Graftin’ up ‘anley duck: Narrating the influence of unemployment upon identity and crime in Stoke-on-Trent
This thesis sets out to explore the influences of unemployment upon senses of identity and involvement in crime in Stoke-on-Trent. It draws upon the Free Association Interview method to explore the lives and experiences of a group of men living in some of the most deprived parts of the city between 2010 and 2014. It looks at experiences of unemployment, underemployment and insecure employment upon the lives and narratives of these men and their perceptions of the world around them. It aims to understand the effect of their experiences and how they have come to reconcile their position in society. The thesis strives to outline how people construct and maintain an identity which makes sense to them in the face of the significant challenges posed by the deindustrialisation and prolonged decline of the city of Stoke-on-Trent. It seeks to reveal how their evolving sense of self is influenced by the communities in which they live, whether that is an urban, social housing estate, a hostel or on the streets. The thesis looks to challenge existing hegemonic depictions of what it is to be part of the homogenously branded socially excluded and the manner in which senses of social order which, although they may not be seen as ‘normal’ or acceptable to wider society, are formed. It argues that the people deemed socially excluded are active and engaged actors seeking to find senses of security, belonging and unity in an increasingly atomised, insecure and fragmented world.
Keywords: abjection, identity, crime, unemployment, defensible self, Free Association Narrative Interview method
|Publication Date||Oct 1, 2015|