Journal articles: 'Friends Neighbourhood House' – Grafiati (2024)

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Author: Grafiati

Published: 4 June 2021

Last updated: 6 February 2022

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1

Malone, Jacob. "Bacterial signalling mechanisms: Checking out the neighbourhood." Biochemist 36, no.5 (October1, 2014): 20–24. http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/bio03605020.

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In much the same way that people check out the neighbourhood and ask their friends for advice before they decide to move to a new house, bacteria perceive, integrate and respond to various different environmental and social cues during the processes of surface colonization and biofilm formation. These integrated signalling responses determine whether bacteria adopt a free-living individualist lifestyle associated with motility and elevated virulence, or whether they form a complex multicellular community known as a biofilm. Biofilms consist of large surface-attached multicellular structures, where the individual bacteria are encased in a matrix of proteins, exopolysaccharides and extracellular DNA strands. Within the biofilm, discrete bacterial subpopulations fulfil distinct phenotypic roles. These include support cells, persister cells that can resist high concentrations of antibiotics, and swarmer cells that burst from the surfaces of mature biofilms and colonies into new environments. As the majority of chronic hospital-acquired and implant-associated infections are biofilm-based, understanding the signalling networks that underpin bacterial biofilm formation is of vital importance.

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Abdullah, Yusfida Ayu, and Farrah Lyana Zulkifli. "Concepts and Theories of Happiness of Population in Urban Neighbourhoods." Environment-Behaviour Proceedings Journal 1, no.1 (June26, 2016): 260. http://dx.doi.org/10.21834/e-bpj.v1i1.222.

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In this paper, we impart on the notion of happiness and indicate the many beliefs and perspectives of happiness. The theory and concept of happiness are variously defined and interpreted by separate groups. It relates greatly to human’s emotions thus influential in affecting the people’s well-being. Most scholars often felt that happiness relates to wealth and health. Inevitably, the sentiment of happiness can be inspired by the surrounding environment and neighbourhood, facilities, family relationship, community and friends, and so forth. For this reason, it is important to uncover the perennial question of what constitute happiness within an urban neighbourhood.© 2016. The Authors. Published for AMER ABRA by e-International Publishing House, Ltd., UK. Peer–review under responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behaviour Researchers), ABRA (Association of Behavioural Researchers on Asians) and cE-Bs (Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies, Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.Keywords: Happiness; happiness theory; urban neighbourhood

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Abdullah, Yusfida Ayu, and Farrah Lyana Zulkifli. "A Conceptual Paper on the Theory of Happiness in Neighbourhood." Asian Journal of Behavioural Studies 3, no.12 (July18, 2018): 1. http://dx.doi.org/10.21834/ajbes.v3i12.117.

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In this paper, we impart on the notion of happiness and indicate the many beliefs and perspectives of happiness. The theory and concept of happiness are variously defined and interpreted by separate groups. It relates greatly to human’s emotions thus influential in affecting the people’s well-being. Most scholars often felt that happiness relates to wealth and health. Inevitably, the sentiment of happiness can be inspired by the surrounding environment and neighbourhood, facilities, family relationship, community and friends, and so forth. For this reason, it is important to uncover the perennial question of what constitute happiness within an urban neighbourhood.Keywords: Happiness;happiness theory;urban neighbourhood;neighbourhood componenteISSN 2398-4295 © 2018. The Authors. Published for AMER ABRA cE-Bs by e-International Publishing House, Ltd., UK. This is an open-access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). Peer–review under responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behaviour Researchers), ABRA (Association of Behavioural Researchers on Asians) and cE-Bs (Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies), Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.

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Krane, Vibeke, and Ellen Andvig. "Making the best of it: Adolescents' perceptions of how their home and neighborhood spheres shape their lives." Nordic Journal of Social Research 12, no.1 (April19, 2021): 111–31. http://dx.doi.org/10.7577/njsr.3918.

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Adolescents’ homes are fundamental components of their living conditions and essential for their everyday life, health, well-being and development. Previous research has focused on how housing affects adolescents through investigating certain aspects of adolescent health and future outcomes. In this qualitative study, we explored low-income family adolescents’ subjective experiences of their homes and in what ways their experiences of housing influenced their everyday lives. Seven participants aged between 12 and 20 years were recruited through a housing project. The participants were interviewed using individual in-depth interviews. The data were analysed using a thematic analysis and organised into four themes: 1) housing features affecting social life and privacy, 2) moving around, 3) the importance of neighbourhood and 4) worries and dreams. The findings show how the housing standards affected adolescents’ social life and privacy. House moves could provide new opportunities but also lead to a lack of continuity in relationships. The neighbourhood was highlighted as a public sphere, providing access to places and friends. Adolescents’ worries and dreams concerning housing conditions are also presented. The results show how housing is central in shaping adolescents’ social relationships, the importance of access to neighbourhood spheres and how adolescents adapt to their situation. The findings further reveal the important underlying processes to facilitate a greater understanding of the role of housing in low-income family adolescents’ lives.

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Kahura,GraceW.Njoroge, and ProfJoeK.Kamaria. "SOCIAL CULTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL RELATED FACTORS INFLUENCING THE SELECTION OF AREAS OF RESIDENCE IN KENYA: A SURVEY OF NAIROBI RESIDENTS." International Journal of Finance 2, no.1 (January23, 2017): 17. http://dx.doi.org/10.47941/ijf.40.

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Purpose: The purpose the study was to investigate the social cultural and environmental related factors influencing the selection of areas of residence in Kenya in the case of Nairobi residents.Methodology: The researcher used descriptive research design. The scope of the study was limited to Nairobi County. The study identified a population of 985,016 households in Nairobi County out of which a sample of 150 respondents were used. Random sampling technique was used to select the respondents from each category. The study used primary data that was collected using questionnaires. Data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The data was then analysed in terms of descriptive statistics like frequencies and percentages.Results: Results indicated that majority of the respondents found social-cultural factors such as safe neighborhood, relations with neighbors, nearness to family and friends, noise level, degree of crowding, size of household, social class and quality of schools in the neighborhood as being important while choosing their places of residence. The results indicated that the most important social cultural factor is quality of schools in the neighbourhood, followed by safety of neighbourhood, degree of crowding, and social class. The least ranked factors were relations with neighbors, community stability, nearness to family and friends, noise level, and size of household. Results indicated that majority of the respondents attached a lot of importance to environmental factors while choosing their places of residence since most of them disagreed with the statement that they would live in an area with poor drainage systems. On the other hand, majority of the respondents agreed to the statements that cleanliness of the neighborhood was important, running water is important, they would pay more for houses that conserve the environment such as energy-efficient housing, knowledge of the materials used to construct a house is necessary.Unique contribution to theory, practice and policy: The study recommended that that social-cultural factors are very important aspects to consider when choosing place of residence. Therefore, it is advisable to take note of such factors as safe neighbourhood, degree of crowding among others before concluding on where to reside. It is also recommended that it would be significant to prioritize environmental factors such as drainage systems, availability of running water, and cleanliness of the neighbourhood among other environmental factors while concluding a decision on where to reside. It is also recommended that landlords should put into consideration such factors since majority of their potential tenants’ decision to reside in a given area will in most cases be influenced by such factors.

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Devkota, Narayani. "The Class of Social Capital: A Case Study in Barpak Village Coping and Recovering Process after the Gorkha Earthquake 2015." Interdisciplinary Journal of Management and Social Sciences 2, no.1 (April29, 2021): 130–37. http://dx.doi.org/10.3126/ijmss.v2i1.36751.

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Social capital is one most important attribution of a resilient community. It is manifested in a human relationship or network between the community member such as family, friends, relatives, neighbourhood, membership on a formal and informal group of society, colleague and so on. This article is about the role of Social Capital to cope at the time of Gorkha Earthquake 2015 in Barpak Village. The article is based on the primary data, which is collected through the interview with 28 ordinary people and a leader of Barpak Village after the Gorkha Earthquake 2015. In this article, I focused on a few key areas of social capital such as family, friendship and neighbourhood, people's involvement in the local level institution, job pattern or profession of a villager, social norm and value as responsibility for fellow community member, collective mobilization in the aftermath of the earthquake. In the Course of my research I found the reality that social capital also closely tied with economic capital. In the rescue and relief time social capital work for all villagers or community members. But when villagers started to rebuild their house, economic capital became a core of social capital.

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Lima,M.Francisca, Catharine Ward Thompson, and Peter Aspinall. "Friendly Communities and Outdoor Spaces in Contexts of Urban Population Decline." Land 9, no.11 (November10, 2020): 439. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/land9110439.

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Urban population decline has been extensively described as a triggering factor for community segregation and fragmentation, as well as for land use vacancy and house/flat vacancies, resulting in rising interest in strategies of green infrastructure expansion aimed at citizens’ wellbeing and urban ecosystems. However, city-scaled green infrastructures can be formed by different typologies of outdoor spaces, providing diverse social affordances that can impact community cohesion and resilience differently. This study focuses on the relationship between preferences for particular outdoor space typologies and for community friendliness, under contexts of urban population decline as a migratory process. In the context of Lisbon, a European capital-city experiencing migration and immigration but also urban population shrinkage in some areas of its metropolitan region, the study used conjoint analysis to test participants’ preference for different attributes of their urban environment. The results showed a significant positive correlation, in the sample living in depopulating neighbourhoods, between preferences for friendlier communities and for outdoor spaces of an enclosed and protected character (r = 0.34), compared with no significant correlation in the studied non-depopulating neighbourhoods. These results do not deny the importance of public parks of wide dimensions as a strategy for shrinking cities’ green infrastructures but suggest that urban citizens living in depopulating neighbourhoods have a higher awareness of the importance of small-scale, enclosed outdoor/green spaces to give a stronger sense of social connectedness. This study contributes to the general literature on urban shrinkage by showing that these sensitive conditions can potentially change behaviour and use of public spaces in urban contexts.

8

Zygmunt, Marcin, and Dariusz Gawin. "Application of ANN for analysing a neighbourhood of single-family houses constituting an Energy Cluster." MATEC Web of Conferences 282 (2019): 02072. http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/matecconf/201928202072.

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In this article a simple computer tool that can predict energy demand of residential buildings area in Poland by means of artificial neural network is developed and its application is demonstrated. Authors focused on energy demand analyses for single-family houses, representative for the Polish household sector. Advanced computer simulations were performed by means of the Energy Plus software, with hourly calculation step. Then, the obtained results and simulation parameters were used as input data for artificial neural network analysis. As a result, authors developed a simple, user friendly computer tool that can predict, with relatively good accuracy in comparison to the Energy Plus results, energy demand for residential buildings located in Poland. The software might be used for local (a single building) or regional (whole areas, neighbourhoods) analyses of single-family houses in Polish household sector. Additionally, for the analysed area, Renewable Energy potential can be checked – the developed software allows for analyses of solar energy application in the building/neighbour-hood design. Some examples of the energy analyses performed by means of the developed software have been presented.

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Marie Raahauge, Kirsten. "Ved vejen – i komplekset. Om det globale, det lokale og det materielle." Dansk Sociologi 18, no.4 (November3, 2007): 31–47. http://dx.doi.org/10.22439/dansoc.v18i4.2304.

