I am a PhD student from CRESC. I recently completed my PhD and in my PhD research, discussions on community literature and belonging literature helped me to construct my framework for some of my empirical analysis. My PhD research explores the ways in which urban policies, gentrification and socio-economic policies impact upon the class composition, housing, and patterns of belonging of different social classes in Istanbul. It analyzes the micro processes of everyday contestations and the power relations among different groups living in social-mix neighborhoods. I did my research on two neighborhoods at the Halic-Golden Horn area of Istanbul, one gentrified and one non-gentrified working class neighborhood, each of them affected by different migration flows. Unlike some of the community studies, which often consider communities to be organic and static entities, I approached these different groups (different migrant groups and different social classes) with belonging perspective which enabled me to look at the class cultures and lifestyle practices more efficiently. Belonging perspective helped me to understand the mobile and contested character of belonging and symbolic structure/references of communities. I combined the discussions on belonging and spatialization of class and used multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) and qualitative interviews to investigate different belonging patterns in historical neighborhoods of Istanbul. I am interested in this workshop to participate discussions on temporal belongings and recent discussions on community research. I am also interested in using belonging perspective for transnational migration and I am also hoping to benefit from discussions on migration, studies of inclusion and exclusion.
I first became interested in the interconnections between time and community while I was writing my undergraduate (honours) thesis on Donna Haraway’s work and its implications for feminist coalition building. Looking at both her and Gloria Anzaldua’s work on hybrid identities it seemed that attempts to rethink community in terms of hybridity also appeared to involve challenges to linear conceptions of time, involving for example, critiques of teleology, progress and assumptions about how change happens over time. I took up this problem in my PhD thesis in Philosophy. However I found it quite difficult to approach this problem in the way I wanted to from a solely continental philosophical framework, and was particularly inspired by Carol Greenhouse’s work to explore the way the time of social life can be understood as being produced through the negotiation of social conflict. As a result I ended up developing an interdisciplinary approach to ‘time and community’ that draws on anthropology, sociology, feminist philosophy as well as continental philosophy.
My current project builds on this work, in order to develop an account of the way both time and community are being transformed in the context of climate change and resource depletion. Taking inspiration from Donna Haraway’s account of figurations as ‘condensed maps of contested worlds’ (1997, 11), I will produce case studies of three figures that might instead serve as ‘condensed clocks of contested worlds’. Looking at atomic and molecular clocks, leather-back turtles on the verge of extinction and community-led attempts to build sustainable cities, I want to analyse how an attentiveness to each of these different sites opens up a view onto the complex temporalities and relationalities that are being mobilised. It is envisioned that these ‘condensed clocks’ may enable new ways of understanding the task of ‘telling the time’ in the current context. This work involves a variety of collaborations including with Transition Liverpool and other members of the Extinction Studies working group.
While completing my PhD I often felt a little lost in the wilderness, with very few guides for how to approach the problems of time and community together in the way that I wanted to – at least none that I could find at the time! While there is certainly some enjoyment in feeling this way, I’m very much looking forward to working with others at the workshop to start developing a more explicit framework for thinking through these intersections.
I am Research Fellow at the ESRC Third Sector Research Centre, University of Birmingham. I work on two projects: the Real Times qualitative longitudinal study, which examines the continuity and change of third sector organisations over time, and the pilot ‘Street-Walking’ mapping project that aims to find groups and activities that go unregistered (and, subsequently, tend to be neglected in the policy field). By third sector we tend to mean a diverse range of non-profit activities undertaken beyond the market and the state, for example, by charities, social enterprises and less formal community-based groups and associations.
My doctoral thesis was on the third sector’s engagement with government employment initiatives (Sociology, University of Manchester). Before this, I worked on a three-year project that examined the extent of (funding) crises in women’s voluntary organisations. Years later, recalling the frustrations of compiling (often dated) directories in which organisations were pre-defined, I developed TSRC’s ‘Street-Walking Mapping’ pilot study to look beyond formal organisations with institutional structures (that appear on regulatory lists).
With an attempt to suspend definition and preconceived ideas of what these activities might look like, geographic boundaries were used to manage the project. As the title suggests, the project involves going out on the streets in search of (third sector) social activities and groups that use shared space – many of which may not have a name or explicit structure. Understanding community and ‘shared’ space are important features of the research, including the role of space in bringing people together and the tensions that can play out.
I am in the first year of an MRes in Social and Cultural Geography at Manchester Metropolitan University. My studies so far have focused on heritage walks around Manchester, critiquing official narratives and seeking alternative routes. I am also really interested in blurring the boundaries between academia, activism and my professional life.
I founded and facilitate The LRM (Loiterers Resistance Movement) a Manchester based interdisciplinary collective of artists, activists and academics interested in psychogeography, social justice and public space. It is a not-for-profit community group which curates walks and other events which reframe the neo-liberal city as a site of subversive play and critical engagement.
The LRM seeks to unravel the myriad stories that contribute to the city and the historical, political and economic forces that shape space. Our work is also interested in emotional responses; how places make us feel and how active participation can positively transform its development. Our conception of history is rhizomatic and thus the derive is our favoured tool for exploration. The city is also a sensory experience and walking offers a direct connection to the ghosts under the pavement.
I have worked as a Community Development Officer for the past eleven years and have been employed by GMCVO (Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation) since November 2007. My role involves providing training, consultancy, information and one-to-one support to a wide range of groups, specifically community hubs i.e. places that generate social capital.
Morag's Pecha Kucha Presentation