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Developing community and social cohesion through grassroots bridge-building: an exploration

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In the context of the UK public policy goal to increase community and social cohesion, this article explores the nature of local 'bridge-building' – activities intended to increase interpersonal contacts between diverse ethnic, faith and nationality groups. We draw on earlier research in a range of fields to develop the bridge-building concept and present findings from a study that identified community-level projects with bridge-building as a specific aim. We show the range of groupings involved, the activities encompassed and their organisational features. We consider the actual and potential contribution of local bridge-building to cohesion in the light of earlier research and our own study.
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Keywords: BRIDGE-BUILDING; COHESION; ETHNICITY; FAITH; IMMIGRATION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2009

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