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Attuning to ambiguous atmospheres: currents of air, discourse and time in a steel town

Roberts, Erin ORCID:, Groves, Christopher ORCID:, Thomas, Gareth ORCID:, Shirani, Fiona, Cherry, Catherine ORCID:, Pidgeon, Nick ORCID: and Henwood, Karen ORCID: 2023. Attuning to ambiguous atmospheres: currents of air, discourse and time in a steel town. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 10.1111/tran.12631

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How atmospheric pollution is perceived by urban dwellers has long been a topic of interest within geography and the social sciences, whether to draw attention to environmental injustices, to better understand the materialities and affects associated with polluted air, or to grasp how people ‘tune in’ to polluted matter. In this paper, we draw on three interrelated geographical and social science literatures on polluted air to inform our exploration of how residents of an industrial town in the UK encounter and perceive localised ambient air pollution. Using creative methods, we explore residents' narrative accounts of everyday life in the town, revealing how their engagements with the matter of pollution over time are drawn from multiple registers, giving rise to a plurality of perceptions filled with tensions between near and far, and between past, present and future, producing an ambiguous atmosphere all of its own. The paper contributes to geographic explorations of urban atmospheres an understanding of how they are differently experienced and known, and how residential perceptions might persist or change over different timescales.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Additional Information: License information from Publisher: LICENSE 1: URL:
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0020-2754
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 August 2023
Date of Acceptance: 11 July 2023
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2024 06:03

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