A part of community or apart from community? Young people's geographies in mixed community developments

  • Rebekah Ryder

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    During the last 15 years mixed tenure communities have been an explicit planning policy in the UK to create socio-economic balance. Despite particular benefits from such a policy ascribed to young people, there has been no specific examination of young people's experiences of living in such communities. Through a mixed methods exploration of two new mixed communities in Northamptonshire, the social and spatial lives of young people aged 11-16 have been explored to see what affect living in a 'new' and 'mixed' community has on their geographies. The study found that tenure did not have a strong effect on geographies, though it was related to population churn and strength of community feeling in the two areas. There was evidence of inter-tenure friendships, as well as negative socio-economic stereotyping. The research revealed that the newness of the development strongly affected geographies in a number of ways. These included a perception of greater safety, the availability of community facilities, an uncertainty over spaces due to continued construction, the building of friendships by recent movers, a rapid growth in population, the establishment of reputation, and the construction of community bonds. The research also revealed that the spaces of Children's Geographies, and their uses, are changing with a greater prevalence for spaces of consumption (such as supermarkets), more mobile use of the street, and a preference for parental lifts. Further areas of research may wish to explore: children's social agency in terms of parental chauffeuring; the effect of newness on place, community, reputation, and geographies of friendship; how geographies of consumption relate to Children's Geographies and community, and space and mobility practices in twenty-first century Children's Geographies.
    Date of Award2015
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Northampton
    SupervisorFaith Tucker (Supervisor) & John Horton (Supervisor)

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