Patterns of social exclusion in mixed neighborhoods: A case study on neighborhood use of young Turkish newcomers in Berlin, Germany

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For a newcomer in a city, the process of getting familiar with urban places does not only refer to memorize the roads but to learn how to live as a local. In this article, I argue that the changing urban structure and discourse of locals may form subtle ways of social exclusion and discrimination which may have an impact on social positionality of the newcomers in a mixed neighborhood. This study reflects on high skilled young newcomers from Turkey to Berlin with the aim of understanding transnational disparities and exclusion on the one hand, social contact and inclusion on the other. I propose to look into both ways because there is not only exclusion in a mixed neighborhood; there is also acceptance and coexistence. By focusing on Kreuzberg and Neukölln in Berlin, I search for dynamics of neighborhood use of migrant youth, (in)visibility, ‘public familiarity’ (Blokland, 2003) and daily interaction to show the connections among urban structure, practice and discourse. The sample of this qualitative research is high skilled young professionals from Turkey with high education degrees, who came to Berlin over the last five years. The data comes from thirty in-depth interviews conducted by me in the period of October 2018 to March 2019 for a different topic but a related research.

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