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Enclaves, Social Capital and the City

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Title:Enclaves, Social Capital and the City
Authors:Khem, Ramo
Contributors:Ashraf, Kazi (advisor)
Architecture (department)
Date Issued:May 2012
Abstract:This thesis focuses on the migration, settlement, and adaption of communities and their impacts on the transformation of host cities in the United States. I will borrow a social science term “enclave” to describe the uniqueness of these communities. Apart from the media and public at large, academic literature also portrays ambiguity about enclaves. Academic researchers and commentators of varying theoretical orientation differ in their views about enclaves. Some regard them positively, others regard them poorly and a few are unconcerned. Those steeped in the Chicago sociological tradition and the 'melting pot' perspective tends to view enclaves as cultural ghettos, obstructing the assimilation of ethnics;^1 whereas others inspired by European theoretical traditions and multicultural perspectives regard enclaves as expressions of cultural pluralism and sites of social capital formation.^2 However, little attention has been attributed toward the involvement of these self-sufficient, minority communities with the larger society. One important outcome of the thesis should thus be a theory or model that predicts or describes how to enable effective engagement (i.e., which mechanism to use, and how) in any particular situation. As a student of architecture I can provide such insight. Architecture requires more than the creative manipulation and coordination of material, technology, and environment. It is colored by the engagement of territory, culture, and structure. Examining society and enclaves with such lens enables me to identify the mechanisms for engagement.
Pages/Duration:138 pages
Appears in Collections: 2012

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