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Bound to Move: White Middle-Class Women’s Mobility in a Segregated City

Holmgren, Elisabet LU (2017) TKAM02 20171
Division of Ethnology
Abstract
People’s everyday movements across the urban space matter. Indeed, for city planners looking to counter urban segregation processes, the issue of physical mobility is of prime concern as it bears the potential of overcoming ethnic and socio-economic divisions in the city. Yet, there is a lack of academic research matching this interest. In examining the role of mobility and the white middle-class in opposing or reproducing urban socio-spatial divisions, this thesis investigates two traditionally overlooked aspects within studies on urban segregation. More precisely, it explores young, white, middle-class women’s leisure mobility in the urban space. In so doing, this thesis provides insights that will help in planning for socially cohesive... (More)
People’s everyday movements across the urban space matter. Indeed, for city planners looking to counter urban segregation processes, the issue of physical mobility is of prime concern as it bears the potential of overcoming ethnic and socio-economic divisions in the city. Yet, there is a lack of academic research matching this interest. In examining the role of mobility and the white middle-class in opposing or reproducing urban socio-spatial divisions, this thesis investigates two traditionally overlooked aspects within studies on urban segregation. More precisely, it explores young, white, middle-class women’s leisure mobility in the urban space. In so doing, this thesis provides insights that will help in planning for socially cohesive cities.
Based on qualitative research with a group of women living in Malmö, Sweden, this thesis uses cultural analysis in considering the underlying motivations the women have to initiate mobility, the setting in which they choose to undertake these practices and the cultural conceptions that shape and are shaped by these decisions. Furthermore, by scrutinising how the women’s mobility in and outside of their own stigmatised neighbourhood shapes their relations to the area and its residents, a micro-perspective of segregation is developed.
The study observes that the women’s mobility both influences and is influenced by segregation processes. While productive, social and aesthetic needs motivate the women to move, segregation happens as a consequence of the wish to tailor their own urban experience. This serves to bound the women’s mobility to limited areas perceived to be their natural setting. However, understandings like these are affected by the already existing segregation of those spaces, which thus obscures large parts of the city to the women. Moreover, the women use their mobility to both distance and connect their neighbourhood to other urban areas. Journeying through the city, the women’s class, gender and whiteness travel with them, shifting in importance and acting as sources of both privilege and oppression. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Hur människor rör sig genom staden till vardags spelar roll. Inte minst inom stadsplanering har fysisk mobilitet kommit att bli en viktig fråga, då denna sägs ha potential att motverka segregationsprocesser. Trots detta råder det brist på akademisk forskning inom området. Denna uppsats kombinerar ett intresse för hur mobilitet respektive den vita medelklassen påverkar städers socio-spatiala uppdelning och granskar på så sätt två aspekter som vanligtvis förbises inom urbana segregationsstudier. Mer specifikt studeras den mobilitet unga, vita kvinnor med medelklassbakgrund utför i stadsrummet på sin fritid. Därigenom tillhandahåller denna uppsats insikter som är av nytta i planläggningen för socialt sammanhållna städer.
Uppsatsen baseras på... (More)
Hur människor rör sig genom staden till vardags spelar roll. Inte minst inom stadsplanering har fysisk mobilitet kommit att bli en viktig fråga, då denna sägs ha potential att motverka segregationsprocesser. Trots detta råder det brist på akademisk forskning inom området. Denna uppsats kombinerar ett intresse för hur mobilitet respektive den vita medelklassen påverkar städers socio-spatiala uppdelning och granskar på så sätt två aspekter som vanligtvis förbises inom urbana segregationsstudier. Mer specifikt studeras den mobilitet unga, vita kvinnor med medelklassbakgrund utför i stadsrummet på sin fritid. Därigenom tillhandahåller denna uppsats insikter som är av nytta i planläggningen för socialt sammanhållna städer.
