chapter  8
18 Pages

Minorities in the City

There is little from the Tøyen Street study to indicate that the flow of young professionals moving into Old Oslo has served to reduce the distance between minority and majority residents. Yet, while the ‘ghetto’ label is not used as frequently today as it was in the 1990s, the idea about the necessity of some kind of limit on the number of immigrants in a given area still prevails. The significance attributed to where and among whom immigrants live is closely linked to the idea that interaction with the majority population at the neighbourhood level is crucial for integration. Conversely, a large share of immigrants in a neighbourhood is presumed to have a segregation-promoting effect, with the underlying assumption being that the formation of ‘pure’ immigrant areas is a worst-case scenario to be avoided at all costs. As discussed in the Introduction, this view resembles what Ireland (2008) identifies as the contact hypothesis, which links the overrepresentation of immigrants in residential areas to a number of segregation effects. By engaging with situations and issues related to integration – and the lack thereof – this chapter seeks to develop a more nuanced approach to the presence of ethnic minorities in the city.