7250 -- MEYER, FRANK

Die Städte der vier Kulturen. Eine Geographie der Zugehörigkeit und Ausgrenzung am Beispiel von Ceuta und Melilla (Spanien/Nordafrika)
(Erdkundliches Wissen 139)
Stuttgart: Steiner Verlag 2005< 318 pp., 3 maps, Euro 48,-; ISBN 3-515-08602-1
Keywords: geography of belonging, belonging, identity, collective identities, Christians and Muslims, Muslims and Christians, minorities, exclusion

The cities of the four cultures. A geography of belonging and exclusion Ceuta and Melilla (Spain/North Africa)
The guiding question of "Who is a stranger in this city" tells about relations of Christians and Muslims in Ceuta and Melilla, the national and cultural position and traits of the two cities, in connection with historical roots of the population that led to the present state of affairs. The two communities are situated at the North African coastline, belong to Spain since the 15th respecitvely 16th centuries, and are surrounded by Moroccan territory. During the last 150 years minorities moved there, a large Muslim and small Jewish and Hindu minorities, while the majority is Christian and the term "four cultures" designates them. Meyer analyzes social and spatial practice of inclusion and exclusion there. Meyer concludes that on the basis of his study the concept of "collective identity" ist useful but some aspects have to be expanded:
##These are: (a) the everyday perceived reality of collective identities (in contrast, in the scientific literature the constructive and imaginary character of collective identities is very strongly emphasised), (b) the considerable significance of social and economic dimensions in the construction of collective identitites and the associated practice of belonging and exclusion, (c) the historical continuity and depth of the practice of thinking in terms of collectives in many cases (the example of the Christian-Muslim contrast), (d) the importance of event history (e.g. wars, expulsion) for the (more pronounced) differentiation of collective identities or the development of the practice of thinking in terms of specific collectives and the associated drawing of boundaries between people [...] and (e) the great significance of spatial dimensions in the everyday construction of collective identities [...].##