The Model of Integration? Social and Spatial Transformations in the Leeds Jewish Community
The Jewish population living in Britain has commonly been depicted as a ‘model of integration’. This paper explores the social and spatial transitions made by the Jewish community over the course of more than a century of settlement and adaptation, with particular reference to Leeds. Using an historical perspective, the paper traces the changing ‘place’ of Jews in wider society in terms of their socio-economic status and how they construct themselves as a religious and ethnic minority in Britain. Drawing on a mixed methods approach, the paper reveals how Leeds Jews’ understandings of community, identity, integration and citizenship have evolved over time. The research uncovers diverse and complex interpretations of Jewishness and integration, which unsettle the idealised notions of community, the straightforward trajectory of adaptation, and unproblematic conceptions of identity embedded in the Jewish model of integration. The paper reflects on the implications of the Jewish experience for current debates and discourses on ‘race’, difference and social integration in twenty-first-century Britain.
The Model of Integration? Social and Spatial Transformations in the Leeds Jewish Community. 2009: 1533-1549. https://archive.jpr.org.uk/object-uk351