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Title: Invoking a community of engagement: mobility and place in a small English town
Authors: O'Reilly, Karen
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Ashgate © Brigitte Bönisch-Brednich and Catherine Trundle
Citation: O'REILLY, K., 2010. Invoking a community of engagement: mobility and place in a small English town. IN: Bönisch-Brednich, B. and Trundle, C. (eds.) Local Lives: Migration and the Politics of Place. Farnham: Ashgate, pp. 135 - 150.
Series/Report no.: Studies in Migration and Diaspora;
Abstract: This chapter draws on ethnographic data from a small East Midlands town in England to demonstrate that local community is a resource for identity formation and expression, as well as collective claims for place-based material resources and emplaced social networks of daily relationality. Community is brought more into play in times of anxiety, such as when urban restructuring, flexible labour markets, globalising processes, and increased levels of migration impact on people’s daily, lived experiences. The expression of community boundaries, however, is not (necessarily) drawn foremost along ethnic/foreigner/immigrant lines, but along the lines of mobility and instability. Migration, in the situation I describe, is thus feared not for the immigrants it brings but for the changes it promises, and especially the transience and loss of continuity. Disputes about the symbolic borders of the community often play out with regard to disputes over the real geographic and physical borders of the town, and disputes over the economic and political boundaries and the material resources these enable or disable. Emplaced memories and narratives of the past are central tools through which people recreate community identity and belonging in public spaces on a daily basis and effectively encourage locals (of all backgrounds) to collectively fight for or defend resources. Overwhelmingly these narratives deploy notions of both victimhood and a community of engagement as a counter to the threat of transience.
Description: This is a chapter from the book, Local Lives: Migration and the Politics of Place [Ashgate © Brigitte Bönisch-Brednich and Catherine Trundle] http://www.ashgate.com/isbn/9781409401032
Version: Accepted for publication
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/15696
Publisher Link: http://www.ashgate.com/isbn/9781409401032
ISBN: 9781409401032
Appears in Collections:Book Chapters (Social Sciences)

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