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Tracing the formation of territorial stigma through the British media: the case of Toxteth, Liverpool

Butler, Alice Louise Ruth (2018) Tracing the formation of territorial stigma through the British media: the case of Toxteth, Liverpool. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Literature on territorial stigma, the persistent stigma attached to place, has traditionally accepted that the phenomenon is temporally linked to the late 20th century and the era of advanced marginality, defined by the post-Fordist economy and post-Keynesian welfare state. This thesis draws on recent literature that questions this assumption and addresses the lack of research on the emergence of place-based stigma, using Toxteth, Liverpool as a paradigmatic case study. An area that saw civil disturbances in the 1980s, Toxteth is popularly and academically stigmatised. Following a combined quantitative-qualitative content analysis that draws on Critical Discourse Analysis, this thesis traces the portrayal of Toxteth in the British press, to show that the emergence of stigma has a longer history. Drawing on notions of core and event stigma, the study reveals the process of stigmatisation with the press first relying on core stigmatising attributes to smear Toxteth, before using the event stigma of the disturbances, and finally returning to core stigma after 1981. The thesis characterises the earlier form of stigma that relies on core attributes as primitive stigma, which is the necessary precursor to territorial stigma and is defined by discursive obliqueness. Through the careful analysis of 1,950 newspaper articles and more than a dozen in-depth interviews with journalists and politicians, this thesis makes three main original contributions. The first is methodological, demonstrating that core and event stigma can help us to understand the process of stigma. Secondly, this thesis develops a new theorisation of primitive stigmatisation, showing that place-based stigma exists on a temporal continuum. Finally, this study demonstrates that the use of territorial stigma serves the media’s profit and power motives, supporting the primacy of dominant groups in society who determine how reality is constructed.  

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: territorial stigma; stigma; media; Toxteth; Liverpool
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > School of Geography (Leeds)
Depositing User: Miss Alice Butler
Date Deposited: 24 May 2019 11:04
Last Modified: 24 May 2019 11:04
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/23892

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