Geographies of Social Difference

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Geographies of social difference
WESTIES, SURFIES AND BOGANS:
SPACE AND STIGMA IN THE MEDIA
DR DALLAS ROGERS
SCHOOL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES AND PSYCHOLOGY

LECTURE OVERVIEW
1.  Textbook reading:
•  •  Post-structuralist thought Analysing geographies of difference

2.  Stigma, the media and place attachment:
•  •  •  Territorial stigma Place attachment Place defending

3.  Case studies:
•  •  •  Housos The Shire The Bra Boys

d.rogers@uws.edu.au

EXPLANATIONS CONCERNED WITH DIFFERENCE AND DIVERSITY

POSTMODERN GEOGRAPHIES:

Introducing Human Geography text (pages 92-104) d.rogers@uws.edu.au

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SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVISM: ALL CATEGORIES ARE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIONS Premise 1: •  Group identity, indeed all categories, is socially constructed; •  There are no ‘naturally given’ categories; •  Notions of social class, race, gender, ethnicity, place and social group emerge from human thought and action. (Text, page 96-97)

d.rogers@uws.edu.au

SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVISM: SOCIAL CATEGORIES SHOULD BE DECONSTRUCTED Premise 2: •  We should deconstruct categories such as race, gender and social class. •  This includes the deconstruction of identities; •  To expose the dominant ideas that underlie such constructions and the people that benefit from them. (Text, page 97-98)

d.rogers@uws.edu.au

THE MEDIA: DOMINANT IDEAS AND CONSTRUCTING IDENTITIES
•  The media includes and excludes different codes of behaviour by rehearsing dominant collective identities. •  Individuals often enact the different social or cultural performances they see in the media. •  Certain geographical locations – near a beach or a public housing estate – help build dominant place identities. (Text, page 99-100)

d.rogers@uws.edu.au

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CHALLENGING DOMINANT IDEAS AND CONSTRUCTED IDENTITIES
•  Performances of identities in a public space that are deemed ‘incorrect’ can be ‘punished’ by the dominant group. •  Punishment can include acts of physical and/or emotional violence. •  Often these acts of violence are reported in the media and ‘tolerated’ by institutions of the state. (Text, page 100)

d.rogers@uws.edu.au

‘PLACE’ IDENTITY
•  Identity performances refer to, and at the same time reinforce, the dominant identity norm. •  But there is always a mismatch between the individual and their ascribed identity; •  The assigned identity norm is never quite carried out according to expectation. •  ‘Place’ too has a role to play in mediating identity performances; •  The assigned ‘place identity’ is also never quite carried out according to expectation.

d.rogers@uws.edu.au

SYDNEY’S TRIBES: NEVER QUITE PERFORMED ACCORDING TO EXPECTATION

The Sydney Telegraph, 7th July 2012, page 88-89

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SURFIES FROM ‘THE SHIRE’

The Sydney Telegraph, 7th July 2012, page 88-89

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WESTIES FROM ‘THE LAND OF THE BOGAN’

The Sydney Telegraph, 7th July 2012, page 88-89

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THE MIDDLE CLASS FROM ‘THE HILLS’

The Sydney Telegraph, 7th July 2012, page 88-89

d.rogers@uws.edu.au

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ANALYSING TERRITORIAL REPRESENTATIONS IN THE MEDIA
Three analytical tools to investigate territorial portrayals of people and place in the media:

(1)Territorial stigma

(2) Place attachment (3) Place defending

d.rogers@uws.edu.au

TERRITORIAL STIGMA
•  Erving Goffman’s (1986) Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity •  Grouped stigma into three categories: •  abominations of the body; •  blemishes of individual character; and •  tribal stigma (race, nation and religion). •  From Goffman’s perspective stigma arises through negative labelling and stereotyping of people that are depicted as possessing discrediting attributes. •  Discrediting attributes leads to a ‘spoiled identity’.

d.rogers@uws.edu.au

IDENTITY STIGMA AND PLACE STIGMA
•  Loïc Wacquant (2007) argues that a key...
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