Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: An interdisciplinary socio-spatial approach towards understanding identity construction in multicultural urban spaces
Author: Rajendran, Lakshmi Priya
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 5362
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Today people increasingly encounter unequal political, economic, symbolic and cultural geographies which make spatial encounters involve greater challenges for the negotiation of one's identity; as a result, the identity undergoes a more dynamic and continuous process of adaptation and reconstruction. The global phenomenon of identity crisis has been dealt with from different perspectives by many scholarly disciplines, yet a comprehensive understanding of identity construction amidst the growing multicultural nature of cities that embraces a sociospatial approach is clearly missing. In this context the research draws insights from concepts of identity and place taken from the fields of human geography, phenomenological philosophy and social psychology, and strives to reveal their relevance for spatial design thinking. Acknowledging the missing link between these disciplines for identity research, relevant concepts are synthesised towards building a theory which approaches identity construction through an interdisciplinary triadic lens comprising experience, place and meaning. The research employs exploratory/pilot studies (to provide conceptual framework and test methods for date collection and analysis) and main case study to study people-place relationships. The main case study for this research was based in Sheffield, UK. The research participants included 15 international students studying at the University of Sheffield. Data collection was carried out through diverse methods of participant observation, in-depth qualitative interviews and visual research methods. The study employed an interdisciplinary framework for data analysis developed from recent theories in social psychology (Motivated Identity Construction Theory) and human geography (Relph's different levels of place experiences). Furthermore, an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) approach was used in interpreting the rich and complex data. Informed by these techniques, this interdisciplinary research sought to explore identity construction in contemporary urban contexts, and brings to light the prominent role of spatial practices in identity construction and their implications for an integrated multicultural society. The research presents a set of socio-spatial propositions that potentially define identity construction in multicultural urban spaces in contemporary cities. These propositions play an important role in understanding various factors which influence people's sense of identity, and are potentially significant in providing guidance for urban design interventions and planning in contemporary cities. The research outcomes include the interdisciplinary analytical framework and the sociospatial propositions, contributing to the methodological and theoretical knowledge in understanding the complexity of identity construction/negotiation in contemporary urban contexts.
Supervisor: Walker, Stephen ; Parnell, Rosie Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available