Space, politics and community: the case of Kinning Park Complex

Nolan, Laura-Jane (2015) Space, politics and community: the case of Kinning Park Complex. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis is about space, politics and the community. It examines how spatial politics constitutes a community through time. It explores the way that urban governance interacts with community politics, and more importantly, how people can rework politics through spatial practices. The thesis scales down to focus on a case study of Kinning Park Complex (KPC), an independently run community centre that was saved from closure by building users in 1996 following a 55 day sit-in. I track the trajectory of this space since 1996, to investigate the resourcefulness of the community to withstand multiple crises at local and national levels.

KPC is a valuable social and political space that continues to exist in, against, and beyond neoliberalism. I focus on the paradoxical nature of KPC, as the space appears in-line with the current government plans to expand third sector projects in a context of austerity, whilst simultaneously striving to function as a non-hierarchical and not-for profit space. It is both an important site of social of reproduction and a symbolic community space.

Through participatory methods and ethnographic observations, I have explored the social practices at KPC to investigate what they reveal about social relations and the structural problems that independent spaces face in the context of austerity. I draw upon the theories of Pierre Bourdieu and Jacques Rancière to elucidate the contradictions in their theoretical disagreement by relating their ideas to the rich empirical material that I gathered at KPC. Finally, I draw upon Doreen Massey to bridge this theoretical divide and to provide an essential spatial context to my work. The thesis brings to light the complexities, contradictions and tangible forms of labour involved in simultaneously struggling against, and providing services autonomously from, the state during austere times.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: community, politics, space, grassroots, Pierre Bourdieu, Jaques Rancière
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences > Geography
Supervisor's Name: Featherstone, Dr. David and Cumbers, Professor Andrew
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Dr Laura-Jane Nolan
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-6771
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2015 13:33
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2015 10:10

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