Conference paper Open Access

From 'Hood' to Good – Dealing with Stigmatizing Spatial Representations in Everyday Life

Werner, Cosima; Schwarze, Tilman

Media reports on everyday life in US-American under-resourced and racialized neighbourhoods predominantly cover one theme: violence and crime. The tragic occurrence of shootings, dead people, and gang crime are at the centre of news headlines. This singular perspective on such areas and their residents produces a stigma that affects people's everyday lives and yet does not cover what it means to live in such an area. By using qualitative interviews with residents and representatives of community organizations, we spotlight the daily practices that illustrate the contested symbolic meaning of the ‘hood’ and the potential redevelopment discourses of the Chicago neighbourhood South Shore. The data provide insights into the heterogeneity of the social groups that live in the area and execute practices of social distinctions attached to spaces, as they become apparent with our examples of busy corners at commercial strips and the planned Obama Presidential Center.

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