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Under et antropologisk feltarbejde i to danske boligkvarterer med fokus på materialitet, spatialitet og virtualitet blev et andet tema uomgængeligt: naboer. De to kvarterer befinder sig i to forskellige danske provinsbyer, hvor de omtales som velhaverkvarterer. Inden for de sidste ti år er beboerne blevet stadigt mere sociale, naboer er blevet til venner og naboskab til fællesskab; i nogle sammenhænge kan kvartererne betragtes som usynligt gatede communities. Samtidig er der sket væsentlige ændringer, hvad angår materialitet. Åbenhed og transparens er blevet en vigtig kvalitet ved husene: der er tendens til større vinduer, færre vægge og større rum, som er både poly-funktionelle og poly-sociale. Desuden har virtuelle strømme en stor betydning i hverdagen, gennem computer, tv og telefon. Artiklen undersøger relationer mellem materialitet og sociale relationer og argumenterer for, at de to er forbundne. Desuden diskuterer artiklen, hvorvidt tendensen til usynligt gatede communities er en følge af globale strømme eller et bolværk imod dem og konkluderer, at fænomenet er et resultat af begge processer. ENGELSK ABSTRACT: Kirsten Marie Raahauge: At the Street – in the Complex. About the Global, the Local and the Material While conducting anthropological fieldwork in two neighbourhoods about materiality, spatiality and virtual space, another important topic surfaced: the importance of neighbours. Both neighbourhoods are well off; they are located in two different Danish provincial towns. Within the last 10 years the people living here have become sociable, neighbours have become friends, and neighbourhoods have become communities, invisibly gated communities. Simultaneously openness and transparency have become important themes concerning the house; there is a tendency towards large windows, few inner walls, and large rooms, which are both poly-functional and poly-social. Furthermore the openness of the house is related to virtual flows from computers, telephones, and televisions. This article explores some of the relationships between materiality and social relations arguing that the two are interconnected. The article also discusses the extent to which the tendency towards invisibly gated communities is part of flows of globalisation or rather is a safeguard against them, arguing that the phenomenon can be seen as a result of both of the processes. Key words: Housing, anthropology, materiality, virtuality, space, community.

10

Daodu, Tosin, and Ismail Said. "Appraising Independent Mobility of Children in Military Barrack Community Milieu of Developing Countries." Asian Journal of Environment-Behaviour Studies 3, no.11 (November18, 2018): 1–18. http://dx.doi.org/10.21834/aje-bs.v3i11.329.

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Independent mobility refers to children’s liberty to play freely in the neighbourhood without been supervised by adults. However, mobility restriction has affected child-friendliness in military barrack community in developing countries including Nigeria. The study aimed to explore principles of independent mobility in creating child-friendly barrack. Thirty journal articles related to children’s environment studies, military geographies and barrack housing were reviewed and analyzed. Children’s level of independent mobility impacts their physical, social, cognitive, and emotional developments. Consequently, walking or cycling-friendly environment as active travel mode was found to have positively contributed to improved well-being and quality of life of children in military barracks. Keywords: Independent Mobility, Child-friendly Environment, Active Travel Mode, Military Barrack Community eISSN 2514-751X © 2018. The Authors. Published for AMER ABRA cE-Bs by e-International Publishing House, Ltd., UK. This is an open-access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). Peer–review under responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behaviour Researchers), ABRA (Association of Behavioural Researchers on Asians) and cE-Bs (Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies), Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.

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Gadakari, Tulika, Jingjing Wang, and Karim Hadjri. "Designing Residential Buildings for Older People in China to Promote Ageing-in-place." Asian Journal of Quality of Life 3, no.13 (August25, 2018): 18–28. http://dx.doi.org/10.21834/ajqol.v3i13.158.

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Ageing-in-place is the most common ageing model in China. Therefore, design of age-friendly residential buildings and neighbourhoods becomes an important factor leading to improvement in older people’s health and quality of life. This paper presents the current situation of the ageing population in Chinese cities by qualitatively analysing existing literature, design standards and conducting stakeholder interviews to understand older people’s housing choices and aims to identify physical design factors, challenges and potentials of residential design for older people. The findings will fill the knowledge gap of age-friendly residential models in China and guide better design to meet older people’s needs.Keywords: ageing; age-friendly design; residential building; spatial design.eISSN 2398-4279 © 2018. The Authors. Published for AMER ABRA cE-Bs by e-International Publishing House, Ltd., UK. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). Peer–review under responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behaviour Researchers), ABRA (Association of Behavioural Researchers on Asians) and cE-Bs (Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies), Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia. DOI: https://doi.org/10.21834/ajqol.v3i13.158

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AndersonSteeves,ElizabethT., KatherineA.Johnson, SuzanneL.Pollard, Jessica Jones-Smith, Keshia Pollack, Sarah Lindstrom Johnson, Laura Hopkins, and Joel Gittelsohn. "Social influences on eating and physical activity behaviours of urban, minority youths." Public Health Nutrition 19, no.18 (August5, 2016): 3406–16. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s1368980016001701.

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AbstractObjectiveSocial relationships can impact youths’ eating and physical activity behaviours; however, the best strategies for intervening in the social environment are unknown. The objectives of the present study were to provide in-depth information on the social roles that youths’ parents and friends play related to eating and physical activity behaviours and to explore the impact of other social relationships on youths’ eating and physical activity behaviours.DesignConvergent parallel mixed-methods design.SettingLow-income, African American, food desert neighbourhoods in Baltimore City, MD, USA.SubjectsData were collected from 297 youths (53 % female, 91 % African American, mean age 12·3 (sd 1·5) years) using structured questionnaires and combined with in-depth interviews from thirty-eight youths (42 % female, 97 % African American, mean age 11·4 (sd 1·5) years) and ten parents (80 % female, 50 % single heads of house, 100 % African American).ResultsCombined interpretation of the results found that parents and caregivers have multiple, dynamic roles influencing youths’ eating and physical activity behaviours, such as creating health-promoting rules, managing the home food environment and serving as a role model for physical activity. Other social relationships have specific, but limited roles. For example, friends served as partners for physical activity, aunts provided exposure to novel food experiences, and teachers and doctors provided information related to eating and physical activity.ConclusionsObesity prevention programmes should consider minority youths’ perceptions of social roles when designing interventions. Specifically, future research is needed to test the effectiveness of intervention strategies that enhance or expand the supportive roles played by social relationships.

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Muhammad Zamri, Nor Ezatie Mukminah, Mahazril ‘Aini Yaacob, and Norazah Mohd Suki. "Assessing housing preferences of young civil servants in Malaysia: do location, financial capability and neighbourhood really matter?" International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis ahead-of-print, ahead-of-print (June9, 2021). http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/ijhma-02-2021-0012.

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Purpose The purpose of this study is to examine the key factors that influence the housing preferences of young civil servants in Malaysia. Design/methodology/approach A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to 400 respondents who fulfilled the eligibility criteria of civil servant working in Malaysia aged between 20 and 40 years, and currently renting a house, or staying with friends, immediate family or relatives. Data were analysed via exploratory factor analysis and Pearson correlation. Findings The results reveal that financial capability is the factor that most strongly influences the housing preferences of young civil servants, followed by neighbourhood and location. Young civil servants are highly inclined to consider the monthly repayment amount as the most important issue when deciding to buy a house. Furthermore, they prefer to buy a house in a neighbourhood that ensures high security and protection against crime. Practical implications Housing developers should develop affordable housing in suitable neighbourhoods and locations to match homebuyers’ preferences to avoid a mismatch between housing demand and supply, which is obviously one of the greater risks of unsold homes. Originality/value Given the lack of focus on this precise research sample (i.e. young civil servants), the study is justified in terms of its originality, as it examines a specific cohort by focussing on the correlations of location, financial capability and neighbourhood with housing preferences of young civil servants in Malaysia. These insights are invaluable, as this group has not been the specific focus of research.

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Tan, Maria. "In the Tree House by A. Larsen, D. Petričić, & Y. Ghione." Deakin Review of Children's Literature 3, no.1 (July8, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.20361/g2zg6f.

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Larsen, Andrew, Dušan Petričić, and Yvette Ghione. In the Tree House. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2013. Print. Inspired in part by the author’s childhood dreams of building a treehouse, Andrew Larsen relates the story of a young boy who designs and builds a treehouse with his older brother and father. He and his brother spend an idyllic summer playing games, reading comics, and hanging out. But the next summer is different. The boy discovers that it’s not much fun to have the treehouse to himself when his brother is busy spending time with friends. As he sits disconsolately in the treehouse, an unexpected blackout provides a different perspective on the neighbourhood and the boy’s older sibling joins him in the treehouse, where they recapture some of the previous summer, sipping lemonade, reading comics by flashlight, and playing card games. This connection persists even after the power comes back on. Larsen’s spare writing skillfully conveys the heaviness of the summer heat and evokes the feelings of excitement, of dreaming and fulfilling a dream, of exclusion and loneliness as siblings grow apart, the disappointment of having something but no one to share it with, and a longing for the past. Dušan Petričić’s pen and ink illustrations complement the text beautifully. This book is aimed at children 3-6 years of age, but the content will strike a chord for older readers and reminiscing adults alike. The story reminded me of John Rocco’s Blackout, in which a power outage is an event that brings busy family members and their neighbourhood closer together. Recommended: 3 out of 4 stars Reviewer: Maria Tan Maria is a Public Services Librarian at the University of Alberta’s H. T. Coutts Education Library. She enjoys travelling and visiting unique and far-flung libraries. An avid foodie, Maria’s motto is, “There’s really no good reason to stop the flow of snacks”.

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Ahmad Khalid, Husna, Oliver Hoon Leh Ling, Nur Iklil Rifhan Jalil, Marlyana Azyyati Marzukhi, and Na’asah Nasrudin. "AN ANALYSIS OF THE NEEDS OF ELDERLY-FRIENDLY NEIGHBOURHOOD IN MALAYSIA: PERSPECTIVES OF OLDER AND YOUNGER GROUPS." PLANNING MALAYSIA 18, no.14 (November25, 2020). http://dx.doi.org/10.21837/pm.v18i14.823.

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The increase of the elderly population in Malaysia can be one of the main challenges to planners, architects and policy makers. This indicates that provision of a suitable neighbourhood design for a population of different ages is necessary. The elderly group requires specific design standards in neighbourhood planning to ensure a comfortable, conducive and safe living environment. It is a known fact that health issues are part and parcel in elderly care. Having a proper neighbourhood design will likely contribute to an increase in health care services and safety of the elderly. This study analysed the people’s perspective on the needs of elderly-friendly neighbourhood in Malaysia and the elements that should be taken into consideration to fulfil the needs. This study aimed to observe the opinion of the elderly, as well as young people for future planning. Data were collected from the residents in the study areas which were Kajang and Sungai Chua. These study areas are located in Hulu Langat district, in which a high percentage of the elderly population was available. The respondents were chosen to participate in a survey in a form of questionnaire that was administered in the study areas. The questionnaire survey did not specifically focus only on older people, but also towards the young people. These young people will either become a caretaker of their elderly or an elderly in the future. Results of this study concluded that elderly-friendly neighbourhood was indeed important and the most suitable type of house for the elderly was single-storey. The elderly-friendly neighbourhood should also be equipped with elements that prioritised the physical activity of the residents. This study provides insights in order to promote the elderly-friendly neighbourhood concept.

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Thompson, Susan. "Home and Loss." M/C Journal 10, no.4 (August1, 2007). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2693.

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Introduction Our home is the most intimate space we inhabit. It is the centre of daily existence – where our most significant relationships are nurtured – where we can impart a sense of self in both physical and psychological ways. To lose this place is overwhelming, the physical implications far-reaching and the psychological impact momentous. And yet, there is little research on what happens when home is lost as a consequence of relationship breakdown. This paper provides an insight into how the meaning of home changes for those going through separation and divorce. Focusing on heterosexual couples, my research reveals that intense feelings of grief and loss are expressed as individuals in a relationship dispute reflect on different aspects of home which are destroyed as a consequence of their partnership collapse. Attitudes to the physical dwelling often reflect the changing nature of the relationship as it descends into crisis. There is a symbolic element as well, which is mirrored in the ways that the physical space is used to negotiate power imbalances, re-establish another life, maintain continuity for children, and as a bargaining tool to redress intense anger and frustration. A sense of empowerment eventually develops as the loss of the relationship is accepted and life adjustments made. Home: A Place of Profound Symbolic and Physical Meaning Home is the familiar, taken-for-granted world where most of us are nurtured, comforted and loved. Home is where we can dream and hope, relax and be ourselves, laugh and cry. For the majority, home is a safe and welcoming place, although positive associations are not universal as some experience home as a negative, threatening and unloving place. Home transcends the domestic physical structure, encompassing cultural, symbolic and psychological significance, as well as extending to the neighbourhood, city, region and nation. Home provides a sense of belonging in the world and is a refuge from the dangers and uncertainty of the environment at large. It is the centre of important human relationships and their accompanying domestic roles, rituals and routines. Home is where the bonds between partners, child and parent, brother and sister are reinforced, along with extended family members and close friends Home is a symbol of personal identity and worth, where the individual can exercise a degree of power and autonomy denied elsewhere. Significant life events, both sad and happy, learning experiences, and celebrations of varying type and magnitude, all occur at home. These are the bases for our memories of home and its importance to us, serving to imbue the notion with a sense of permanence and continuity over time. Home represents the interface between public and private worlds; a place where cultural and societal norms are symbolically juxtaposed with expressions of individuality. There has been a range of research from “humanistic-literary” to “empirical-behavioural” perspectives showing that home has “complex, multiple but inter-related meanings” (Porteous and Smith 61). And while this intellectual endeavour covers a wide range of disciplines and perspectives (for good overviews see Blunt and Dowling; Mallett; Chapman and Hockey) research on the loss of home is more limited. Nevertheless, there are some notable exceptions. Recent work by Robinson on youth homelessness in Sydney illustrates that the loss of home affects the way in which it is desired and valued, and how its absence impacts on self identity and the grief process. Fried’s seminal and much older study also tells of intense grieving, similar to that associated with the death of a loved one, when residents were forcibly removed from their homes – places perceived as slums by the city planners. Analogous issues of sorrow are detailed by Porteous and Smith in their discussion of situations where individuals and entire communities have lost their homes. The emphasis in this moving text is on the power and lack of understanding displayed by those in authority. Power resides in the ability to destroy the home of others; disrespect is shown to those who are forced to relocate. There is no appreciation of the profound meanings of home which individuals, communities and nations hold. Similarly, Read presents a range of situations involving major disruptions to meanings of home. The impact on individuals as they struggle to deal with losing a house or neighbourhood through fire, flood, financial ruin or demolition for redevelopment, demonstrates the centrality of notions of home and the devastation that results when it is no longer. So too do the many moving personal stories of migrants who have left one nation to settle in another (Herne et al), as well as more academic explorations of the diaspora (Rapport and Dawson) and resettlement and migrant women home-making (Thompson). Meanings of home are also disrupted, changed and lost when families and partnerships fall apart. Given the prevalence of relationship breakdown in our society, it is surprising that very little work has focussed on the changed meanings of home that follow. Cooper Marcus examined disruptions in bonding with the home for those who had to leave or were left following the end of a marriage or partnership. “The home may have been shared for many years; patterns of territory, privacy, and personalisation established; and memories of the past enshrined in objects, rooms, furniture, and plants” (222). Gram-Hanssen and Bech-Danielsen explore both the practical issues of dissolving a home, as well as the emotional responses of those involved. Anthony provides further illumination, recommending design solutions to help better manage housing for families affected by divorce. She concludes her paper by declaring that “…the housing experiences of women, men, and children of divorce deserve much further study” (15). The paucity of research on what happens to meanings of home when a relationship breaks down was a key motivation for the current work – a qualitative study involving self-reflection of the experience of relationship loss; in-depth interviews with nine people (three men and six women from English speaking middle class backgrounds) who had experienced a major partnership breakdown; and focus group sessions and one in-depth interview with nine professional mediators (six women and three men) who work with separating couples. The mediators provided an informed overview of the way in which separating partners negotiate the loss of a shared home across the range of its physical and psychological meanings. Their reflections confirmed that the identified themes in the individual stories were typical of a range of experiences, feelings and actions they had encountered with different clients. Relationship Breakdown and Meanings of Home: What the Research Revealed The Symbolism of Home The interview, focus group and reflective data all confirmed the centrality of home and its multi-dimensional meanings. Different physical and symbolic elements were uncovered, mirroring theoretical schemas in the literature. These meanings go far beyond a physical space and the objects therein. They represent different aspects of the individual’s sense of self, well-being and identity, as well as their roles and feelings of belonging in a family and the broader social and cultural setting. Home was described as a place to be one’s self; where one can relax away from the rest of the world. Participants talked about home creating a sense of belonging and familiarity. This was achieved in many ways including physical renovation of the structure, working in the garden, enjoying the dwelling space and nurturing family relationships. As Helen said, …the home and children go together… I created belonging by creating a space which was mine, which was always decorated in a very particular way which is mine, and which was my place of belonging for me and my kin… that’s my home – it’s just absolutely essential to me. Home was described as an important physical place. This incorporated the dwelling as a structure and the special things that adorn it. Objects such as the marital bed, family photos, artifacts and pets were important symbols of home as a shared place. As the mediators pointed out, in the splitting up process, these often take on huge significance as a couple try to decide who has what. The division is typically the final acknowledgement that the relationship is over. The interviewees told me that home extended beyond the dwelling into the wider neighbourhood. This encompassed networks of friendships, including relationships with local residents, business people and service providers, to the physical places frequented such as parks, shops and cafes. These neighbourhood connections were severed when the relationship broke down. The data revealed home as a shared space where couples undertook daily tasks such as preparing meals together and doing the housework. There was pleasure in these routines which further reinforced home as a central aspect of the partnership, as Laura explained: But for the most part it [my marriage relationship] was very amicable… easy going, and it really was a whole thing of self-expression. And the house was very much about self-expression. Even cooking. We both loved to cook, we’d have lots of dinner parties… things like that. With the loss of the relationship the rhythm and comfort of everyday activities were shattered. Sharing was also linked to the financial aspects of home, with the payment of a mortgage representing a combined effort in working towards ownership of the physical dwelling. While the end of a relationship usually spelt severe financial difficulty, if not disaster, it also meant the loss of that shared commitment to build a secure financial future together extending into old age. The Deteriorating Relationship A decline in the physical qualities of the dwelling often accompanied the demise of the inter-personal relationship. As the partnership descended into crisis, the centrality of home and its importance across both physical and symbolic elements were increasingly threatened. This shift in meaning impacted on the loss experienced and the subsequent translation into conflict and grief. It [the house] was quite run down, but I think it kind of reflected our situation at the time which was fairly strained in terms of finances and lack of certainty about what was happening… tiny little damp house and no [friendship] network and no money and no stability, that’s how it felt. (Jill) Not only did home begin to symbolise a battleground, it started to take on lost dreams and hopes. For Helen, it embodied a force that was greater than the relationship she had shared with her husband. And that home became the symbol of our fight… a symbol of how closely glued we were together… And I think that’s why we had such enormous difficulty breaking up because the house actually held us together in some way … it was as though the house was a sort of a binding force of the relationship. The home as the centre of family relationships and personal identity was threatened by the deteriorating relationship. For Jill this represented ending her dream that being a wife and mother were what she needed to define her identity and purpose in life. I was very unhappy. I’d got these two babies, I’d got what I thought was quite a catch husband, who was doing very well… but yet somehow I felt very unhappy and insecure, very insecure, and I realised that the whole role I had carved out for myself wasn’t going to do it. The End of the Relationship: Disruption, Explosion, Grief and Loss While the relationship can be in crisis for many months, eventually there is a point where any hope of reconciliation disappears. For some separating couples this phase was heralded by a defining, shattering and shocking moment when it was clear that their relationship was over. Both physical and emotional violence were reported by my interviewees, including these comments from Helen. And so my parting from the home was actually very explosive. In fact it was the first time he ever hit me, and it was in the hitting of me that I left home… And while the final stage was not always dramatic or violent, there was a realisation that this was the end of the dream – the end of home. A deep sadness resulted, as evident in Greg’s story: I was there in the house by myself and I can remember the house was empty, all the furniture had been shifted out…I actually shed a few tears as I left the house because…the strongest feeling I had was that this was a house that had such a potential for me. It had such a potential for a good loving relationship and I just felt that it did represent, leaving then, represented the kind of the dashing of the hope that I had in that relationship. In some cases the end of the relationship was accompanied by feelings of guilt for shattering the home. In other cases, the home became a battleground as the partners fought over who was going to move out. …if they’re separated under the one roof and nobody’s moved out, but certainly in one person’s mind the marriage is over, and sometimes in both… there’s a big tussle about who’s going to move out and nobody wants to go… (Mediator) The loss of home could also bring with it a fear of never having another, as well as a rude awakening that the lost home was taken for granted. Cathy spoke of this terror. I became so obsessed with the notion that I’d never have a home again, and I remember thinking how could I have taken so much for granted? The end of a relationship was accompanied by a growing realisation of impending loss – the loss of familiar and well-loved surroundings. This encompassed the local neighbourhood, the dwelling space and the daily routine of married life. I can remember feeling, [and] knowing the relationship was coming to an end, and knowing that we were going to be selling the house and we were going to be splitting…, feeling quite sad walking down the street the last few times… realising I wouldn’t be doing this much longer. I was very conscious of the fact that I was… going up and down those railway station escalators for the last few times, and going down the street for the last few times, and suddenly…[I felt]… an impending sense of loss because I liked the neighbourhood… There was also a loss in the sense of not having a physical space which I kind of wanted to live in… [I] don’t like living in small units or rented rooms… I just prefer what I see as a proper house… so downsizing [my accommodation] just kind of makes the whole emotional situation worse …there was [also] a lack of domesticity, and the kind of sharing of meals and so on that does…make you feel some sort of warmth… (Greg) Transitions: Developing New Meanings of Home Once there was an acknowledgment – whether a defining moment or a gradual process – that the relationship was over, a transitional phase dawned when new meanings of home began to emerge. Of the people I interviewed, some stayed on in the once shared dwelling, and others moved out to occupy a new space. Both actions required physical and psychological adjustments which took time and energy, as well as a determination to adapt. Organising parenting arrangements, dividing possessions and tentative steps towards the establishment of another life characterised this phase. While individual stories revealed a variety of transitional approaches, there were unifying themes across the data. The transition could start by moving into a new space, which as one mediator explained, might not feel like home at all. …[one partner has] left and often left with very little, maybe just a suitcase of clothes, and so their sense of home is still the marital home or the family home, but they’re camping at a unit somewhere, or mother’s spare room or a relative’s backyard or garage or something… They’re truly homeless. For others, while setting up a new space was initially very hard and alien, with effort and time, it could take on a home-like quality, as Helen found. I did take things from the house. I took all the things I’d hidden in cupboards that were not used or second-hand… things that weren’t used everyday or on display or anything… things I’d take like if you were going camping… I wasn’t at home… it was awful…[but gradually]… I put things around… to make it homely for me and I would spend hours doing it, Just hours… paintings on the wall are important, and a stereo system and music was important. My books were important…and photographs became very important. Changes in tenure could also bring about profound feelings of loss. This was Keith’s experience: Well I’m renting now which is a bit difficult after having your own home… you feel a bit stifled in the fact that you can’t decorate it, and you can’t do things, or you can’t fix things… now I’m in a place which is drab and the colours are horrible and I don’t particularly like it and it’s awful. The experience of remaining in the home once one’s partner leaves is different to being the one to leave the formerly shared space. However, similar adaptation strategies were required as can be seen from Barbara’s experience: …so, I rearranged the lounge room and I rearranged the bedroom…I probably did that fairly promptly actually, so that I wasn’t walking back into the same mental images all the time…I’m now beginning to have that sense of wanting to put my mark on it, so I’ve started some painting and doing things… Laura talked about how she initially felt scared living on her own, despite occupying familiar surroundings, but this gradually changed as she altered the once shared physical space. Sally spoke about reclaiming the physical space on her own and through these deliberative actions, empowering herself as a single person. Those with dependent children struggled in different ways during this transition period. Individual needs to either move or reclaim the existing space were often subjugated to the requirements of their off-spring – where it might be best for them to live and with whom they should principally reside. I think the biggest issue is where the children are going to be. So whoever wants the children also wants the family home. And that’s where the pull and tug starts… it’s a big desire not to disrupt the children and to keep a smooth life for them. (Mediator) Finally, there was a sense of moving along. Meanings of home changed as the strength of the emotional attachment weakened and those involved began to see that another life was possible. The old meanings of home had to be confronted and prized apart, just as the connections between the partners were painstakingly severed, one by one. Sally likened this time consuming and arduous process to laboriously unpicking the threads of a tightly woven cloth. Empowerment: Meanings of Home to Mirror a New Life …I’ve realized too that I’m the person I am today because of that experience. (Sally) The stories of participants in this research ended with hope for the future. Perhaps this reflects my interviewees’ determination to build a new life following the loss of their relationship, most having the personal resources to work through their loss, grief and conflict. This is not however, always the case. Divorce can lead to long lasting feelings of failure, disappointment and a sense that one has “an inability to love or care…” (Ambrose 87). However, “with acceptance of the separation many come to see the break-up as having been beneficial and report feeling they have an improved quality of life” (88). This positive stance is mirrored in my mediator focus group data and other literature (for example, Cooper Marcus 222-238). Out of the painful loss of home emerges a re-evaluation of one’s priorities and a revitalized sense of self, as illustrated by Barbara’s words below. That’s come out of the separation, suddenly going, ‘Oh, hang on, I can do what I want to do, when I want to do it’. It’s quite nice really… I’ve decided [to] start pursuing a few of the things I always wanted to do, so I’m using a bit of the space [in the house] to study… I’m doing a lot of stuff that nurtures me and my interest and my space… Feelings of liberation were entwined with meanings of home as spaces were decorated afresh, and in some cases, a true home founded for the first time. [since the end of the relationship]… I actually see my space differently, I want less around me, I’ve been really clearing out things, throwing things out, clearing cupboards… kind of feung shui-ing every corner and just really keeping it clear and clean… I’ve painted the whole house. It was like it needed a fresh coat of something over it… (Laura) Empowerment embodied lessons learnt and in some cases, a more cautious redefining of home. Barbara put it this way: I’m really scared of losing what I’ve now got [my home on my own] and that sense of independence… maybe I will not go into a relationship because I don’t want to put that at risk. Finally, meanings of home took on different dimensions that reflected the new life and hope it engendered. …it’s very interesting to me to be in a house now that is a very solid, square, double brick house… [I feel] that it’s much more representative of who I am now… the solidness is very much me… I feel as though I inhabit my home more now… I have much more sense of peace around my home now than I did then in the previous house… it’s the space where I feel extremely comfortable… a space to meditate on… I’m home – I can now be myself… (Helen) I don’t know whether… [my meaning of home] is actually a physical structure any more…Now it’s come more into … surrounding myself with things that I love, like you know bits and pieces that you can take, your photographs and your pet… it’s really much more about being happy I think, and being happy in a space with somebody that you love, rather than living in a box like a prison, with somebody that you really despise (Keith) Conclusion … the physical moving out from my own home was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my entire life. (Jane) The trauma of divorce is a crisis that occurs in many of our lives, and one which often triggers a profound dislocation in person-dwelling relations. (Cooper Marcus 222) This paper has presented insights into the ways in which multi-dimensional meanings of home change when an intimate familial relationship breaks down. The nature and degree of the impacts vary from one individual to another, as do the ways in which the identifiable stages of relationship breakdown play out in different partnership situations. Nevertheless, this research revealed a transformative journey – from the devastation of the initial loss to an eventual redefining of home across its symbolic, psychological and physical constructs. References Ambrose, Peter J. Surviving Divorce: Men beyond Marriage. Sussex: Wheatsheaf Books, 1983. Anthony, Kathryn H. “Bitter Homes and Gardens: The Meanings of Home to Families of Divorce.” Journal of Architectural and Planning Research 14.1 (1997): 1-19. Blunt, Alison, and Robyn Dowling. Home. London: Routledge, 2006. Chapman, Tony, and Jenny Hockey. Ideal Homes? Social Change and Domestic Life. London: Routledge, 1999. Cooper Marcus, Clare. House as a Mirror of Self: Exploring the Deeper Meaning of Home. Berkeley: Conari Press, 1995. Fried, Marc. “Grieving for a Lost Home.” In L. Duhl, ed. The Urban Condition: People and Policy in the Metropolis. New York: Basic Books, 1963. 151-171. Gram-Hanssen, Kirsten, and Claus Bech-Danielsen. “Home Dissolution – What Happens after Separating?” Paper presented at the European Network for Housing Research, ENHR International Housing Conference, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2006. Herne, Karen, Joanne Travaglia, and Elizabeth Weiss, eds. Who Do You Think You Are? Second Generation Immigrant Women in Australia. Sydney: Women’s Redress Press, 1992. Mallett, Shelley. “Understanding Home: A Critical Review of the Literature.” The Sociological Review 52.1 (2004): 62-89. Porteous, Douglas J., and Sandra E. Smith. Domicide: The Global Destruction of Home. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queens UP, 2001. Rapport, Nigel, and Andrew Dawson, eds. Migrants of Identity: Perceptions of Home in a World of Movement. New York: Oxford, 1998. Read, Peter. Returning to Nothing: The Meaning of Lost Places. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1996. Robinson, Catherine. “‘I Think Home Is More than a Building’: Young Home(less) People on the Cusp of Home, Self and Something Else.” Urban Policy and Research 20.1 (2002): 27–38. Robinson, Catherine. “Grieving Home.” Social and Cultural Geography 6.1 (2005): 47–60. Thompson, Susan. “Suburbs of Opportunity: The Power of Home for Migrant Women.” In K. Gibson and S. Watson, eds. Metropolis Now: Planning and the Urban in Contemporary Australia. Australia: Pluto Press, 1994. 33-45. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Thompson, Susan. "Home and Loss: Renegotiating Meanings of Home in the Wake of Relationship Breakdown." M/C Journal 10.4 (2007). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0708/07-thompson.php>. APA Style Thompson, S. (Aug. 2007) "Home and Loss: Renegotiating Meanings of Home in the Wake of Relationship Breakdown," M/C Journal, 10(4). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0708/07-thompson.php>.

