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Project summary

The project investigates new forms of public sociality emerging among young people with migrant backgrounds in the context of urban club cultures in three European cities. It comparatively studies the phenomenon of ethnic club scenes with Turkish, South Asian, French Caribbean orientations in Berlin, London and Paris, corresponding to major immigrant groups in each city and country. The project aims to explore how young people participate in forms of social engagement and cultural experimentation that are specific to metropolitan city life, but have so far been not been addressed as relevant to the lives of ethnic minorities. Research seeks to shift attention from the predominant research focus on identity to a focus on practices of sociality, countering the heavy bias towards the study of attitudes and cultural identifications that tends to dominate across different disciplines when it comes to the study of ethnic minority youth in Europe. The project combines a focus on socio-cultural practices with an interest in urban leisure scenes as fluid social formations that are semi-public and lack defined membership or criteria of belonging. Through ethnographic case studies carried out with a team of researchers in and across the three cities, we explore the potential of urban club scenes for producing and experiencing different kinds of sociality and encounter among marginalized and racialized groups.