chapter  12
18 Pages

‘Mix, Just Mix and See What Happens’: Girls in a Super-diverse Amsterdam Neighbourhood

ByMarion den Uyl and Lenie Brouwer

Anna, whose parents came from Aruba to the Netherlands, is living in the Bijlmer in Amsterdam, a neighbourhood with a population consisting mainly of nonwestern migrants from a range of more than one hundred countries. In this chapter, girls from the Bijlmer, especially their networks and their identity formation, are at the centre of focus. Anna, who studies to be a youth worker, is proud of the multicultural identity of her neighbourhood, and she loves the Bijlmer. However, she is also aware of the negative image of the area. The Bijlmer is a so-called ‘black neighbourhood’, and in the Netherlands black schools and districts are considered inferior to white schools and neighbourhoods. Furthermore, the neighbourhood is associated with criminality and seen as unsafe (Scheffer 2007: 88).