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Title: Belonging in a peri-urban village : contesting social, spatial and symbolic boundaries
Author: Paterson, William
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis presents a sociological case study of Menston (West Yorkshire, England), a pre-dominantly white, middle-class peri-urban village north of the cities of Bradford and Leeds. The project examines questions of belonging, community and place as social, spatial and symbolic practices of affinity and exclusion in this peri-urban site (Sibley, 1995; Savage et al., 2005; Watt, 2009; Vallance, 2014; Miles & Ebrey, 2017). Rural and urban sociological literature concerned with longstanding classed and racialised positioning of the urban/rural, including processes of counter-urbanisation and rural gentrification that account for the reification of the rural, is drawn upon throughout (Askins, 2009; Tyler, 2012; Smith, 2011). The research explores accounts and practices of belonging, community and place at a village-scale, locating these within wider spatial planning processes for the Bradford metropolitan region, processes in which activist-residents from Menston were active. The central body of data comprises observational fieldwork, nineteen semi-structured interviews with twenty-five residents, and a small-scale survey. As a former resident of Menston, this is a 'backyard ethnography' (Heley, 2011), with illustrative statistics and documentary evidence drawn on in a secondary role to contextualise this qualitative data. Analytically, the thesis approaches informal understandings of belonging, community and place in Menston, and formal planning processes as within a 'field' of social struggles (Bourdieu, 1990 [1980]; Bourdieu, 1983; Thomson, 2012; Savage, 2011). This field theory approach is a key contribution of the thesis, as it draws out the power dynamics that are generative of the peri-urban position of Menston. This locates belonging, community and place within wider structures of neoliberal governance (Hall, 2011; Peck, 2013), such as those of the Localism Agenda of the 2010-15 Coalition government that reified small-scale community life as cohesive and inclusive, whilst enacting austerity-retrenchment that reproduced existing inequities (Lowndes & Pratchett, 2012; Matthews, et al., 2014; Jacobs & Manzi, 2013b).
Supervisor: Millington, Gareth Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available