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Place-based politics and nested deprivation in the UK: beyond Cities-Towns, ‘Two Englands’, and the ‘Left behind’

Place-based politics and nested deprivation in the UK: beyond Cities-Towns, ‘Two Englands’, and the ‘Left behind’
Place-based politics and nested deprivation in the UK: beyond Cities-Towns, ‘Two Englands’, and the ‘Left behind’
‘Place-based explanations’ of politics in the UK draw on survey data to tell sweeping narratives about ‘Two Englands’, or of sizeable regions of the country that have been ‘Left Behind’, reinforcing popular accounts of a North-South or city-town divide. We introduce the concept of nested deprivation—deprivation that may occur in just one housing estate or even one row of flats within neighbourhoods that are otherwise affluent. We report on intensive fieldwork in 8 neighbourhoods across Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight that varied in terms of both their relative affluence and their density of population (including urban, suburban/satellite, market town or rural village). We highlight the three key themes and consequences that emerge for those living in nested deprivation in relatively affluent and geographically dispersed contexts: a) either disconnection from or entrapment within the local economy; b) social isolation and atomization; and c) powerlessness to affect politics. As such, we conclude that ‘place –based’ explanations of rapid and radical changes to political participation in Britain need to take fine-grained geographical distinctions much more seriously. Our study provides evidence that the rising tides in affluent areas are drowning some residents rather than lifting all boats. Where deprivation is dispersed and then nested within mostly affluent constituencies it does not allow for the political mobilisation among communities of interest that is a necessary condition for pluralist representative democracies.
Deprivation, Left Behind, participation, place
0034-4893
169-190
Boswell, John
34bad0df-3d4d-40ce-948f-65871e3d783c
Denham, John
9cdb8204-8550-4677-80db-84f35bc7da52
Furlong, James
97d5b470-5ad4-4120-851a-37de96cce3e7
Killick, Anna
bfc01103-6db9-4e6e-98d1-2f84fbbcde8c
Ndugga, Patricia
6ae97961-76e4-4191-8959-ee2c3b91595d
Rek, Beata
bb4abf65-e0c9-44c7-aa8e-a074022d29c6
Ryan, Matthew
f07cd3e8-f3d9-4681-9091-84c2df07cd54
Shipp, Jesse,
26d16d3d-c65e-4fc8-92ef-e3535ad0e6db
Boswell, John
34bad0df-3d4d-40ce-948f-65871e3d783c
Denham, John
9cdb8204-8550-4677-80db-84f35bc7da52
Furlong, James
97d5b470-5ad4-4120-851a-37de96cce3e7
Killick, Anna
bfc01103-6db9-4e6e-98d1-2f84fbbcde8c
Ndugga, Patricia
6ae97961-76e4-4191-8959-ee2c3b91595d
Rek, Beata
bb4abf65-e0c9-44c7-aa8e-a074022d29c6
Ryan, Matthew
f07cd3e8-f3d9-4681-9091-84c2df07cd54
Shipp, Jesse,
26d16d3d-c65e-4fc8-92ef-e3535ad0e6db

Boswell, John, Denham, John, Furlong, James, Killick, Anna, Ndugga, Patricia, Rek, Beata, Ryan, Matthew and Shipp, Jesse, (2020) Place-based politics and nested deprivation in the UK: beyond Cities-Towns, ‘Two Englands’, and the ‘Left behind’. Representation, 58 (2), 169-190. (doi:10.1080/00344893.2020.1751258).

Record type: Article

Abstract

‘Place-based explanations’ of politics in the UK draw on survey data to tell sweeping narratives about ‘Two Englands’, or of sizeable regions of the country that have been ‘Left Behind’, reinforcing popular accounts of a North-South or city-town divide. We introduce the concept of nested deprivation—deprivation that may occur in just one housing estate or even one row of flats within neighbourhoods that are otherwise affluent. We report on intensive fieldwork in 8 neighbourhoods across Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight that varied in terms of both their relative affluence and their density of population (including urban, suburban/satellite, market town or rural village). We highlight the three key themes and consequences that emerge for those living in nested deprivation in relatively affluent and geographically dispersed contexts: a) either disconnection from or entrapment within the local economy; b) social isolation and atomization; and c) powerlessness to affect politics. As such, we conclude that ‘place –based’ explanations of rapid and radical changes to political participation in Britain need to take fine-grained geographical distinctions much more seriously. Our study provides evidence that the rising tides in affluent areas are drowning some residents rather than lifting all boats. Where deprivation is dispersed and then nested within mostly affluent constituencies it does not allow for the political mobilisation among communities of interest that is a necessary condition for pluralist representative democracies.

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Accepted/In Press date: 16 February 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 24 April 2020
Keywords: Deprivation, Left Behind, participation, place

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 438880
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/438880
ISSN: 0034-4893
PURE UUID: 367997fd-4c50-4b27-b3d6-5ea8eceee43a
ORCID for John Boswell: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3018-8791
ORCID for Matthew Ryan: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8693-5063

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Date deposited: 26 Mar 2020 17:30
Last modified: 13 Aug 2022 01:49

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Contributors

Author: John Boswell ORCID iD
Author: John Denham
Author: James Furlong
Author: Anna Killick
Author: Patricia Ndugga
Author: Beata Rek
Author: Matthew Ryan ORCID iD
Author: Jesse, Shipp

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