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Spatial Imaginaries and Geographic Division within the UK: Uneven Economic Development, Ethnicity and National Identity

Donnelly, Michael; Gamsu, Sol

Spatial Imaginaries and Geographic Division within the UK: Uneven Economic Development, Ethnicity and National Identity Thumbnail


Authors

Michael Donnelly



Abstract

This article provides an account of how spatial divisions permeate imaginaries of the UK’s geography, drawing on a large qualitative data-set on the locational choices of young adults. The data we draw from are unique in their multi-sited design, which includes accounts of how young people look upon the UK’s internal geography from 17 geographic vantage points, that span the four UK nations and each region of England. Data collection involved an innovative mapping exercise capturing how their spatial imaginaries are relationally constructed, and the demarcation of spatial boundaries. Drawing parallels with research on the way divisions are constructed globally by internationally mobile students, we argue that the young adults’ spatial imaginaries were infused with intranational boundaries of uneven economic development, national identity and ethnicity. Their spatial imaginaries and the geographic divisions they embody have important implications for public policy that seeks to redress spatial inequality within nations like the UK.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Jun 10, 2022
Publication Date 2022-12
Deposit Date Jul 26, 2022
Publicly Available Date Mar 14, 2023
Journal Sociology
Print ISSN 0038-0385
Electronic ISSN 1469-8684
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 56
Issue 6
Pages 1217-1235
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/00380385221090828
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1196803

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Publisher Licence URL
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Copyright Statement
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage)





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