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Mensah, Justice, Benjamin Yaw Tachie, and HarrietM.D.Potakey. "Open defecation near a world heritage site: causes and implication for sustainable tourism and heritage management." Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development ahead-of-print, ahead-of-print (August20, 2021). http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/jchmsd-11-2020-0164.

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PurposeThe sixth of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has access to improved sanitation as one of its targets. Sanitation is important not only for environmental quality and public health but also for the outstanding universal value (OUV) of heritage monument sites and tourism promotion. The study examined the causes of open defecation (OD) in the neighbourhood of a World Heritage (WH) site in Ghana and the implications of the practice for sustainable tourism and heritage management.Design/methodology/approachThe study used the qualitative approach. Data were gathered from purposively targeted respondents (an Environmental Health Officer, Heritage Managers, a Tourism Expert, Hoteliers, Zoomlion Staff, Open Defecators, Community Opinion Leaders and Ordinary Community Residents) and analysed using the thematic approach.FindingsIt became evident that the causes of OD were: the lack of toilet facilities in many houses in the community, filthy and foul-smelling public latrines, poor attitude and heritage culture, mental and income poverty, inadequate sensitisation and a poor law enforcement regime. OD threatened the sustainability of heritage tourism and its associated livelihoods, as well as public health. In addition, it impaired the authenticity and integrity of the heritage monument, culminating in a detraction from the OUV of the heritage property.Practical implicationsIn collaboration with the local, national and international stakeholders, the managers of the heritage monument should design and implement a comprehensive environmentally friendly plan. The plan should consider demarcating the boundaries of the heritage asset, monitoring the protected area, enforcing sanitation laws and mounting intensive sanitation education campaigns. It should also consider providing a decent toilet in the vicinity of the monument for the transit population, facilitate the provision of a toilet in every house through the community-led total sanitation approach, installing digital cameras at vantage points in the buffer zone of the castle to capture open defecators and punishing offenders severely to deter others from engaging in the ignoble practice of OD.Originality/valueThe authors argue that sanitation at heritage sites in developing countries merits further discussion within the WH network to promote sustainable heritage conservation management and tourism.

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Hummel, Kathryn. "Before and after A Night Out: The Impact of Revelation in Bangladesh." M/C Journal 14, no.6 (November18, 2011). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.435.

