Hackney has become ‘focus of academic study’

Hackney is one of the most highly-researched places in the UK, a conference has heard

August 30, 2014

The trendy borough of east London, which was considered one of the capital’s most run-down areas in the 1980s, has attracted the attention of around 20 academic geographers in recent years, the Royal Geographical Society’s annual international conference in London heard on 29 August.

Sarah Neal, reader in sociology at the University of Surrey, told the conference, which was attended by about 2,000 delegates from around the world, that Hackney had become a focus of academic study owing to the social change seen there over the past 30 years.

Literary and media interest in the area had led to many academic studies in the area, despite other boroughs showing similar trends of gentrification.

“It is a very symbolic urban location – one of migration, political activism, community organisation, social mix, deprivation, affluence, counter culture and creativity,” said Dr Neal, a Hackney resident.

The proximity of ethnically diverse populations – as well as rich and poor – living next to each other had also has heightened researchers’ interest in Hackney, she said.

“An influx of the affluent middle classes, social mobility within some of Hackney’s established communities, continuing social deprivation and the arrival of new global migrants is mixing it up more,” she said.

“Having attracted a young, fashionable crowd, it is now a cool yet paradoxical place in which social and economic polarisations are increasingly extreme.”

While research attention was not necessarily negative, there is some sense of “research fatigue” related to Hackney, she added.

However, the complexity of the borough’s populations, Hackney’s history, the rapid pace of change and the strong cooperation of local authorities are likely to keep researchers interested in the area, she said.

jack.grove@tesglobal.com

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Assistant Recruitment - Human Resources Office

University Of Nottingham Ningbo China

Outreach Officer

Gsm London

Professorship in Geomatics

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Professor of European History

Newcastle University

Head of Department

University Of Chichester
See all jobs

Most Commented

men in office with feet on desk. Vintage

Three-quarters of respondents are dissatisfied with the people running their institutions

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands

Humboldt University, Berlin

As the country succeeds in attracting even more students from overseas, a mixture of demographics, ‘soft power’ concerns and local politics help explain its policy

sitting by statue

Institutions told they have a ‘culture of excluding postgraduates’ in wake of damning study