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School of Geography

Citizenship and Belonging

The core intellectual agenda of this cluster centres on the critical analysis of patterns, processes, and experiences of citizenship and belonging at multiple scales, from the body to the globe. We are concerned with understanding the contemporary realities of social exclusion, while also exploring the possibilities for more inclusive futures. We employ diverse theoretical and methodological perspectives, yet seek to (re)shape key international debates on citizenship and belonging. We also actively seek to influence policy and practice, as well as to disseminate our research beyond the academic community.

Our work spans five major research themes:

1. The (re)construction of social identities in a changing and globalising world.

How people (re)construct their identities, what it means to be ascribed a particular identity, how this shifts over time and contexts, and the intersection of multiple identities.

2. Transnational society, diaspora and citizenship

In this research we question traditional ideas about wellbeing, family, assimilation, identity and home, and look at how migrants perceive and organise their daily lives.

3. Human rights, equality, and diversity

We look at the power relations involved in the construction of particular identities, and the ways in which certain values and beliefs become institutionalised and embedded in dominant discourses, and how these shift over time.

4. Citizenship, belonging, integration and multiculturalism

Our research informs the politicised debates on notions of 'self', national identity and belonging, and questions around 'common values'.

5. Marginalisation and resistance

Our focus here is on people and social movements which challenge existing power structures in order to effect change and empower people living on the margins of the economy and society.

Latest News

New book

Attias-Donfut,, C., Cook, J., Hoffman, J. & Waite, L. (2012) ‘Citizenship, Belonging and Intergenerational Relations in African Migration’. Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Gill Valentine was invited to visit Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany where she gave a public lecture (with musical prelude!) and took part in two different workshops themed around her research interests as well as having individual meetings with PhD students.

New Paper

Jayne, M, Valentine, G. and Gould, M. (2012) Family life and alcohol consumption: the transmission of ‘public’ and ‘private’ drinking cultures Drugs: Educa-tion, Prevention and Policy 19: 192-200.

Gill Valentine was invited to visit to the Department of Geography, San Diego State University, USA where she gave a public lecture about the ERC Living with Difference project, taught some postgraduate classes based around her research on geographies of childhood and family life and participated in local fieldwork activities for research projects run by Stuart Aitken and colleagues.