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I spent more than two years in Bangladesh and lived through several incarnations—as a volunteer for aid organisations, an expatriate socialite, a bidesi (foreigner) trying to live sodesi (locally)—before becoming an ethnographer and, simultaneously, a lover and fighter of my adopted country. During the winter of my second lifetime I was sexually assaulted and at the beginning of my third lifetime, I recounted the experience at an academic conference in Dhaka. Smitten by the possibility that personal revelation could overcome cross-cultural barriers, I read A Night Out to compel others to sympathise and share, perhaps even loosen the somewhat restricted discussion of sexual intimidation in Bangladesh. Yet the response to A Night Out was quiet, absorbed by the static of courtesy, and taught me that disclosure alone cannot transcend differences to reach a space of mutual understanding. Later, when I posted A Night Out online, I observed the continued and changing capacity of revelation to evoke responses from people across genders and cultures. This article argues that the impact of revelation, although difficult to quantify, is never static and depends significantly on context: first, by describing autoethnography, a way of writing about other cultures that connects the "autobiographical and personal to the cultural, social and political" (Ellis xix), in the "Before" section to give background to A Night Out; secondly, the "After" section considers the various responses to the story and discusses it as "both a process and a product" of cultural research (xix). Before A Night Out Switching lives between Australia and Bangladesh has shown me the value of cultural research that deconstructs traditional conceptions of the "Western" and "Eastern" worlds. In terms of the representations of women, those in the East are too often prescribed the characteristics of ignorance, poverty, illiteracy, domesticity, maternity, and victimization, while the Western woman is depicted as modern, educated, in control of her body and sexuality (Gandhi 86). As a researcher, ultimately, of the life stories of Bangladeshi women, I sought to decrease the misconceptions surrounding those who were, like me, never only "West" or "East", influenced but never solely defined by their culture. Autoethnography is a method of cultural research that makes connections between "individual experience and social processes" in ways that emphasise the essential falsity of cultural categories (Sparkes 217). To transcend these boundaries of people, place and time, autoethnographers make use of narrative, believing it to be "the best way to understand the human experience" because it is "the way humans understand their own lives" (Richardson 218). As a writer, I likewise believe that narrative provides a way to make sense of or negotiate one's place in relation to any space or group of people. In particular, telling personal stories "bears fruit" of "reaching out to others," provoking their own stories and emotional responses, thereby becoming an effective cultural research method (Four Arrows 106). I remember my admiration for the Bangladeshi writer Shabnam Nadiya, who in Woman Alone describes her isolating experiences of sexual molestation as a girl and, later, the realisation via the writing of Taslima Nasrin that "it happened everywhere, everyday ... to anyone" (2008). For Nadiya, self-reflexivity created a "bridge" between the interior practise of reading and the exterior "everyday lived life" of communal experience and identity (2008). While connections on such an intimate scale may be difficult or unwelcome, making them is significant as "the process of revolution itself" (Ware 239). Inspired by Nadiya to write a piece with enough emotional power to reach over the public space of the conference room, my revelation concerned one of my own experiences as a woman in Bangladesh. A Night Out I was never afraid of my city at night. The time I liked Dhaka best was when the day wore down to dusk and the sky looked like it had been brushed clean. When I lived near Dhanmondi Lake I would walk through the drab hues of the surrounding park with its concrete paths and dusty trees that stretched their reflections across the pond-green water. The park was always crowded with raucous wallahs (vendors) and power walking women in bright dresses, yet even so I was the focus of attention, haunted by exclamations of "Koto lomba!" (How tall!) until my shadows became longer than myself in the quartzy light, and I was not so noticeable. When I moved to the Newmarket area I would spend the twilight hours sitting barefoot on my balcony in a voluminous housedress, watching Dhaka's night stage. Children played games on the rooftop of the lower apartment block opposite, women unhooked lines of fresh laundry and groups of friends would chat or play guitar. Even when the evening azan growled from the megaphones of nearby mosques there was activity on the street below, figures moving under the marigold glare of the sodium streetlights or, in winter, stretching nets across the street for badminton matches. Rickshawallahs rang their bells to the call of the crows and there was always an obnoxious motorist laying into his car horn. I felt more a part of my neighbourhood at this distance than when I became, eight floors down, the all-too-visible spectacle of the only foreigner in the district. The flat, my only source of solitude in Dhaka, was in a peaceful building set at the end of a road that turned three corners before coming to a blind halt. Walking its length day and night to reach the main thoroughfare, I got to know the road well. A few old bungalows remained, with comfortably decaying verandas behind wrought-ironwork and the shade of banana trees. Past the first corner the road became an entry for Dhaka College and the high school opposite; houses gave way to walls papered with adverts, a cluster of municipal bins surrounded by litter and wooden shacks that served cha (tea) and fried snacks. I was on friendly terms with the grey-haired wallah who stalked the area daily with his vegetable cart and one betel-chewing woman who sorted the neighbourhood rubbish. Once I neared the college attention from the chawallahs and students became more harassing than friendly, but I continued to walk to and from my house and most of the time, I walked alone. When solitude turns oppressive, the solution is to open all windows and doors and let air and friends in. One evening I invited Mia and Farad, both journalists and wine-drinkers, who arrived before sunset and stayed almost til midnight. We all knew the later it became the harder it would be for Mia to reach her home across the city. A call to one of the less dodgy cab companies proved us right—there were no taxis available in the area. It would be better, said Farad, to walk to the main road and hail a cab from there. Reluctant to end the evening at the elevator, I locked my door and joined my friends on the walk out to Mipur Road, which even at midnight stirred with the occasional activity of tradesmen and drivers. After a few attempts, Farad flagged down a cab, negotiated a fare and recorded the driver's number. It was part of the safety training Mia and I had imbibed as foreigners over the years. Other examples included "Never buy spices from the sacks at the market" and "Never wear gold necklaces while riding rickshaws." "I should catch my bus," Farad announced after Mia's departure. "But you've left your books in my house," I replied. "I thought you were coming back to get them." Farad was incredibly sexy with his brooding face and shaggy black beard and I had hoped more time would reveal reciprocal interest. From one writer to another it was not a suggestive line, but I was too shy to be more explicit with my male friends in Bangladesh, who treated me as one of the boys and silenced me sometimes with their unexpectedly conservative views of women. Farad considered my comment. "I'll collect them later, or we can meet at the university in a few days. Do you need to catch a rickshaw to your door?" "I don't have any taka on me," I said, "and it's not far." I was, after all, in my own street, not being chauffeured home by a bleary-eyed driver. "Thanks for coming! Abar dekha hobe (see you again)." "Goodnight," Farad replied and as he turned to leave I saw him grin into his beard, amused by my tipsy pronunciation. Fatigue dropped heavily on my shoulders as I strolled back down the road. My flat, with its small clean bed and softly purring ceiling fans, seemed far away at the end of the alley. It was very quiet, as quiet as home when I used to walk through the city to the train station after late night shifts on the suicide hotline. The dim light in the street exposed its emptiness. The stalls along the road had shut hours earlier and the only movement came from a middle-aged man taking his exercise, swinging his arms widely from side to side as he strode home. As I turned the first corner of the alley, another man approached me from behind. I glanced at him, probably because he had glanced at me. "Are you OK?" he asked. "Fine." "What is your country?" "Look," I said, unaccountably feeling my heart rate increase, "I'm sorry, but I don't want to talk now." "No problem, no problem," he assured me, spreading his hands and smiling, displaying two charming rows of teeth. "Relax. You're very nice." My instinct was to smile back. We walked past the waste piles that had been emptied from the bins, ready for sorting. The woman I exchanged greetings with worked here on most days and instructed me on how to wear my orna (scarf) when it wasn't placed correctly over my chest. I wondered now where she slept at night. Calculating the closeness of my friend seemed less like idle speculation when the man who was walking beside me stepped directly into my path. He was tall and lean and wore a dark blue shirt. His face gleamed, as if he had been sweating during the day and had not washed off the residue. It occurred to me to twist past him and walk faster, maybe even run. I considered how fast and how far I could go in my thongs and wondered if I should kick them off, and then start to run. "No problem," the man repeated, holding out his hands again, placing them tightly behind my neck. He pulled me towards the wall as he forced me back by moving closer. Instant wetness struck me as I felt the concrete—my pelvic floor had made the first start of surprise. The strong hands moved quickly from my neck to my breasts. "I just want to…" said the man, squeezing both breasts like he was selecting fruit. He added, "You're very nice." I was wearing the only remotely attractive bra I owned, purchased from the supermarket on Dhanmondi 27. The cups, moulded from black synthetic lace, made my chest stick out in jaunty cones like a 1950s sex-bomb and the underwire dug into my chest. Clothes can be armour, yet in this case had depleted my self-preservation. I stood quite still, thinking only of what might happen next. I was against a wall in an alleyway at midnight, with no-one around except the man who was groping me. Finally I reacted, though it was not the reaction I would have guessed at my most objective self. Cowgirls get the blues, rough beasts slouch to be born and six foot one kick-boxing world travelling feminists scream like frightened cats with the shock of even minor violation. And certain men, I learned on my night out, chuckle at the distress they cause and then run away. After A Night Out The personal and public impacts of A Night Out proved to be cumulative over time and throughout retellings. When I read the piece at the Dhaka conference I was set to unleash the "transformative and efficacious potential" that autoethnography legendarily contains (Spry 712), though if my revelation achieved anything close to such a transformation, it was unclear. A female academic who had been chatting with me before my presentation, left the room directly after it. The students, mainly female undergraduates, had no questions to ask about any aspect of my paper. Whatever reactions my audience felt, if any, were not discussed. After my presentation, the male convenor privately expressed his regret over my experience and related more horrific examples. Sexual harassment of women is prevalent in Bangladesh yet so too is the culture of blaming the victim and denying the crime (cf. Lodhi; Mudditt; Nadiya), an attitude reflected through the use of the term "Eve Teasing," which assigns the provocative role to the woman and normalises the aggressive or sexual actions of the perpetrator (Kabeer 149). The response of this liberal and thoughtful man to my revelation was the only one that was articulated. By this measurement, A Night Out had failed to make the desired impact. One of the greatest reasons for this was the tension between the personal motivation behind my revelation and the public impact I had optimistically expected. A Night Out omits the reactions of my community immediately after my assault, when I was chastised for walking alone at such at late hour and for failing to defend myself, particularly given my size. In my street, gossip spread that I had not been groped but mugged, a less lecherous so perhaps more acceptable offense. I read A Night Out partly to gain some retrospective acknowledgement of my experience and in my determination I defied the complexities of a conservative country…[in which] women do not live alone, do not have male friends, do not travel by themselves or smoke cigarettes publicly and most definitely [...] do not talk or write about sexual topics. In Dhaka these things matter and 'decent women' are supposed to play by the rules. (Deen 35) Although I observed this conservatism to varying degrees in Bangladesh, I know that when women play outside the rules, negotiating cultural norms becomes a process of "alliance and conflict" that requires sensitivity to practise (Akhter 22)—a sensitivity that is difficult to grasp. The career of Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasrin illustrates this: credited with opening doors of feminist discussion "that had been shuttered by genteel conservatism, by niceness, by ignorance and denial" (Nadiya), Nasrin diminished this effect and alienated her audience through subsequent "shock tactics and sensationalism" (Deen 56). Although my revelation had also alienated my audience, it was not the impact I had hoped for. While Linda Park-Fuller celebrates autoethnographic performance as a "transgressive act—a revealing of what has been kept hidden, a speaking of what has been silenced" (26), the conference experience made me realise the significance of cultural context to the impact of revelation. I considered recasting A Night Out in a setting that was more intimate than academic, to an audience prepared for the content and united by achieving a specific outcome, where responses could be given privately if desired. I would also have to shift my role from defiant storyteller to one who welcomed all types of feedback. By posting A Night Out online as a Facebook note, I not only fulfilled the requirements above but made the story accessible to a large audience of men and women of diverse cultural backgrounds, including Bangladeshi. The written replies I received were easier to decipher than the faces after the conference presentation. Among the responses, some from people I did not know at all, many conveyed their appreciation for the description of Bangladesh. Others commented on the risk I took in walking down the road at night and suggested ways I could defend myself in future. I was told I was tough to write the account and was invited to share more of my experiences. One friend in Bangladesh shared my note with others and wrote to describe the reaction of a female friend of his who was "terribly shocked" by what I had written about my breasts, more than my attraction to Farad or the sexual assault itself. This anonymous respondent's "pure cultural shock", which my conference audience may also have felt, was better communicated through the Facebook retelling of A Night Out, although I am unable to interpret the silence of the other Bangladeshi women I sent the note to. While the responses I received indicated my revelation had made some impact in its online context, I could not help being especially touched when a male friend wrote, "And as a Bangladeshi I feel sorry for [your trouble]." It is one matter to write up a personal experience and another to have it make a public impact. As my first reading of A Night Out shows, autoethnographic revelation contains the potential to alienate as well as to create sympathy with an audience. Combined with the second, more private and accessible, distribution of A Night Out, this "Before" and "After" analysis shows the evolution of the revelation's impact on my audience as well as myself, over time and within different cultural contexts, in the academic, social and online arenas. Although my experience confirms the impact autoethnography can make as a form of cultural research, it can only be strengthened by continued attempts to seek a balance between the projections and inflections of culture, self and audience. It is not only in the telling but in the re-telling that personal revelations will gather and continue to give impact, which is why I now present A Night Out to a new audience in a new context and await your new responses. References Akhter, Farida. Seeds of Movements: On Women's Issues In Bangladesh. Dhaka: Narigrantha Prabartana, 2007. Deen, Hanifa. Broken Bangles. New Delhi: Penguin, 1998. Ellis, Carolyn. The Ethnographic I: A Methodological Novel about Autoethnography. Walnut Creek: AltaMira P, 2004. Four Arrows. The Authentic Dissertation: Alternate Ways of Knowing, Research, and Representation. London: Routledge, 2008. Gandhi, Leela. Postcolonial Theory: A Critical Introduction. St Leonards: Allen and Unwin, 1998. Kabeer, Naila. Reversed Realities: Gender Hierarchies in Development Thought. London: Verso, 1994. Lodhi, Muhamad. "Reply." Unheard Voice: All Things Bangladesh. 25 Jun. 2011. 5 Oct. 2011 ‹http://unheardvoice.net/blog/2011/06/24/silence/#comments›. Mudditt, Jessica. "Mugged, Dragged and Scarred: Harrowing Tales from Foreigners In Dhaka." The Independent Digital 23 Aug. 2011: 1-2. Nadiya, Shabnam. "Woman Alone." The Daily Star—Features. 29 Sep. 2008. 5 Oct. 2011 ‹http://www.thedailystar.net/suppliments/2008/eid_special/woman.htm›. Park-Fuller, Linda. "Performing Absence: The Staged Personal Narrative as Testimony." Text and Performance Quarterly 20 (2000): 20–42. Richardson, Laurel. "Narrative Sociology." Representation in Ethnography. Ed. John Van Maanen, Thousand Oaks: Sage, 1995. 198–221. Sparkes, Andrew C. "Autoethnography: Self-Indulgence or Something More?" Ethnographically Speaking: Autoethnography, Literature and Aesthetics. Eds. Arthur Bochner and Carolyn Ellis. Walnut Creek: AltaMira, 2002. 209–32. Spry, Tami. "Performing Autoethnography: An Embodied Methodological Praxis." Qualitative Inquiry 7.6 (2001): 706–32. Ware, Vron. Beyond the Pale: White Women, Racism and History. London: Verso, 1992.

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Felton, Emma. "Eat, Drink and Be Civil: Sociability and the Cafe." M/C Journal 15, no.2 (April28, 2012). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.463.

