Narratives of Neglect: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Narratives of Neglect

1st Edition

By Jacqui Karn


256 pages

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This book tells the story of the process leading up to the demolition of a small council estate in the north of England and its subsequent regeneration. Based on extensive ethnographic research, it addresses the local governance of security and the ways in which the community engaged with attempts to improve the 'quality of life' of its residents and to attract wealthier new residents in the future. It explores in particular the meaning of notions of 'social capital' and 'partnerships' which often take little account of local power dynamics, seeking rather to find ways of mobilizing popular support for enforcement and exclusion rather than drawing on local knowledge of problems.

In following the process of consultation with residents this book explores the levels of miscommunication across social divides, and the differing narratives of change produced by residents and professionals. Residents' narratives display an important interplay between constitution of identity, community, sense of security, attribution of blame and ascription of responsibility for dealing with local problems explored in this book through detailed analysis of case studies.

In the final section of the book the author puts forward an alternative vision for participatory urban governance, bringing together notions of justice, rights, inclusion and sustainability.

Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1: Introducing an Ethnography 1. Introducing the estate 2. Governing urban communities 3. Constituting local problems Part 2: Living Here 4. Narratives of decline and change 5 Relating to others 6 Relating to authorities Part 3: Working There 7. Imagining and managing change 8. Constituting community: the good, the bad and the ungovernable Part 4: Conclusions 9. Participation? 10. Towards a governance of just sustainability

About the Author

Jacqui Karn is a researcher and writer on issues around crime, justice and urban inequality.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Ethnography

Ethnography is a celebrated, if contested, research methodology that offers unprecedented access to people's intimate lives, their often hidden social worlds and the meanings they attach to these.  The intensity of ethnographic fieldwork often makes considerable personal and emotional demands on the researcher, while the final product is a vivid human document with personal resonance impossible to recreate by the application of any other social science methodology.  This series aims to highlight the best, most innovative ethnographic work available from both new and established scholars.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology