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Easterhouse 2004: an ethnographic account of men's experience, use and refusal of violence

Quinn, Patrick Thomas (2004) Easterhouse 2004: an ethnographic account of men's experience, use and refusal of violence. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The focus of this thesis is on how working class men live with physical interpersonal violence. The place of the research is in Easterhouse, a housing scheme on the outskirts of Glasgow in Scotland. The primary research methods employed are a reflexive engagement with in-depth semi-structured interviews and participant observation. This concern with a reflexive engagement with the research field and the research ‘data’ is theorised using the sociological tools crafted by Pierre Bourdieu; in particular, his stress on reality as fundamentally relational and his use of reflexivity, habitus, the body and fields to construct and understand human agency. In this thesis, these tools are used to open up moments of often `mindless’ violence and to understand what these moments might ‘mean’ to both those who experience this violence, and how this reality can come to be evacuated/excavated in historical and representational forms. To do this, the thesis considers the formation of habitus through time, across generations and indeed how a relationship to time is made and grounded in everyday experience of class relations and culture (and so the amount of resources or capital that can be brought to bear in the context of these relations). In this sense, the thesis endeavours to complicate what is meant by violence and what is mean by the ‘causes’ of physical interpersonal violence by situating moments of violence as elements in a total fact of life. The thesis situates contemporary forms of physical interpersonal violence in the new social, economic and cultural landscape formed post-1979. That is, continuities and discontinuities are assessed in relation to a tradition of having no tradition and the possibilities for historical self-understanding and agency that such a moment could provide. That is, now that working class culture has been ‘stripped down’ to its economic reality the culture of working class life is simultaneously a coming to terms with this ‘nothing’. Paradoxically, then it is in this ‘nothing’ that agency is found and where history, culture and politics can either come to be ‘reclaimed’ – ‘invented’ – or ‘mobilised’.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Supervisor, not known
Date of Award: 2004
Depositing User: Elaine Ballantyne
Unique ID: glathesis:2004-2413
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2011
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:55
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/2413

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