A special mention for Joanna Herbert‘s book Negotiating Boundaries in the City which, we are delighted to say, has won the 2009 Book Award for Outstanding Use of Oral History from the Oral History Association.
Using in-depth life-story interviews and oral history archives, this book explores the impact of South Asian migration from the 1950s onwards on both the local white, British-born population and the migrants themselves. Taking Leicester as a main case study, Negotiating Boundaries in the City offers a historically grounded analysis of the human experiences of migration.
‘…an incredibly accessible and illuminating account of immigration and integration at a grassroots level. This study breaks away from the traditional microcosmic approach and succeeds in illustrating how both the members of the South Asian community and those of the host population managed to command the challenges that the immigration process inflicted upon them. This is an attribute that will hopefully pave the way for future research.’
Twentieth Century British History
‘This is a finely nuanced study of migration, not as international phenomenon or national crisis, but as the lived experience, over time, of Asian migrants, and white neighbours in an English city. Using oral sources, it holds important insights and salutary lessons on migrant experience and host responses and makes a valuable contribution to the contemporary debates on multiculturalism.’
Mary Chamberlain, Oxford Brookes University, UK
‘A fine contribution to the British tradition of qualitative research into urban inter-ethnic relations. Drawing on oral histories and interviews, Herbert explores beyond the clichés of assimilation, segregation and social inclusion to reveal the complexities of human interaction at the local level and how the local and the global engage through memory, gender, transnational migration and multicultural integration.’
John Eade, Roehampton University, UK
‘Joanna Herbert’s Negotiating Boundaries in the City: Migration, Ethnicity, and Gender in Britain is a study of migration not as an international phenomenon or a national crisis, but as a lived and local experience…Using oral sources, it sensitively examines the experiences of Asian migrants and their white neighbours in the city of Leicester, showing how the global and the local intertwine over time…The study provides rich new insights into the complexities of migrant lives, the cultural pressures placed on migrant families, and the more public tensions between home life and the wider society.’
History Workshop Journal
‘Contributing to the ever-growing literature concerned with minority ethnic geographies and the dynamics of ethnic diversity, multiculturalism and community cohesion in the UK, Negotiating Boundaries in the City focuses on Leicester, deemed to be a multicultural success…The wealth of literature and depth of interviews drawn upon make the book a worthwhile and interesting read.’