Meeting spaces: everyday spaces of multicultural encounter in Glasgow

Peterson, Melike (2019) Meeting spaces: everyday spaces of multicultural encounter in Glasgow. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis is about spaces of multicultural encounter, and their potential to facilitate connections and relationships, of differing depth and duration, to emerge between individuals and groups who live in the North and West of Glasgow, nurturing precarious yet progressive forms of living together in the city.

Tracing people’s experiences of encounters across ethnic, cultural, religious and other differences, and their intersections, this thesis foregrounds the micro politics of encounter, connection making and belonging. I argue that emergent connections and relations, many of them seemingly banal and small, often bleed out beyond the immediate moment and specific site of encounter, impacting/changing wider socio-political imaginaries and narratives of nationhood, community and belonging in Scottish society. Critically, I can demonstrate that mundane and ‘everyday’ spaces of proximity and association play a key role in the unfolding of these processes. In accounting for the unevenness of people’s lived realities, and approaching encounters as sites of different co-existing trajectories, this thesis makes important contributions to relevant scholarship on the politics and geographies of everyday encounter, the spatialities of intersectionality, and the significance of localizing narratives of belonging and nationhood in specific contexts and localities in Glasgow and Scotland.

In three empirical chapters, this thesis draws upon feminist theories to dissect the various ways in which people’s complex and multi-layered identifications and positionalities intersect and become articulated in moments of multicultural encounter in mundane spaces, including local cafes, public libraries and community centers. Emphasizing the histories and geographies of place, it frames encounters with/across difference as moments of opportunity, holding the potential for both relations of connection and understanding and disconnection and tension to emerge between people differently situated in society, and towards each other. By making lucid the ‘practice’ of racialization, the thesis draws attention to embodied encounters and relational practices, always emotional and agentic, as small yet decidedly political acts that may unsettle, shift and disrupt wider discourses and dominant notions of place, identity and belonging in Glasgow, and wider society. In this respect, the thesis aims to explore contestations, articulations and entanglements of ‘being together in difference’ in and beyond local places, as people whose bodies and identities are constructed as other/visible/strange/different inhabit the city.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Encounter, multiculturalism, intersectionality, belonging, racism, Scotland.
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences > Geography
Supervisor's Name: Askins, Dr. Kye and Featherstone, Dr. David
Date of Award: 2019
Depositing User: Hannah Melike Peterson
Unique ID: glathesis:2019-41179
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 29 May 2019 15:00
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2022 16:00
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.41179

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