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Place-making and Place Maintenance: Practices of Place and Belonging among the Middle Classes

Benson, Michaela and Jackson, Emma. 2013. Place-making and Place Maintenance: Practices of Place and Belonging among the Middle Classes. Sociology, 47(4), pp. 793-809. ISSN 0038-0385 [Article]

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This article introduces performativity and processes of place-making into discussions about middle-class residents’ place attachments. It draws on interviews with middle-class residents in two different London neighbourhoods, Peckham (inner urban, socially mixed) and West Horsley and Effingham (commuter belt villages), to argue that (1) the practice of place is key to understanding middle-class claims to belonging; and (2) ways of ‘doing’ neighbourhood must be understood within the context of other circulating representations. While respondents in Peckham work with or against prevailing discourses about their neighbourhood as they perform place, in the commuter belt, residents strive to uphold the image of their village as the rural idyll, a classed and racialised vision. The contrast between the inner city and commuter belt reveals the different performative registers through which place is practised; while in Peckham middle-class residents invest in processes of place-making, respondents in the commuter belt engage instead in active processes of place maintenance.

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August 2013Published

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Date Deposited:

09 Oct 2013 10:16

Last Modified:

07 Jul 2017 09:38

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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