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Author(s): Valins, Oliver
Date: 1999
Abstract: Using theoretical concepts concerning space, identity and boundaries, this thesis examines a contemporary ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Broughton Park, Manchester (located in the north of England). The thesis discusses how these Jews practise and understand their lives within the context of a (post)modem world. Demographically, the overall population of Anglo-Jewry is declining (by as much as a third in the past forty years), with fears expressed about its future survival. Socially, there are major schisms between the different branches of Judaism, with increasing concerns about a polarisation between religious and secular. These factors provide the background to this thesis, which examines arguably the most extreme and still rapidly growing form of Judaism. The thesis uses a theoretical framework which takes seriously post-positivist understandings of space and identity, in which movement, inter-connections and, in particular, processes of hybridity are recognised. Same and other are never pure. Nonetheless, such theoretical conceptions tend to deny particular people's situated attempts to defend, institutionalise and 'slow down' identities and spaces, which are, I argue, key factors in understanding people's everyday lives. While such stabilisations can be described as reactionary, I suggest that they may also be celebrated (although in complex and ambivalent ways) as resistances to forces of homogeneity. Through the empirical materials collected in Broughton Park, a discussion of the institutionalisation of space detailed in the sacred text of the Talmud, and a reconsideration of post-positivist theories to do with identity and space, the thesis draws upon and extends critiques of hybridity as always a (positive) force of resistance, and boundaries as necessarily reactionary and aligned with powers of domination. Overall, it offers a theoretical and methodological framework with which to interrogate 'geographies of Jewry', taking seriously those calls for 'geographies of religion' to make use of post positivist understandings of space and identity.
Author(s): Sapiro, Philip
Date: 2019
Abstract: Population researchers have contributed to the debate on minority group distribution and disadvantage and social cohesion by providing objective analysis. A plethora of new distribution measurement techniques have been presented in recent years, but they have not provided sufficient explanatory power of underlying trajectories to inform ongoing political debate. Indeed, a focus on trying to summarise complex situations with readily understood measures may be misplaced. This paper takes an alternative approach and asks whether a more detailed analysis of individual and environmental characteristics is necessary if researchers are to continue to provide worthwhile input to policy development. Using England and Wales as a test bed, it looks at four small sub-populations (circa 250,000 at the turn of the century) – two based on ethnic grouping: Bangladeshi and Chinese; and two based on an under-researched area of cultural background, religion: Jews and Sikhs. Despite major differences in longevity of presence in the UK, age profile, socio-economic progress, and levels of inter-marriage, there are, at a national level, parallels in the distribution patterns and trajectories for three of the groups. However, heterogeneity between and within the groups mean that at a local level, these similarities are confounded. The paper concludes that complex interactions between natural change and migration, and between suburbanisation and a desire for group congregation, mean that explanations for the trajectory of distribution require examination of data at a detailed level, beyond the scope of index-based methods. Such analyses are necessary if researchers are to effectively contribute to future policy development.
Date: 2020
Author(s): Sapiro, Philip
Date: 2016
Abstract: This thesis presents an investigation into the population geography of Jewish residents of England and Wales in the twenty-first century. The aims of the study are to understand the spatial distribution of the group; identify whether there are distinct differences between groupings in different parts of the country; identify whether the demographics and nature of these groups is changing over time; and to examine whether the pattern for Jews is similar to those for other minority groups of comparable size. Most importantly, the thesis theorises what the patterns found may mean for the demographic future of Anglo-Jewry. The results provide a clearer foundation for organisations responsible for the social welfare of Jewish groups in various parts of the country. In addition, as Jews have been present in Britain in significant numbers for longer than other minority groups, it provides useful insights into future trajectories for more-recently arrived groups. Thus, the findings provide an improved basis for policy formulation by the public authorities with wider responsibilities for combating disadvantage and improving social cohesion. Building on an understanding of the history of Jewish settlement in Britain, and existing demographic studies, the analysis presented takes advantage of the inclusion of a question on religion in the 2001 and 2011 censuses. The principal data sources are census outputs, including Special Migration Statistics, individual microdata, and the Longitudinal Study. The analysis investigates the heterogeneity of the group through the development of a novel geodemographic classification methodology that addresses weaknesses in other approaches and the particular needs of small, unevenly distributed sub-populations. It finds evidence of seven distinct classes, with a strong spatial clustering to their distribution. The spatial distribution of Anglo-Jewry is examined in the context of other minority groups, including previously under-studied Arabs and Sikhs; that analysis finds a strong commonality to the pattern for Jews and some other small groups – their trajectories demonstrating a tension between the benefits of group congregation (apparently driven by religion, even in sub-populations defined by ethnic group) and a desire for suburbanisation. It also identifies the strong impact of geographic scale when drawing conclusions based on distribution indices. The underlying drivers of internal migration, an important contributor to changes in spatial distribution, are examined using logistic regression, having first legitimated the use of (post-move) census-derived characteristics in migration analysis. The assessment finds a broad consistency in underlying determinants of migration and, for the Jewish group, an absence of a group penalty inhibiting the propensity to move home, present for other small groups. The patterns of recent internal migration are analysed using spatial interaction modelling and multi-nominal logistic regression; longer term (1971 onwards) patterns are also examined. Based on these analyses, and allowing for potential future patterns of births and longevity, population trends found through an innovative application of the 2011-based geodemographic analysis to 2001 census data are extrapolated to produce estimates of the Jewish population of England and Wales for future decades. The novel approach used takes account of group heterogeneity and absence of group-specific fertility and mortality data. The projection demonstrates an increasing Jewish population, in contrast to the reduction seen during the second half of the twentieth century, but with a growing proportion being found in strictly orthodox enclaves, which gives rise to a number of societal and policy implications.
Author(s): Sapiro, Philip
Date: 2016
Abstract: The use of geodemographic analysis has a long history, arguably stretching back to Charles Booth's Descriptive Map of London's Poverty, produced in 1886 and the published classification of areas has invariably been based on all residents. The work described in this paper, however, is novel in the use of geodemographic analysis to focus on a single minority group within a national census. This paper describes the development of a methodology which allows geodemographic analysis to be applied to unevenly distributed minority sub-populations, overcoming two particular issues: finding a suitable geographic base to ensure data reliability; and developing a methodology to avoid known weaknesses in certain clustering techniques, specifically distortion caused by outlier cases and generation of sub-optimal local minimum solutions. The approach, which includes a visual element to final classification selection, has then been applied to establish the degree to which the Jewish population in an area is similar in character to, or differs from, Jews living in other areas of England and Wales, using data from the 2011 census. That group has been selected because of the maturity of its presence in Britain — study of this group may point the way for examination of other, more recently arrived, sub-populations. Previous studies have generally assumed homogeneity amongst ‘mainstream’ Jews and have not considered spatial variation, separating out only strictly orthodox enclaves. This paper demonstrates that there are indeed distinct socio-economic and demographic differences between Jewish groups in different areas, not fully attributable to the underlying mainstream social geography, whilst also identifying a strong degree of spatial clustering; it also establishes the practicality of applying geodemographic analysis to minority groups.
Author(s): Newman, David
Date: 1985