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    Understanding ‘islandness’

    Foley, Aideen and Brinklow, L. and Corbett, J. and Kelman, I. and Klöck, C. and Moncada, S. and Mycoo, M. and Nunn, P. and Pugh, J. and Robinson, S.-A. and Tandrayen-Ragoobur, V. and Walshe, R. (2023) Understanding ‘islandness’. Annals of the American Association of Geographers , ISSN 2469-4452.

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    ‘Islandness’ is a contested concept, not just between disciplines but also cultures, entangled with what islands, island studies, and island identity are understood to be. The purpose of this paper is to explore some of these different meanings, without necessarily unifying or reconciling them, but with the aim of keeping multiple understandings of ‘islandness’ in creative tension. We begin by considering ‘islandness’ as smallness, recognising that though many entry points into island studies relate to size in some way, what constitutes ‘small’ is both context- and worldview-dependent. Next, we consider ‘islandness’ as culture, and the concept of island ‘identity’, which is expressed in varied forms. Lastly, we consider framings of islands as ‘others’, and the extent to which contemporary narratives 'linked' to islands are really inherent to islands or not. Ultimately, we conclude that while there is much to be gained from appreciating differing understandings of ‘islandness’, these multiple meanings make it critical to reflect on context wherever the term is used, and exercise care in assigning attributes and outcomes to ‘islandness’.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Aideen Foley
    Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2023 06:45
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:20


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