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 6 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

Lecturer in Business and Management

De Montfort University

Reader in International Development

University Of Wolverhampton

School and College Engagement Officer

University Of Chichester

Pro Vice-Chancellor

Cranfield University

Professor of Business and Management

De Montfort University
See all jobs

Most Commented

Doctoral study can seem like a 24-7 endeavour, but don't ignore these other opportunities, advise Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman

Matthew Brazier illustration (9 February 2017)

How do you defeat Nazis and liars? Focus on the people in earshot, says eminent Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt

Improvement, performance, rankings, success

Phil Baty sets out why the World University Rankings are here to stay – and why that's a good thing

Warwick vice-chancellor Stuart Croft on why his university reluctantly joined the ‘flawed’ teaching excellence framework

people dressed in game of thrones costume

Old Germanic languages are back in vogue, but what value are they to a modern-day graduate? Alice Durrans writes