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Invisible Walls and Visible Youth

Invisible Walls and Visible Youth This paper explores how young people experience territoriality in six British cities. It challenges the prevailing view within existing literature that young people derive important benefits from their ability to shape their identities by occupying public spaces. The paper is based on an exploratory study using semi-structured interviews, focus groups and cognitive mapping with young people. The origins, motivations and impacts of territoriality among groups and ‘gangs’ are examined, especially among those groups who possess an acute sense of place attachment and rivalry with groups from other neighbourhoods. It finds that territoriality is a form of cultural capital passed from one generation to the next, often with rich, heavily mythologised histories. Territoriality comes from the close affinity between young people and place and is often expressed through periodic violent confrontations. The paper illustrates how territoriality limits mobility and subsequently imposes sanctions on access to leisure, education, employment and social opportunities. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Urban Studies: An International Journal of Research in Urban Studies SAGE

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References (53)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 2011 Urban Studies Journal Limited
ISSN
0042-0980
eISSN
1360-063X
DOI
10.1177/0042098011411939
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper explores how young people experience territoriality in six British cities. It challenges the prevailing view within existing literature that young people derive important benefits from their ability to shape their identities by occupying public spaces. The paper is based on an exploratory study using semi-structured interviews, focus groups and cognitive mapping with young people. The origins, motivations and impacts of territoriality among groups and ‘gangs’ are examined, especially among those groups who possess an acute sense of place attachment and rivalry with groups from other neighbourhoods. It finds that territoriality is a form of cultural capital passed from one generation to the next, often with rich, heavily mythologised histories. Territoriality comes from the close affinity between young people and place and is often expressed through periodic violent confrontations. The paper illustrates how territoriality limits mobility and subsequently imposes sanctions on access to leisure, education, employment and social opportunities.

Journal

Urban Studies: An International Journal of Research in Urban StudiesSAGE

Published: Apr 1, 2012

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