Rethinking local activism: 'cultivating the capacities' of neighbourhood organising

Jupp, Eleanor (2012). Rethinking local activism: 'cultivating the capacities' of neighbourhood organising. Urban Studies, 49(14) pp. 3027–3044.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098012439111

Abstract

This article seeks to reposition understandings of local neighbourhood organising in the UK, which has often been approached through the lens of neighbourhood policy initiatives and overlooked within accounts of ‘urban activism’. This article draws on fieldwork among small community groups in disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Stoke-on-Trent, UK. An argument is made for paying attention to the often gendered capacities used by members of informal residents’ organisations, that enable them to connect with other residents as well as negotiate with officials and policy frameworks. Despite being grounded in everyday practices and being entangled with policy programmes, it is argued that these practices do constitute powerful forms of activism and that those concerned with supporting such activity should begin with an understanding of these capacities.

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