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Coffee changes people. Moreover, it changes the way they interact with their friends, their fellow citizens and their community. (Ellis 24) On my daily walk around the streets of my neighbourhood, I pass the footpath cafés that have become synonymous with the area. On this particular day, I take a less familiar route and notice a new, small café wedged between a candle shop and an industrial building. At one of the two footpath tables sit a couple with their young child, conveniently (for them) asleep in a stroller. One is reading the Saturday paper, and the other has her nose in a book—coffee, muffins, and newspapers are strewn across the table. I am struck by this tableau of domestic ease and comfort, precisely because it is so domestic and yet the couple and child, with all the accoutrements of a relaxed Saturday morning, are situated outside the spaces of the home. It brings to mind an elegant phrase of Robert Hughes’ about the types of spaces that cities need, where “solitudes may lie together” (cited in Miller 79). I could, of course, also have drawn my attention to other vignettes at the café—for example, people involved in animated or easy conversation—and this would support Hughes’ other dictum, that cities need places where “people can gather and engage in energetic discourse” (79), which is of course another way in which people inhabit and utilise the café. The ascendancy of the café is synonymous with the contemporary city and, as semi-public space, it supports either solitude—through anonymity—or sociability. “Having a coffee” is central to the experience of everyday life in cities, yet it is also an expression of intent that suggests more than simply drinking a café latte or a cappuccino at our favourite neighbourhood café. While coffee aficionados will go the extra distance for a good brew, the coffee transaction is typically more to do with meeting friends, colleagues or connecting with people beyond our personal and professional networks. And under the umbrella of these types of encounters sit a variety of affective, social and civil transactions. In cities characterised by increasing density and cultural difference, and as mobile populations move back and forth across the planet, how we forge and maintain relationships with each other is important for the development of cosmopolitan cultures and social cohesion. It is the contemporary café and its coffee culture that provides the space to support sociability and the negotiation of civil encounters. Sociability, Coffee, and the Café Café culture is emblematic of social and urban change, of the rise of food culture and industries, and “aesthetic” cultures. The proliferation of hospitality and entertainment industries in the form of cafés, bars, restaurants, and other semi-public spaces—such as art galleries—are the consumer-based social spaces in which new forms of sociability and attachment are being nurtured and sustained. It is hardly surprising that people seek out places to meet others—given the transformation in social and kinship relations wrought by social change, globalization and mobile populations—to find their genesis in the city. Despite the decline of familial relations, new social formation produced by conditions such as workforce mobility, flexible work arrangements, the rise of the so-called “creative class” and single person households are flourishing. There are now more single person households in Australia than in any other period, with 1.9 million people living alone in 2006. This figure is predicted to increase to 30.36 per cent of the population by 2026 (ABS). The rapid take-up of apartment living in Australian cities suggests both a desire and necessity for urban living along with its associated amenities, and as a result, more people are living out their lives in the public and semi-public spaces of cities. Maffesoli refers to restructured and emerging social relations as “tribes” which are types of “emotional communities” (after Weber) based upon the affective, life-affirming impulse of “being togetherness” rather than an outmoded, rationalised social structure. For Maffesoli, tribes have strong powers of inclusion and integration and people are connected by shared affinities or lifestyles. Their stamping ground is the city where they gather in its public and semi-public spaces, such as the café, where sociability is expressed through “the exchange of feelings, conversation” (13). In this context, the café facilitates a mode of interaction that is both emotional and rational: while there might be a reason for meeting up, it is frequently driven by a desire for communication that is underpinned by the affective dimension. As a common ritualistic behaviour, “meeting for coffee” facilitates encounters not only with those known to us, but also among relationships that are provisional and contingent. It is among those less familiar that the café is useful as a space for engaging and practicing civil discourse (after Habermas) and where encounters with strangers might be comfortably negotiated. The café’s social codes facilitate the negotiation of less familiar relationships, promoting a sociability that is not as easy to navigate in other spaces of the city. The gesture of “having coffee” is hospitable, and the café’s neutrality as a meeting place is predicated on its function as transitional or liminal space; it is neither domestic, work, nor wholly public space. Its liminality removes inhabitants from the potentially anxious intimacy of the home and offers protection from the unknown of public space. Moreover, the café’s “safety” is further reinforced because it is regulated temporally by its central function as a place of food and beverage consumption: it provides a finite certitude to meetings, with the length of encounter largely being determined by the time it takes to consume a coffee or snack. In this way, the possible complexity or ambiguity associated with meetings with strangers in the more intimate spaces of the home is avoided, and meeting in a café may relieve the onus and anxiety that can be associated with entertaining. Café culture is not a new phenomenon, though its current manifestation differs from its antecedent, the sixteenth-century coffee house. Both the modern café and the coffee house are notable as places of intense sociability where people from all walks of life mingle (Ellis 2004). The diverse clientele of the coffee house is recorded extensively in the diaries of Samuel Pepys and unlike other social institutions of the time, was defined by its inclusivity of men from all walks of life (Ellis 59). Similarly, the espresso bars of the 1950s that appeared in Europe, North America and to a lesser extent Australia became known for their mix of customers from a range of classes, races and cultures, and for the inclusion of women as their patrons (Ellis 233). The wide assortment of people who patronised these espresso bars was noted in Architectural Digest magazine which claimed the new coffee bars as “the greatest social revolution since the launderette in 1954” (Ellis 234). Contemporary café culture continues this egalitarian tradition, with the café assuming importance as a place in which reconfigured social relationships are fostered and maintained. In Australia, the café has replaced the institution of the public house or hotel—the “pub” in Australia—as the traditional meeting place of cultural significance. Not everyone felt at home, or indeed was welcomed in the pub, despite its mythology as a place that was emblematic of “the Australian way of life”. Women, children and “others” who may have felt or may have been legally excluded from the pub are the new beneficiaries of the café’s inclusivity. The social organisation of the pub revolved around the interests of masculine relationships and culture (Fiske et al.) and until the late 1970s, women were excluded by legislation from its public bars. There are many other socio-cultural reasons why women were uncomfortable in the pub, even once legislation was removed. By comparison, the café, despite the bourgeois associations in some of its manifestations, is more democratic space than the pub and this rests to some extent on a greater emphasis placed on disciplined conduct of its patrons. The consumption of alcohol in hotels, combined with a cultural tolerance of excess and with alcohol’s effect of loosening inhibitions, also encourages the loosening of socially acceptable forms of conduct. A wider range of behaviour is tolerated and sanctioned which can present problems for women in particular. The negotiation of gendered relationships in the pub is, therefore, typically of more concern to women than men. In spite of its egalitarianism, and the diversity of patrons welcomed, the café, as a social space, is governed by a set of rules that communicate meaning about who belongs, who doesn’t and how people should behave. The social codes inscribed into café culture contribute to the production and reproduction of different social groups (Bourdieu and Lefebvre) and are reinforced by the café’s choice of aesthetics. Bourdieu’s concept of cultural capital accounts for the acquisition of cultural competencies and explains why some people feel comfortable in certain spaces while others feel excluded. Knowledge and skills required in social spaces express both subtle and sometimes not so subtle hierarchies of power and ownership, cutting across gender, ethnic and class divisions. Yet despite this, the relatively low cost of obtaining entry into the café—through the purchase of a drink—gives it greater accessibility than a pub, restaurant, or any other consumer site that is central to sociability and place attachment. In cities characterised by an intensity of change and movement, the café also enables a negotiation of place attachment. A sense of place connectedness, through habitual and regular usage, facilitates social meaning and belonging. People become “regulars” at cafés, patronising one over another, getting to know the staff and perhaps other patrons. The semiotics of the café, its ambience, decor, type of food and drink it sells, all contribute to the kind of fit that helps anchors it in a place. A proliferation of café styles offers scope for individual and collective affinities. While some adopt the latest trends in interior design, others appeal to a differentiated clientele through more varied approaches to design. Critiques of urban café culture, which see it as serving the interests of taste-based bourgeois patterns of consumption, often overlook the diversity of café styles that appeal to, and serve a wide range of, demographic groups. Café styles vary across a design continuum from fashionable minimalist décor, homey, grungy, sophisticated, traditional, corporate (McDonalds and Starbucks) or simply plain with little attention to current décor trends. The growth of café culture is a significant feature of gentrified inner city areas in cities across the world. In Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley in Australia, an inner-city youth entertainment precinct, many cafés have adopted a downmarket or “grunge” aesthetic, appealing to the area’s youth clientele and other marginal groups. Here, décor can suggest a cavalier disregard for bourgeois taste: shabby décor with mismatching tables and chairs and posters and graffiti plastered over windows and walls. Ironically, the community service organisation Mission Australia saw the need to provide for its community in this area; the marginalised, disadvantaged, and disengaged original inhabitants of this gentrified area, and opened a no-frills Café One to cater for them. Civility, Coffee, and the Café One of the distinctive features of cities is that they are places where “we meet with the other” (Barthes 96), and this is in contrast to life in provincial towns and villages where people and families could be known for generations. For the last two decades or so, cities across the world have been undergoing a period of accelerated change, including the rise of Asian mega-cities—and now, for the first time in history, the majority of the world’s population is urban based. Alongside this development is the movement of people across the world, for work, study, travel or fleeing from conflict and persecution. If Barthes’s statement was apt in the 1980s, it is ever more so now, nearly thirty years later. How strangers live together in cities of unprecedented scale and density raises important questions around social cohesion and the civil life of cities. As well as offering spaces that support a growth in urban sociability, the exponential rise of café culture can be seen as an important factor in the production of urban civilities. Reciprocity is central here, and it is the café’s function as a place of hospitality that adds another dimension to its role in the cultivation of civility and sociability. Café culture requires the acquisition of competencies associated with etiquette and manners that are based upon on notions of hospitality. The protocol required for ordering food and drink and for eating and drinking with others encourages certain types of behaviour such as courtesy, patience, restraint, and tolerance by all participants, including the café staff. The serving of food and drink in a semi-public space in exchange for money is more than a commercial transaction, it also demands the language and behaviour of civility. Conduct such as not talking too loudly, not eavesdropping on others’ conversations, knowing where to look and what to hear, are considered necessary competencies when thrust into close proximity with strangers. More intimately, the techniques of conversation—of listening, responding and sharing information—are practised in the café. It can be instructive to reprise Habermas’s concept of the public sphere (1962) in order to consider how semi-public places such as the café contribute to support the civil life of a city. Habermas’s analysis, grounded in the eighteenth-century city, charted how the coffee house or salon was instrumental to the development of a civilised discourse which contributed to the development of the public sphere across Europe. While a set of political and social structures operating at the time paved the way for the advent of democracy, critical discussion and rational argument was also vital. In other words, democratic values underpin civil discourse and the parallel here is that the space the café provides for civil interaction, particularly in cities marked by cultural and other difference, is unique among public amenities on offer in the city. The “bourgeois public sphere” for Habermas is based on the development of a social mode of interaction which became normative through socio-structural transformation during this period, and the coffee house or salon was a place that enabled a particular form of sociability and communication style. For Habermas, meeting places such as the urban-based coffee house were the heart of sociability, where conversational rules based on reasoned exchange were established; the cultivation of conversation was aimed at the dialogical egalitarian. Habermas’s bourgeois public sphere is essentially and potentially a political one, “conceived […] as the sphere of private people come together as a public” (Johnson 27). It refers to a realm of social life in which something approaching public opinion can be found. I am not claiming that the contemporary café might be the site of political dialogue and civic activism of the type that Habermas suggests. Rather, what is useful here is a recognition that the café facilitates a mode of interaction similar to the one proposed by Habermas—a mode of interaction which has the potential to be distinguished by its “open and inclusive character” (Johnson 22). The expectation of a “patient, willing comprehension of sympathetic fellows” (Johnson 23) refers to the cultivation of the art of conversation based on a reciprocity and is one that requires empathetic listening as well as dialogue. Because the café is a venue where people meet with less familiar others, the practice and techniques of conversation assumes particular significance, borne out in Habermas’s and Ellis’s historical research into café culture. Both scholars attribute the establishment of coffee houses in London to the development of social discourse and urban networking which helped set the ground for conversational rules and exchange and worked towards a democratic culture. In this context, values were challenged and differences revealed but the continued practice of conversation enabled the negotiation of such social diversity. Demonstrations of civility and generosity are straightforward in the café because of its established codes of conduct in an environment focussed upon hospitality. Paying for another’s drink, although not a great expense is a simple gesture of hospitality: “meeting for coffee” has become part of the lingua franca of workplace and business culture and relationships and is weighted with meaning. As cities grow in density, complexity and cultural diversity, citizens are adapting with new techniques of urban living. At a broad level, the café can be seen as supporting the growth in networks of sociability and facilitating the negotiation of civil discourse and behaviour. In the café, to act as a competent citizen, one must demonstrate the ability to be polite, restrained, considerate and civil—that is, to act in accordance with the social situation. This involves an element of self-control and discipline and requires social standards and expectations to become self-monitored and controlled. To be perceived as acting in accordance with the needs of certain social situations, participants bend, limit and regulate their behaviour and affects. In sum, the widespread take up of café culture, based on hospitality and reciprocity, encourages a mode of interaction that has implications for the development of a social and civic ethic. References Australian Bureau of Statistics. "1301.0–Year Book Australia." 2009. 31 Jan. 2012 ‹http://abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/0/916F96F929978825CA25773700169C65?opendocument› Barthes, Roland. Empire of Signs. New York: Hill and Wang, 1982. Bourdieu, Pierre. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Trans. Richard Nice. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984. Ellis, Markum. The Coffee House: A Cultural History. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2004. Fiske, J., B. Hodge, and G. Turner, eds. Myths of Oz: Reading Australian Popular Culture. Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1987. Habermas, Jurgen. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1962. -----. The Theory of Communicative Action. Trans. T. McCarthy. Boston: Beacon Press, 1984. Johnson, Pauline. Habermas: Rescuing the Public Sphere. London: Routledge, 2006. Lefebvre, Henri. The Production of Space. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1991. Maffesoli, Michel. Time of the Tribes: The Decline of Individualism in Mass Society. Trans. D. Smith. London: Sage, 1996. Miller, George. “A City that Works.” Sydney Papers Spring (2001): 77–79.

