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Dublin's spatial narrative - The transition from essentially monocultural places to polycultural spaces

Citation: Irish Geography, 2005, 38, 2, 209-224

Vital data accessed from the ERHA (HSE) pertaining to asylum seekers living in Dublin in 2002 was analyzed, resulting in the production of a series of maps showing the distribution of asylum seekers by variables such as nationality, age and gender by dlectoral division [ed]. The theoretical lens for this research examined the cultural geography and sociology of space in Dublin. Using an interdisciplinary approach it paid particular attention to the politics of scale, identity and power associated with space and place. Locating each asylum seeker within EDs for use with GIS allowed observation, reading and photography of Dublin’s evolving textual landscapes and facilitated the interviewing of individuals and groups. Based on this quantitative analysis and field observation, two central hypotheses were posited and examined: firstly, that ethnic and racial clustering is occurring within clearly identifiable EDs which are experiencing both high levels of economic deprivation and gentrification. Secondly, that three subcultural groups or populations, namely asylum seekers, indigenous and gentrified, whilst inhabiting the same geographical places, arguably live in different mental spaces. This social and cultural morphology has resulted in the transition of what were once essentially monocultural places into polycultural spaces.

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