Since its very inception, the field of social work has acknowledged the importance of place in shaping communal identity, construing shared meanings and generating collective actions. Nevertheless, the analytical framework of place-making, which enjoys growing interest in other disciplines, has little impact on social work and its incorporation into social work community practice is still embryonic. The place-making perspective is particularly relevant to the multiple challenges faced by community practice in the twenty-first century. This qualitative study aims to encourage the inclusion of place-making analytical perspective in community practice research by examining community practitioners' engagement in place-making processes within the complex context of Israeli Jewish-Arab mixed cities. Based on semi-structured interviews with thirty community practitioners in the public services, the findings reveal that participants were highly engaged in four main interrelated aspects of place-making: shaping the ethnocultural meanings of place, managing the meaning of space in power relations, re-constructing the conflicted meaning of space and framing the history of place. The study illustrates the usefulness of the place-making analytical framework in community practice, especially in the context of increasing contested and divided urban realities.
- Community practice
- Divided cities