Thinking About Making a Difference

Puwar, Nirmal. 2004. Thinking About Making a Difference. The British Journal Of Politics And International Relations, 6(1), pp. 65-80. ISSN 1467856X [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article works across disciplines: politics, geography and social and cultural theory. Issues of space and body are brought to bear on how we think about the question 'making a difference'. By considering difference in terms of the socio-spatial impact of the presence of hitherto socially excluded groups, such as women and racialised minorities, the gendered and racialised nature of the body politic and most specifically its 'elite' positions is brought into focus. The co-existence of women and 'black' and Asian MPs in Westminster demonstrates how these 'groups' are both historically and conceptually 'space invaders'. This positionality underlies a series of social processes which illustrate how their very presence is a disruption as well as a continual negotiation. While accepting the agnostic perspective that there are 'no guarantees' that the arrival of these 'new' bodies will articulate a different politics, in terms of policy outcomes and political debate, this article asserts that the sociological terms of their presence deserves in-depth attention.

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politics, geography, social theory, cultural theory, space, body, MP, westminster, politics

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23 March 2004Published

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Date Deposited:

28 May 2009 10:44

Last Modified:

07 Jul 2017 12:17

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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