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Pic Social Notes

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This is an extract of our Pic Social document, which we sell as part of our Geography Notes collection written by the top tier of University Of Exeter students.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Geography Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Place, Identity and Culture Social 1: Identity, difference and exclusion
? Anthony Gormley's Field for the British Isles

* First glance: sea of anonymous figures

* Contour patterns

* Individual characteristics

* Waves of difference

* Challenges the viewer
- Is this just a mass of figures
- Or identities, each separate?
- Look the same on the periphery, once we look closer we are in fact all individuals and are unique
? Brick Land, Monica Ali

* Nazneen and her husband Chanu Ahmed attended a Muslim community meeting held just after 9/11


Idea of sticking together as 'brothers' in the face of heightened racial tensions


Chanu Ahmed stood and questioned why and how they were categorising themselves into one identity of 'Muslim brothers'


His argument continued as he seemed baffled as to how they were effectively being essentialist toward their own ethnicity


Saying this would exemplify the discrimination toward them, even though they were all very individual people with unique personalities, and were, quite clearly, not 'brothers'

? How do we describe our identity?

* What is it that identifies us?
- Answer may depend on where you are/situation or the time
- Tyler 2012: Most 'white' English participants did not self identify themselves as 'white.'
- Reflects how the white ethnicity often remains unmarked as an ethnic group in English society

* Multiple identity: personal and collective

* Normally easier to identify yourself than someone else, yet is still very hard

* It is a complex and contested term

* Keith and Pile (1993)
- Can be defined by what they lack as well as what they include Frank Mort (1989)

* We carry a bewildering range of different, and at times conflicting, identities around with us in our heads at the same time

* Continual smudging of lifestyles ESSENTIALISM - common identity characteristics
- Assumptions based upon biology
- Our identities are determined by biology
- Opposed by a social constructionist view
- Stereotyping Example: Students
~ Images of drunk students

~ Problematic for the group being essentialised in this way RELATIONALISM - identities constructed in relation to...
- Perceived similarities or differences
- E.g. Edward Soja, Orientalism
- More fluid approach, allows for complexities and difference
- Identity is always in the process of formation
- Keith and Pile: should never be an artefact
? Identity Formation


Modernist society.... clear structures of identity





*In late modernity, traditional formations of identity have weakened due to 'reflexive modernization'Process of increasing individualisation-de-traditionalisationAuthoritive structures questionsNew forms of self-management where people can construct their own personal narratives

GiddensNarrative of the selfProject of self identity

MaffesoliTime of tribes (present day)Short lived time together in belonging to somethingE.g. Music festival crowdEphemeral groupings for social interaction

BourdieuSocial distinctions based on issues of cultural capital

- E.g. food, music: markers of social differentiation
- Consumption taking over traditional sources of identity Narrative construction of identity is:

1. Located within wider stories

2. More than simple individual biography
- Subject to cultural norms, regulated by culture

3. Socially and spatially constituted
- Who we are is fundamentally inked to where we are


Two sources of the formation of difference: 1 Socially constructed difference
- Process of differentiation

- Tendency to group others without really understanding them 2 Psychoanalytic difference Example: Disability
- Medical tragedy
- "not like us"

* Psychoanalytic
- Positive narratives
- E.g. Heroic- Paralympics
- Negative narratives
- E.g. Comedy- Little Britain
- Abnormal
- Unattractive

* Both narratives fail to cover clearly living "artificial distinction between people."
? Exclusion


Outsiders in the spaces and social circles of the mainstream


Gypsies and travellers as socially marginal

*To avoid confrontation and abuseSeek marginal spacesWe stigmatise certain groups ? they get marginalised onto the edge of society

Identities structured by differentiation between same and different*


An innate to do this

People place distance between self and otherNot just a mental processE.g. council estates on the edgeMichael Davis City of Quartz- gated communities

Social and spatial boundariesPrisons designed to keep the bad people away from societyPurification of space?

? Social Exclusion



* Multiple, marginalises

* Systematic denial of a range of life opportunities Example: Homelessness
- Not part of the mainstream
- Often viewed as a threatening group
- Unproductive/disaffected/stigmatised/poor personal aesthetics
- Clearance of the streets to which they have congregated
~ To purify space

~ "Swept up lives"
~ Excluded due to difference
~ City of Quartz- making LA Homeless proof e.g. round benches and night sprinklers

Social 2: Gender


Statistical contemporary records - men still achieve/allowed to achieve more


Equality is still yet to be reached



Still serious social inequalities There are regional differences in gender inequalities


* Changing status of women in society

* Gender as an axis of difference

* Has it gone far enough - debates/politics "Sex" = biological differences "Gender" = socially constructed
- Society creates our understandings and expectation of roles
- There are different kinds of masculinity and femininity

* Ideas of femininity
- Beauty
- 'girly'
- Clothes and fashion
- BUT: also army roles etc.

* Idea of masculinity
- Tough
- Macho
- Protecting
- Sports

* NOTE: No single block of identification
- Radical social geographers ask questions on these social constructions and their impacts

* Expectations

* How men and women operate within social roles
- Differentiated roles
- Imbalance
- E.g. Women = house and children
- Hard for men to be motherly
- Politics still a male domain

* Relations govern how gender is experienced
- Formed and reformed
- Exploitation of sexual characteristics, one sided objectification of women over men

* Patriarchy
- Power relations between men and women
- How they are significant in bringing disadvantage to women- still the case?


* Opportunities and expectations influenced by Socio-cultural beliefs and practices...


Katy Price ExampleEconomic samenessPlayed on her femininityNow equally a successful in business as a man (tough, risk taker etc.)BUT had to play to patriarchal model of society to get success

Three contrasting geographies of gender:

1.) Women in geography

* Recognition for women
- Particularly in areas where they've been under emphasized





Critique of male-dominated geographiesHad to deal with its own sexist issuesExpressions of societal changeMen assumed to be dominant, women not = in state of adjustment

Focus on the geography professionStill more male professorsMen do more field work

Focus on the content of social geographyNot questioned previouslyE.g. Retailing and consumption: ignored by the consumer

Focus on new agendasLottery of locationJackson: Hegemonic system awards conformity and samenessSocial as well as spatial

2.) Socio-Material Geographies of Gender


Doreen Massey (1994)Why are particular jobs for women?Cheap labourers- prepared to accept less payMore available than men e.g. part timeHistories structures are difficult to move on from

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