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    Territorial stigmatisation and poor housing at a London ‘Sink Estate’

    Watt, Paul (2020) Territorial stigmatisation and poor housing at a London ‘Sink Estate’. Social Inclusion 8 (1), pp. 20-33. ISSN 2183-2803.

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    This paper offers a critical assessment of Loic Wacquant’s influential ‘advanced marginality’ framework with reference to research undertaken on a London social housing estate. Following Wacquant, it has become the orthodoxy that one of the major vectors of advanced marginality is territorial stigmatisation and that this particularly affects social housing estates, for example via mass media deployment of the ‘sink estate’ label in the UK. This paper is based upon a multi-method case study of the Aylesbury estate in south-east London – an archetypal stigmatised ‘sink estate’. The paper brings together three aspects of residents’ experiences of the Aylesbury estate: territorial stigmatisation and dissolution of place, both of which Wacquant focuses on, and housing conditions which Wacquant neglects. The paper acknowledges the deprivation and various social problems the Aylesbury residents face, problems that are generally prominent in south-east London. It argues, however, that rather than internalising the extensive and intensive media-fuelled territorial stigmatisation of their ‘notorious’ estate, as Wacquant’s analysis implies, residents have largely disregarded, rejected or actively resisted the notion that they are living in an ‘estate from hell’, while their sense of place belonging has not dissolved. By contrast, poor housing – in the form of heating breakdowns, leaks, infestation, inadequate repairs and maintenance – caused major distress and frustration and was a more important facet of their everyday lives than territorial stigmatisation. The paper concludes that more academic attention needs to be paid to material housing conditions in order to provide a fuller understanding of urban advanced marginality.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Advanced marginality, council tenants, housing conditions, neighbourhood, regeneration, place belonging, sink estate, social housing, state-led gentrification, territorial stigmatisation
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Paul Watt
    Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2020 10:39
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:56


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