Uppsatsen baseras på kvalitativ forskning och kretsar kring en grupp kvinnor boende i Malmö, Sverige. Genom ett kulturanalytiskt förhållningssätt utforskas de underliggande motivationer kvinnorna har för att initiera mobilitet, den miljö de väljer att röra sig i samt de kulturella idéer som är förbundna med dessa beslut. Därtill studeras hur kvinnornas rörelser inom och utom sin egen stigmatiserade stadsdel formar deras relationer till både sina grannar och grannskapet i stort. På så sätt utvecklar uppsatsen ett mikroperspektiv på segregation.
Studien visar att kvinnornas mobilitet både påverkar och påverkas av segregations- processer. Kvinnornas rörelser genom staden motiveras av produktiva, sociala och estetiska behov, dock är det viljan att skräddarsy sin egen urbana upplevelse som får kvinnorna att upprätthålla segregerade rum i staden. Denna strävan begränsar kvinnornas mobilitet till relativt få stadsdelar vilka kvinnorna upplever som naturliga för dem att vistas på. Denna upplevelse är dock påverkad av den redan existerande segregationen i dessa rum, vilken på så sätt syftar till att dölja stora delar av staden för dem. Vidare använder kvinnorna sin mobilitet till att både distansera och förbinda sitt område till andra grannskap i staden. På sin resa genom staden är det inte bara kvinnorna utan även deras klass, genus och etnicitet som rör sig; dessa skiftar i betydelser och ger upphov till situationer av både privilegier och förtryck. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Holmgren, Elisabet LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Förbunden rörelse: Vita medelklasskvinnors mobilitet i en segregerad stad
course
TKAM02 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
trygghet, det offentliga rummet, klass, vithet, mobilitet, genus, cultural analysis, feminist ethnography, social sustainability, safety, urban segregation, public space, class, whiteness, gender, mobility, social hållbarhet, feministisk etnografi, kulturanalys, MACA
language
English
id
8915897
date added to LUP
2017-06-19 12:05:57
date last changed
2017-06-19 12:05:57
@misc{8915897,
  abstract     = {People’s everyday movements across the urban space matter. Indeed, for city planners looking to counter urban segregation processes, the issue of physical mobility is of prime concern as it bears the potential of overcoming ethnic and socio-economic divisions in the city. Yet, there is a lack of academic research matching this interest. In examining the role of mobility and the white middle-class in opposing or reproducing urban socio-spatial divisions, this thesis investigates two traditionally overlooked aspects within studies on urban segregation. More precisely, it explores young, white, middle-class women’s leisure mobility in the urban space. In so doing, this thesis provides insights that will help in planning for socially cohesive cities.
Based on qualitative research with a group of women living in Malmö, Sweden, this thesis uses cultural analysis in considering the underlying motivations the women have to initiate mobility, the setting in which they choose to undertake these practices and the cultural conceptions that shape and are shaped by these decisions. Furthermore, by scrutinising how the women’s mobility in and outside of their own stigmatised neighbourhood shapes their relations to the area and its residents, a micro-perspective of segregation is developed.
The study observes that the women’s mobility both influences and is influenced by segregation processes. While productive, social and aesthetic needs motivate the women to move, segregation happens as a consequence of the wish to tailor their own urban experience. This serves to bound the women’s mobility to limited areas perceived to be their natural setting. However, understandings like these are affected by the already existing segregation of those spaces, which thus obscures large parts of the city to the women. Moreover, the women use their mobility to both distance and connect their neighbourhood to other urban areas. Journeying through the city, the women’s class, gender and whiteness travel with them, shifting in importance and acting as sources of both privilege and oppression.},
  author       = {Holmgren, Elisabet},
  keyword      = {trygghet,det offentliga rummet,klass,vithet,mobilitet,genus,cultural analysis,feminist ethnography,social sustainability,safety,urban segregation,public space,class,whiteness,gender,mobility,social hållbarhet,feministisk etnografi,kulturanalys,MACA},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Bound to Move: White Middle-Class Women’s Mobility in a Segregated City},
  year         = {2017},
}