Geographies of discontent 2: Urban contestations over loss of place

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Cultural Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/14/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM (MDT)
Room: Astor Ballroom III, Astor, 2nd Floor
Organizers: Myrte Hoekstra, Fenne Pinkster
Chairs: Myrte Hoekstra


In this session we would like to explore the geographical underpinnings of expressions of discontent. We start from the premise that people make sense of the world through place and want to investigate under which circumstances changes in everyday living environments may engender feelings of loss, marginalization, powerlessness, anxiety and resentment against ‘other’ social groups and/or governing institutions. Different literatures can provide insight in such emotional ramifications of spatial change. For example, concepts of discontent and resentment hold a central place in research on the growing support for parties and initiatives promising to defend the ‘common man’. These have been interpreted as both a political backlash against the erosive effects of global markets on local economies and as a cultural backlash against new migrant groups and urban elites espousing progressive values (e.g. Cramer, 2016; Duyvendak, 2011; Hochschild, 2016; Inglehart & Norris, 2016). Feelings of marginalization and loss also feature strongly in the literature on gentrification and place-based displacement of remaining working class residents who express nostalgia for past lives and worlds. Discontent has thus often been located within specific places and sections of the population, in particular, the white working class living in either large urban centers or national peripheries. Nevertheless, feelings of loss and resentment have also be observed amongst social groups not usually considered ‘losers of globalization’ (see e.g. Phillipson, 2007; Pinkster & Boterman, 2017). This challenges us to think beyond the classed underpinnings of discontent and explore the emotional – and possibly political – backlash of socio-spatial change.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Cedric Goossens*, Ghent University, Stijn Oosterlynck*, University of Antwerp, Van Wymeersch Elisabet, University of Antwerp, Between democracy and hegemony: feelings of empowerment and powerlessness in gentrifying neighbourhoods 20 10:00 AM
Presenter Wouter Van Gent*, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Gerald Brugman, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Mobilities of minority gay men and their search for belonging in the anxious European city 20 10:20 AM
Presenter Susanne Frank*, TU Dortmund, A Troubled Phoenix from the Ashes: Socio-spatial Discontent and Narratives of Gentrification in Dortmund-Hoerde, Germany 20 10:40 AM
Presenter Fenne Pinkster*, Universiteit Van Amsterdam, Contesting loss of place: reflections on the interplay between class, age and experiences of neighbourhood change 20 11:00 AM
Presenter Peter Dirksmeier*, Leibniz University Hanover, Discontent and the Right to the City 20 11:20 AM

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