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Adults' and children's friendships across social class and ethnic differences
£260,975, Economic and Social Research Council Concern about the quality of everyday life in socially and ethnically mixed inner urban localities has intensified since the urban disturbances of summer 2011. This research examines adults' and children's friendships in diverse urban localities and how these relationships help to shape everyday life. The research also explores what those friendships reveal about the nature and extent of ethnic diversity and social divisions in contemporary multicultural society. We are focusing on the friendships adults and children make in and through primary schools, as these can be places where adults and children from different backgrounds meet and interact. At the heart of the project are the following questions: • whether adults and children make and maintain friendships with those who are differently socially situated to themselves • how those friendships develop • how differences in social and/or ethnic background shape and affect those relationships • how those differences are routinely negotiated and managed. Our data will contribute empirical evidence to the often rather abstract debates on social cohesion; assess the potential of individual friendships to contribute towards that cohesion in heterogeneous areas, and offer data evaluating the role of the school in contributing to the development of resilient mixed communities and social cohesion.
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