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Hearn, Greg, and Michelle Hall. "Zone." M/C Journal 14, no.5 (October18, 2011). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.446.

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Our challenge for this special issue was to describe and analyse the zones we live in and to a large extent take for granted. There are micro zones. These are small intimate spaces that are very temporary and circ*mscribe activity between two or three people. The second category of zone is we might call mezzo or mid-range zones. These are zones wherein activities that occupy us for several hours take place. These could include bars, restaurants, playgrounds, and of course the rooms in a house or workplace. Finally there is the city level macro zone. Most of us live in cities. This is an aggregation of time and space we relate to and identify with over a long period of time. We identify with city sports teams and landmarks. For various reasons to do with cultural evolution cities are symbolically important to how we live and form our identity. City zones are meaningful to us. Zones proscribe and prescribe, but usually without any visible rules. They enable and govern complex social routines without anyone being able to explicitly explain how. They encode narratives spatially. That is, zones as spaces, have material, social and symbolic layers. The material environment is the most basic layer of a zone, that is, buildings, furniture, roads and so on. However zones have two other important layers. The first is the social layer—that is, the people that are in the zone. In addition zones have a symbolic layer—that is the meanings that are found or created in the zone. This includes the aesthetic style; the actual and implicit messages in the space, as well as any personal associations the place may have or invoke. Clearly zones operate at different scales, in different time frames, and with different symbol systems. However, they no longer need be actual spaces at all, because many zones we now inhabit are purely virtual or purely discursive. Zones can be virtual too, such as Facebook. Zones can be an area of conversation as implied in the phrase “Lets not go there!” We now think and talk as if our mind was spatial. Perhaps a zone might be defined as a bounded system of agents and resources, governed by a unified and discoverable set of rules, which determine relationships that dictate how agents and resources are linked. Or perhaps you prefer the dramaturgical metaphors of front and back stage, actors, roles, scripts, and choreographies. But the truth is, there is no agreed definition or theorisation, although many disciplines use the term freely (e.g. cultural geography; urban planning; human ecology). Papers were invited therefore to interrogate the notion of zone from any disciplinary perspective, or which reflected on a particular zone, either fictional or actual, to uncover the alchemy of its operation. Jeremy Hunsinger invites us to think about a street-corner, as an “interzone,” a complex assemblage of meanings, things, and people. Here the material infrastructure, the road, the sidewalk, the streetlights with their cabling and electrical grid, the sewers, and their gutters, intermix within semiotic and governmentality politics. He argues zones are inscribed by codes and conventions to form pragmatic regimes through which we enact our lives and our roles. Though these zones are integral to our lives, we are “zoned out” about the zones in which we live. That is, dispersal of these zones has impeded our awareness of them and disguised the meanings we can assign to them. Through this dispersal they are alienated from our subjective experience within our day-to-day experiences of integrated world capitalism. The challenge of knowing an interzone is a challenge of territorialisation, and thus of subjective awareness. To operate with subjective awareness within these zones is form of semiological guerilla warfare, allowing us to interpret, and influence the governance of, our techno-semiological existence. The paper seeks to “challenge us to rethink our subjective positions in relation to zones, their aesthetics, and their legitimation as functions of semiological warfare … to find new opportunities to make a mess of these spaces, to transgress and create new spaces of autonomy for ourselves and future participants in the zones.” Suneel Jethani takes a similar point of theoretical departure and describes a new media project which does just this, by injecting various “voices” and subjectivities into a digital cartography of Bangalore. By focusing on the social relations embedded within the cartographic text(s), the project demonstrates the kind of politically oriented tactical media that Jeremy Hunsinger calls for in his paper. This “praxis-logical” approach allows for a focus on the project as a space of aggregation and the communicative processes set in motion within them. In analysing such projects we could (and should) be asking questions such as—“Who has put it forward? Who is utilising it and under what circ*mstances? Where and how has it come into being? How does discourse circulate within it? How do these spaces as sites of emergent forms of resistance within global capitalism challenge traditional social movements? How do they create self-reflexive systems?” The focus on the integration of digital affordances within the social/spatial realm continues with Adam Ruch and Steve Collins’s examination of the nature of the architecture of social media and their influence on definitions of identities and relationships. What are the effects on one’s social relations and therefore social identity of, for example, whether one chooses to use friends lists on Facebook or “circles” of different social categories as on Google+. The paper investigates the challenges involved in moving real life to the online environment and the contests in trying to designate social relational zones. They argue that in contrast to early utopia visions of social identity online, we are increasingly obligated to perform identity as it is defined by corporate monoliths such as Facebook and Google+. They suggest the new social practice of “being online” is just as pervasive as “being elsewhere”. Put another way we could ask: “Are social media an instance of the primacy of technological mediation of identity over social constructions of identity?” To remind us that identity is still thoroughly spatial—as well as digital—we next examine Michelle Hall's autoethnography of identity making in the intimate zone of a neighbourhood bar. Bars provide a shifting space where identifications are fluid, unpredictable, and thus open to opportunistic breaches. This unpredictability, and the interaction strategies we adopt to negotiate it, suggest ways in which a certain kind of third place experience can be developed and maintained in the contemporary inner city, where consumption based socialising is high, but where people are also mobile and less tied into fixed patterns of patronage. Nevertheless this process still involves a significant amount of emotional work. Establishing “a place where everybody knows your name” may not be likely. However Michelle's paper suggests that in consumption driven inner city zones, regular identification that operates at the boundaries of social realms can support a version of the easier friendship and congeniality that “third places” are hoped to offer. Giovani Semi describes and analyses the kinds of neighbourhoods in which such activities might take place, describing them as zones of authentic pleasure. His case study of gentrification of a Milanese neighbourhood—the Isola crossroads—argues that the multiple activities of small entrepreneurs and social actors can create zones of pleasure and authenticity—a softer side of gentrification. He in effect argues for a different kind of intervention to advance semiological warfare we referred to earlier, one in which local actors and passers-by contribute to the local making of atmosphere via daily consumption routines. The production of “atmosphere” in a gentrifying neighbourhood goes together with customers’ taste and preferences. The supply-side of building the aesthetic for a “pleasant” zone needs a demand-side, consumers buying, supporting, and appreciating the outcome of the activities of the entrepreneurs. Similar themes are explored by Donell Holloway and David Holloway who examine everyday routines and social relationships, when moving through and staying in liminal or atypical zones of tourist locales. Their key question is to ask how domestic zones are carried into, and maintained in tourist zones. In the case of the “grey nomads” they interview, mobile living quarters play a key role. More specifically, “the ‘everyday zone’ refers to the routines of quotidian life, or the mundane practices which make up our daily, at-home lives. These practices are closely connected with the domestic realm and include consumption practices (clothing, cooking, mass media) and everyday social interactions. The ‘tourist zone’ is similarly concerned with consumption. In this zone, however, tourists are seen to consume places; the culture, landscape, and peoples of exotic or out-of-the-ordinary tourist locales.” The next paper provides us with a link between zones which are first and foremost spatial and those which a more purely discursive. Deb Waterhouse-Watson and Adam Brown introduce Levi’s notion of “The Grey Zone” (published in 1986), based on Jewish prisoners in the Nazi-controlled camps and ghettos who obtained “privileged” positions in order to prolong their survival. Reflecting on the inherently complex power relations in such extreme settings, Levi positions the “grey zone” as a metaphor for moral ambiguity: a realm with “ill-defined outlines which both separate and join the two camps of masters and servants”. They then apply this to the issue of sexual assault within football culture in Australia and the representation of this in broadcast media. They argue that “Levi’s concept of the ‘grey zone’ helps elucidate the fraught issue of women’s potential complicity in a rape culture, a subject that challenges both understanding and representation. Despite participating in a culture that promotes the abuse, denigration, and humiliation of women, the roles of [the women involved], cannot in any way be conflated with the roles of the perpetrators of sexual assault. These and other “grey zones” need to be constantly rethought and renegotiated in order to develop a fuller understanding of human behaviour”. Our final paper similarly tackles a zone which is primarily discursive in nature namely “media spin zones” in political campaigns. In their examination of the American presidential elections Kara Stooksbury, Lori Maxwell, and Cynthia Brown usefully deploy the zone metaphor to analyse the pragmatics of a political communication system that has enormous stakes for the world. Using examples from the two most recent presidential elections, they draw attention to two separate, yet interrelated spin zones integral to understanding media/presidential relations—what they term the presidential spin zone and the media spin zone. The interplay between these zones determines the fate of elections. They discuss how the presidency can use image priming—that is ameliorating negative media portrayals and capitalising on positive portrayals, to effectively counterattack the media spin zone. From the intimate to the macro-urban; from the geographic to the discursive, the range of investigations in this issue shows that the idea of zones in social life can be applied meaningfully. They demonstrate the link between the way we think about our environment and the environments themselves. They also demonstrate the role of the media—both old and new—in refracting and morphing the operation of zones. The underlying theoretical architecture is eclectic, and the implied praxis at times, seemingly at odds, but as a whole they provide us with new insights into how the zones we live in effect our identity, community, ethics and politics. We commend these papers then, as an insightful response to our provocation to consider the concept of zone and its impact on our lives.

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Karl, Irmi. "Domesticating the Lesbian?" M/C Journal 10, no.4 (August1, 2007). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2692.

