Losing ground : locational formulations in argumentation over New Travellers
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This thesis is an exercise in discursive psychology. The body of discourse analysed concerns the defence of rural space against New Travellers. In contrast to previous sociological and human geographical work in this area, instead of newspaper articles and Parliamentary discourse, participants' talk and texts are the starting point for the - investigation. The data corpora have been generated from a variety of sources: Focus groupd iscussionsw ith policeo fficers;i nterviewsw ith landowners(or their representatives);le tters to the editors of local newspapers;and private letters of complaint to a local council. The thesisf ocuseso n the participants's electiono f locational formulations,t he work this hast aken,a ndh ow this work partly constitutesin teractional business. The thesis makes a distinctive contribution to several different areas. This includes offering a disciplinaryc ritiqueo f how humanistg eographerasn de nvironmental psychologistsh avec onstructeda ttachmentto placea st he norm,w hilst problematising high residentiaml obility. Without takingu p a positioni n this debatet,h e thesis demonstratehso w a discursivea pproachc an offer a differentp erspectiveo n place discourse- includingt he way thatp lacei dentity / attachmenmt ight be reconceiveda nd studied. The first two analytic chapters provide a distinctive contribution to discursive psychology by bringing together, and building on, previous work around the analysis of Abstract place discourse. Chapter five demonstratesp articipants' use of location as a domain of warrant for making complaints about New Travellers. Chapter six demonstratesh ow participants used spatial descriptionst o construct New Travellers as transgressiveo r literally 'out-of-place'. The third andf inal analyticc hapter,c hapters evenp rovidesa contribution to social psychology by demonstrating citizenship in practice. The project concludes by considering these contributions and their implications, and outlining several reasons for further work on the discursive psychology of place. The thorny issues raised by a focus on place, such as realism vs relativism are also discussed.
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