Glasgow's new urban frontier: 'Civilising' the population of 'Glasgow East'

Gray, Neil and Mooney, Gerry (2011). Glasgow's new urban frontier: 'Civilising' the population of 'Glasgow East'. City, 15(1) pp. 4–24.



Focusing on Glasgow's East End, home to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, this paper explores the ways in which narratives of decline, 'blight' and decay play a central role in stigmatising the local population. 'Glasgow East' represents the new urban frontier in a city that has been heralded in recent decades as a model of successful post-industrial transformation. Utilising Löic Wacquant's arguments about advanced marginality and territorial stigmatisation in the urban context, we argue that narratives of decline and redevelopment are part of a wider ideological onslaught on the local population, intended to pave the way for low grade and flexible forms of employment, for punitive workfare schemes and for upwards rent restructuring. To this end, the media and politicians have played a particularly important role in constructing Glasgow East as a marker of a 'broken Britain'. While the focus of this paper is on Glasgow's East End, the arguments therein have a wider UK and global resonance, reflected in the numerous cases whereby stigmatised locales of relegation are being re-imagined as elements in wider processes of neo-liberalisation in the city.

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