Spaces of care in the city: the place of a community drop-in centre
Social & Cultural Geography, 4, (4), . (doi:10.1080/1464936032000137939).
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This paper explores the ways in which drop-in centres may at times function as spaces of care in the city. Drawing on participant observation research within a particular centre in Bristol, a city in south-west England, it focuses upon social relations within the drop-in space and the various subjectivities that were observed to emerge in this relational environment. Through a consideration of individuals who appeared to be positively assisted by their involvement in the drop-in, a sense is developed of the different ways in which such agencies may function as spaces of care. Use is made of Carl Rogers' notion of the core conditions for successful therapeutic encounter, as developed within the person-centred school of humanistic psychotherapy, to explicate these positive experiences. At the same time it was clear that some individuals found the drop-in to be a less than comfortable or even exclusionary environment. The paper concludes by reflecting on the broader significance of drop-in centres as caring environments and on the value of humanistic conceptions of therapeutic relation for interpreting organizational spacings of subjectivity.
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