It is community relations week, so I want to run three posts on the subject.
Divided We Stand? Mapping patterns of shared and separated space is the title of a newly published piece of research by Orna Young and Stephen Roulston. It is of course worth a read in its own entirety, but I thought in particular this table was worth looking at, from a selection of over 400 young people of school-going age in Northern Ireland:
There is a lot to think on there, however what struck me most was the penultimate line. Asserting community identity can undermine social cohesion.
That is hugely challenging. One of the biggest causes of conflict and terrorism world-wide is a sense of lost identity. If people cannot assert their community identity without “undermining social cohesion”, we are in serious difficulties.
It is certainly not a question to which I have an answer. Has anyone?