, physically and socially diversifying area, and a site of both small- and large-scale urban renewal projects and concomitant gentrification. The aim of this study is twofold. First, to explore how different actors and social groups conceptualise diversity. Second, to dismantle power relations that act in the production of knowledge on diversity. For this purpose, mainly qualitative research methods are employed: the analysis of in-depth interviews (conducted with policy-makers, local inhabitants and entrepreneurs) and secondary sources (policy documents, media). The study demonstrates the importance of geographical context in urban diversity research in at least two ways. On the one hand, the content of the concept can be significantly different from the dominant (Western European) definitions. On the other hand, the study shows that social boundaries between various actors and groups are quite flexible and cannot be taken for granted with relation to diversity discourses. 

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