David Rubyan-Ling//Geography//5th of February//1-2 pm//Arts C133
My paper explores the notion of diversity in the context of a public street market in Southwark, South London. Street markets are seen as archetypal spaces of urban encounter and thus potentially have a positive role in generating social cohesion and inter-cultural understanding. I examine this idea through a discussion of the relationships between 3 traders on East Street Market. I find that so-called ‘strategic cosmopolitanism’ (Kothari 2008) does exist, however it is articulated alongside strikingly conservative cultural values that reflect their interests as small businesspeople in a context of economic and social decline.
David came to Sussex in 2008 on a 1+3 ESRC studentship to study the Sierra Leonean Diaspora in the UK. He travelled to Sierra Leone in 2009 where he spent 5 months learning Krio, followed by 14 months conducting ethnographic fieldwork in Southwark, South London. His undergraduate background is in Development Studies (UEA), and he is currently writing a paper on the relationship between Diaspora and complex Diversity in South London. His research interests are West African Migration, Diasporas and Development, and Urban Ethnography.