How place makes race

Author: Dorling, Danny

Briefing series: Better Housing Paper Briefing 17

Event: Lord Pitt Memorial Lecture

Publisher: Race Equality Foundation

Publication date: March 2011

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‘Where people live in the world largely determines the groups they are born into, whether that group might be race, religion, caste or creed. In Britain, at the micro-level, your postcode determines a great deal of your future."

This presentation launched a new Better Housing opinion piece, produced for the Race Equality Foundation by Professor Danny Dorling of the University of Sheffield.

The opinion piece describes the interaction between race, class and place, arguing that in more unequal societies race becomes a more salient issue. Highlighting the association between new migrants and geographical locations (such as Whitechapel) the paper argues that ‘minorities’ will often be defined by the location in which they live.  It also provides a radical proposal for housing reform by arguing for a 'right-to-sell'. Criticising current market-driven policies in housing, Professor Dorling argues that a right-to-sell could stabilise the housing market, by giving ‘mortgagees the right to become tenants, and private tenants the right to become social housing tenants, without moving home’.