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Established AS outsiders? Figurational 'binds' and 'bonds' in a Welsh working-class community.

Meredith, Steven 2017. Established AS outsiders? Figurational 'binds' and 'bonds' in a Welsh working-class community. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis is about how people living in a typical urban working-class community located in South Wales get on with each other. Reflecting upon the empirical data collected over three years of ethnographic fieldwork, it tells the story of ‘Ashmill’ and the relationships which have developed among generations of residents. The focus is on ‘Blackacre’, a council estate geographically situated at the heart of Ashmill, its residents tending to be regarded as ‘rough’ and ‘antisocial’ by residents of the surrounding neighbourhood. The thesis presents an intensive case study of the community figuration of Ashmill, and makes theoretical-empirical contributions which may have resonance with similar communities. Council estates, as a result of deliberate policies and their unplanned consequences, have come to be seen as ‘residualised’ places for ‘problem’ people, who are frequently stigmatised as ‘chavs’: [C]ouncil [H]oused [A]nd [V]iolent. This thesis considers how this came to be, indicating the long-term, processual, relational, and transformational character of the problem which is investigated in this thesis using a figurational-sociological framing, specifically through the analytical lens of Elias and Scotson’s (1994) established-outsider model. Analysed figurationally, the stigmatisation of Blackacre and its residents as ‘rough’ and ‘antisocial’ can be understood as the outcome of long-term processes in which interdependent residential groups have become trapped in a power dynamic. A double-bind situation develops, involving feelings mutual fear and resentment between some residential groups, whilst also creating affective bonding among others. The established-outsider model is elaborated and adapted using ‘relative deprivation theory’ as developed by Lea and Young (1984). This more directly connects relational phenomena producing feelings of resentment between working-class residents with the generation of crime and violence. This thesis, therefore, presents an example of ‘sociological criminology’, synthesising figurational sociology and left realist criminology with the aim of adding to the corpus of reality congruent social scientific knowledge on collective processes of status honour and stigma.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 March 2018
Last Modified: 20 May 2021 13:53

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