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 was a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Southampton (at Warwick from autumn 2011), working on a project with Prof. Graham Crow which is part of the AHRC-funded Connected Communities research programme entitled ‘Conceptualisations and meanings of "community": the theory and operationalisation of a contested concept'. I have a long-standing interest in urban and community studies, particularly the complex relationships between global processes of socioeconomic change and local contexts of lived experience. My contribution to this workshop will consider the problem of time in relation to community through exploring the topic of ‘rethinking regeneration and prosperity in a time of economic crisis and resource depletion’. My talk will draw on policy debates on regeneration in the UK, as well as empirical research on lived experiences of recent regeneration schemes in the case study of Walker, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The notion of ‘time’ will be explored firstly in relation to the short historical memories of city planners about the limitations of past regeneration policies, tracing a wider historical sociology of regeneration policies and practices in the UK. Secondly, the notion of time will be explored through critically analysing assumptions of economic growth and progress embedded in dominant models of arts-and-property-led regeneration in the context of an era of uncertainty, recession and environmental crisis. I argue that regeneration policies should be broadened to focus on the wider picture of employment, public services, sustainable living environments, diversity and social inclusion, and community life.
I am a post-grad student and part-time (philosophy) lecturer at Staffordshire University. By the time of the workshop I will have submitted by PhD thesis. This thesis is an attempt to explain the mergence of social order from the joint perspectives of contemporary French philosophy and complexity theory. I have had the opportunity to undertake a small research project (in partnership with my supervisor) that attempted to apply some of my researching findings to a practical situation – a local regeneration project. I also have been in contact with other research groups that have been researching community regeneration and sustainability from the perspective of complexity theory. Prior to undertaking this research I was employed in the social sector. My experience of working towards the last government’s ‘social inclusion’ agenda, and my realisation that it was not premised on any firm theory, greatly influence my research topic. The interconnection of time and the emergence of social order/structure goes to the very core of my research; I argue that ontologically they are the same – that order is born from the same repetitions that give birth to time – or more accurately times. From my perspective a singular, objective ‘time’ is a (pragmatic) codification of a plural temporality.
Kelvin's Lightning Talk
Ben Jones - CRESC
I am a social historian based at CRESC with interests in the British working class, memory studies and the history of social research. I am particularly interested in the intersections between class, gender, life-cycle and individual socio-spatial trajectories, and wider cultural representations of place in understanding the ways in which memories of particular communities are articulated. In recent work I have been looking at the roles of slum clearance, residualisation and stigmatization in popular understandings of ‘community’ and social change in working class neighbourhoods in England. I have argued that assertions that social and spatial dislocations produced by slum clearance and social mobility produced nostalgia for the old communities are insufficiently nuanced. I have argued that such narratives may be more fruitfully understood as the product of a radical attempt to recover working class experience, which contested dominant representations of the working class as deficient. However, I’m now wondering if this is sufficient. I’ve recently been reading around ‘transactive’ remembering and thinking about how particular audiences shape what gets told. This is perhaps a key missing element in my analysis of community publishing. The relationship between time and community is another important element in shaping social scientific readings/social policy in the post-war period. I am thinking particularly about assertions of ‘traditional’ patterns of working class family life and understandings of lifestyles or environments which seem ‘out-moded.’ Particular (mis)understandings of time and community also seem to have informed area-based regeneration initiatives such as the New Deal for Communities.