Geographies of discontent 3: Large-scale transformations and experiences of disconnection

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Cultural Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/14/2018
Start / End Time: 2:00 PM / 3:40 PM (MDT)
Room: Astor Ballroom III, Astor, 2nd Floor
Organizers: Myrte Hoekstra, Fenne Pinkster
Chairs: Fenne Pinkster


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 Max Counter*, , The Liars’ Landscape? Dispossession, Eviction and Land Restitution in Colombia 20 2:00 PM
Presenter Rowan Jaines*, University of Sheffield, Voting “Leave” in Fenland: A Spatial History. 20 2:20 PM
Presenter Chad Steacy*, University of Georgia, We have seen the effects: Narratives of place-change among amenity migrants to Southern Appalachia 20 2:40 PM
Presenter Myrte Hoekstra*, , Place-based identities on the national periphery: Social and political consequences of deindustrialization and shrinkage 20 3:00 PM

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