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Introduction There is much to be said about house and home and about our media’s role in defining, enabling, as well as undermining it. […] For we can no longer think about home, any longer than we can live at home, without our media. (Silverstone, “Why Study the Media” 88) For lesbians, inhabiting the queer slant may be a matter of everyday negotiation. This is not about the romance of being off line or the joy of radical politics (though it can be), but rather the everyday work of dealing with the perception of others, with the “straightening devices” and the violence that might follow when such perceptions congeal into social forms. (Ahmed 107) Picture this. Once or twice a week a small, black, portable TV set goes on a journey; down from the lofty heights of the top shelf of the built in storage cupboard into the far corner of the living room. A few hours later, it is being stuffed back into the closet. Not far away across town, another small TV set sits firmly in the corner of a living room. Yet, it remains inanimate for days on end. What do you see? The techno-stories conveyed in this paper are presented through – and anchored to – the idea of the cultural biography of things (Kopytoff 1986), revealing how objects (more specifically media technologies) produce and become part of an articulation of particular and conflicting moral economies of households (Silverstone, “Domesticating Domestication”; Silverstone, Hirsch and Morley, “Information and Communication”; Green). In this context, the concept of the domestication of ICTs has been widely applied in Media Studies during the 1990s and, more recently, been updated to account for the changes in technology, household composition, media regulation, and in fact the dislocation of domesticity itself (Berker, Hartmann, Punie and Ward). Remarkable as these mainstream techno-stories are in their elucidation of contemporary techno-practices, what is still absent is the consideration of how gender and sexuality intersect and are being done through ICT consumption at home, work and during leisure practices in alternative or queer households and families. Do lesbians ‘make’ house and home and in what ways are media and ICTs implicated in the everyday work of queer home-making strategies? As writings on queer subjects and cyberspace have proliferated in recent years, we can now follow a move to contextualize queer virtualities across on and offline experiences, mapping ‘complex geographies of un/belonging’ (Bryson, MacIntosh, Jordan and Lin) and a return to consider online media as part of a bigger ICT package that constitutes our queer everyday life-worlds (Karl). At the same time, fresh perspectives are now being developed with regards to the reconfiguration of domestic values by gay men and lesbians, demonstrating the ongoing processes of probing and negotiation of ‘home’ and the questioning of domesticity itself (Gorman-Murray). By aligning ideas and concepts developed by media theorists in the field of media domestication and consumption as well as (sexual) geographers, this paper makes a contribution towards our understanding of a queer sense of home and domesticity through the technological and more specifically television. It is based on two case studies, part of a larger longitudinal ethnographic study of women-centred households in Brighton, UK. Gill Valentine has identified the home and workplaces as spaces, which are encoded as heterosexual. Sexual identities are being constrained by ‘regulatory regimes’, promoting the normalcy of heterosexuality (4). By recounting the techno-stories of lesbian women, we can re-examine notions of the home as a stable, safe, given entity; the home as a particular feminine sphere as well as the leaky boundaries between public and private. As media and ICTs are also part of a (hetero)sexual economy where they, in their materiality as well as textual significance become markers of sexual difference, we can to a certain extent perceive them as ‘straightening devices’, to borrow a phrase from Sara Ahmed. Here, we will find the articulation of a host of struggles to ‘fight the norms’, but not necessarily ‘step outside the system completely, full-time’ (Ben, personal interview [all the names of the interviewees have been changed to protect their anonymity]). In this sense, the struggle is not only to counter perceived heterosexual home-making and techno-practices, but also to question what kinds of practices to adopt and repeat as ‘fitting in’ mechanism. Significantly, these practices leave neither ‘hom*onormative’ nor ‘heteronormative’ imaginaries untouched and remind us that: In the case of sexual orientation, it is not simply that we have it. To become straight means that we not only have to turn towards the objects that are given to us by heterosexual culture, but also that we must “turn away” from objects that take us off this line. (Ahmed 21) In this sense then, we are all part of drawing and re-drawing the lines of belonging and un-belonging within the confines of a less than equal power-economy. Locating Dys-Location – Is There a Lesbian in the Home? In his effort to re-situate the perspective of media domestication in the 21st century, David Morley points us to ‘the process of the technologically mediated dislocation of domesticity itself’ (“What’s ‘home’” 22). He argues that ‘under the impact of new technologies and global cultural flows, the home nowadays is not so much a local, particular “self-enclosed” space, but rather, as Zygmunt Bauman puts it, more and more a “phantasmagoric” place, as electronic means of communication allow the radical intrusion of what he calls the “realm of the far” (traditionally, the realm of the strange and potentially troubling) into the “realm of the near” (the traditional “safe space” of ontological security) (23). The juxtaposition of home as a safe, ‘given’ place of ontological security vis a vis the more virtual and mediated realm of the far and potentially intrusive is itself called into question, if we re-consider the concepts of home and (dis)location in the light of lesbian geographies and ‘the production and regulation of heterosexual space’ (Valentine 1). The dislocation of home and domesticity experienced through consumption of (mobile) media technologies has always already been under-written by the potential feeling of dys-location and ‘trouble’ by lesbians on the grounds of sexual orientation. The lesbian experience disrupts the traditionally modern and notably western ideal of home as a safe haven and refuge by making visible the leaky boundaries between private seclusion and public surveillance, as much as it may (re)invest in the production of ideas and ideals of home-making and domesticity. This is illustrated for example by the way in which the heterosexuality of a parental home ‘can inscribe the lesbian body by restricting the performative aspects of a lesbian identity’, which may be subverted by covert acts of resistance (Johnston and Valentine 111; Elwood) as well as by the potentially greater freedoms of lesbian identity within a ‘lesbian home’, which may nevertheless come under scrutiny and ‘surveillance of others, especially close family, friends and neighbours’ (112). Nevertheless, more recently it has also been demonstrated how even overarching structures of familial heteronormativity are opportune to fissures and thereby queered, as Andrew Gorman-Murray illustrates in his study of Australian gay, lesbian and bisexual youth in supportive family homes. So what is, or rather, what can constitute a ‘lesbian home’ and how is it negotiated through everyday techno-practices? In and Out of the Closet – The Straight-Speaking ‘Telly’ As places go, the city of Brighton and Hove in the south-east of England fetches the prize for the highest ratio of LGBT people amongst its population in the UK, sitting at about 15%. In this sense, the home-making stories to which I will refer, of a white, lesbian single mother in her early 40s from a working-class background and a white lesbian/dyke couple in their 30s (from middle-/working-class backgrounds), are already engendered in the sense that Brighton (to them) represented in part a kind of ‘home-coming’ in itself. Helen and Ben, a lesbian butch-femme couple (‘when it takes our fancy’, Helen), had recently bought a terraced 1930s three-bedroom house with a sizeable garden in a soon to be up and coming residential area of Brighton. The neighbours are a mix of elderly, long-standing residents and ‘hetero’ families, or ‘breeders’, as Ben sometimes referred to them. Although they had lived together before, the new house constituted their first purchase together. This was significant especially for Helen, as it made their lives more ‘equal’ in terms of what goes where and the input on the overall interior decoration. Ben had shifted from London to Brighton a few years previously for a ‘quieter life’, but wished to remain connected to a queer community. Helen had made the move to Brighton from Germany – to study and enjoy the queer feel, and never left. Both full-time professionals, Helen worked in the publishing industry and Ben as a social worker. Already considering Brighton their ‘home’ town, the house purchase itself constituted another home-making challenge: as a lesbian/dyke couple on equal footing they were prepared to accept to live in a pre-dominantly straight neighbourhood, as it afforded them more space for money compared to the more visibly gay male living areas in the centre of town. The relative invisibility of queer women (and their neighbourhoods) compared to queer men in Brighton may, as it does elsewhere, be connected to issues of safety (Elwood) as well as the comparative lack of financial capacity (Bell and Valentine). Walking up to this house on the first night of my stay with them, I am struck by just how inconspicuous it appears – one of many in a long street, up a steep hill: ‘Most housing in contemporary western societies is “designed, built, financed and intended for nuclear families”’ (Bell in Bell and Valentine 7). I cannot help but think – more as a reflection on myself than of what I am about to experience – is this it? Is this the ‘domesticated lesbian’? What I see appears ‘familiar’, ‘tamed’, re-tracing the straight lines of heterosexual culture. Helen opens the door and orders me directly into the kitchen. She says ‘Ben is in the living room, watching television… Ben takes great pleasure in watching “You’ve been Framed”’. (Fieldnotes) In this context, it is appropriate to focus on the television and its place within their home-making strategies. Television, in its historical and symbolic significance, could be deemed the technological co-terminus to the ideal nuclear family home. Lynn Spigel has shown through her examination of the cultural history of TV’s formative years in post World War America how television became central to providing representations of family life, but also how the technology itself, as an object, informed material and symbolic transformations within the domestic sphere and beyond. Over the past fifty years as Morley points out, the TV has moved from its fixed place in the living room to become more personalised and encroach on other spaces in house and home and has now, in fact, re-entered the public realm (see airports and shopping malls) where it originated. At present, ‘the home itself can seen as having become … the “last vehicle”, where comfort, safety and stability can happily coexist with the possibility of instantaneous digitalised “flight” to elsewhere – and the instantaneous importation of desired elements of the “elsewhere” into the home’ (Morley, “Media, Modernity” 200). Importantly, as Morley confirms, today’s high-tech discourse is often still framed by a nostalgic vision of ‘family values’. There was only one TV set in Helen and Ben’s house: a black plastic cube with a 16” screen. It was decidedly ‘unglamorous’ as Helen pointed out. During the first round of ‘home-making’ efforts, it had found its way into a corner in the front room, with the sofa and armchair arranged in viewing distance. It was a very ‘traditional’ living room set-up. During my weeklong stay and for some weeks after, it was mostly Ben on her own ‘watching the telly’ in the early evenings ‘vegging out’ after work. Helen, meanwhile, was in the kitchen with the radio on or a CD playing, or in her ‘ICT free’ bedroom, reading. Then, suddenly, the TV had disappeared. During one of our ‘long conversations’ (Silverstone, Hirsch and Morley, “Listening”, 204) it transpired that it was now housed for most of the time on the top shelf of a storage cupboard and only ‘allowed out’ ever so often. As a material object, it had easily found its place as a small, but nevertheless quite central feature in the living room. Imbued with the cultural memory of their parents’ and that of many other living rooms, it was ‘tempting’ and easy for them to ‘accept’ it as part of a setting up home as a couple. Ben explained that they both fell into a habit, an everyday routine, to sit around it. However, settling into their new home with too much ‘ease’, they began to question their techno-practice around the TV. For Helen in particular, the aesthetics of the TV set did not fit in with her plans to re-decorate the house loosely in art deco style, tethered to her femme identity. They did not envisage creating a home that would potentially signal that a family with 2.4 children lives here. ‘The “normality” of [working] 9-5’ (Ben), was sufficient. Establishing a perceived visual difference in their living room, partly by removing the TV set, Helen and Ben aimed to ‘draw a line’ around their home and private sphere vis a vis the rest of the street and, metaphorically speaking, the straight world. The boundaries between the public and private are nevertheless porous, as it is exactly that the public perceptions of a mostly private, domesticated media technology prevent Helen and Ben from feeling entirely comfortable in its presence. It was not only the TV set’s symbolic function as a material object that made them restrict and consciously control the presence of the TV in their home space. One of Helen and Ben’s concerns in this context was that TV, as a broadcast medium, is utterly ‘conservative’ in its content and as such, very much ‘straight speaking’. To paraphrase Helen – you can only read so much between the lines and shout at the telly, it can get tiring. ‘I like watching nature programmes, but they somehow manage even here to make it sound like a hetero narrative’. Ben: ‘yeah – mind the lesbian swans’. The employment of the VCR and renting movies helps them to partly re-dress this perceived imbalance. At the same time, TV’s ‘water-cooler’ effect helps them to stay in tune with what is going on around them and enables them, for example, to participate and intervene in conversations at work. In this sense, watching TV can turn into home-work, which affords a kind of entry ticket to shared life-worlds outside the home and as such can be controlled, but not necessarily abandoned altogether. TV as a ‘straightening device’ may afford the (dis)comfort of a sense of participation in mainstream discourses and the (dis)comfort of serving as a reminder of difference at the same time. ‘It just sits there … apart from Sundays’ – and when the girls come round… Single-parent households are on the rise in the US (Russo Lemor) as well as in the UK. However, the attention given to single-parent families so far focuses pre-dominantly on single mothers and fathers after separation or divorce from a heterosexual marriage (Russo Lemor; Silverstone, “Beneath the Bottom Line”). As (queer) sociologists have began to map the field of ‘families of choice and other life experiments’ (Weeks, Heaphy and Donovan), a more concerted effort to bring together the literatures and to shed more light on the queer techno-practices of alternative families seems necessary. Liz and her young son Tim had moved to Brighton from London. As a lesbian working single mother, she raises Tim pre-dominantly on her own: ‘we are a small family, and that’s fine’. Liz’s home-making narrative is very much driven by her awareness of what she sees as her responsibilities as a mother, a lesbian mother. The move to Brighton was assessed by being able to keep her clients in London (she worked as a self-employed communication and PR person for various London councils) – ‘this is what feeds us’, and the fact that she did not want Tim to go to a ‘badly performing’ school in London. The terraced three-bedroom house she found was in a residential area, not too far from the station and in need of updating and re-decorating. The result of the combined efforts of builders, her dad (‘for some of the DIY’) and herself produced a ‘conventional’ set-up with a living room, a kitchen-diner, a small home-office (for tele-working) and Tim’s and her bedroom. Inconspicuous in its appearance, it was clearly child-oriented with a ‘real jelly bean arch’ in the hallway. The living room is relatively bare, with a big sofa, table and chairs, ‘an ancient stereo-system’ and a ‘battered TV and Video-recorder’ in the corner. ‘We hardly use it’, Liz exclaims. ‘We much rather spend time out and about if there is a chance … quality time, rather than watching TV … or I read him stories in bed. I hate the idea of TV as a baby sitter … I have very deliberately chosen to have Tim and I want to make the most of it’. For Liz, the living room with the TV set in it appears as a kind of gesture to what family homes ‘look like’. As such, the TV and furniture set-up function as a signal and symbol of ‘normality’ in a queer household – perhaps a form of ‘passing’ for visitors and guests. The concern for the welfare of her son in this context is a sign and reflection of a constant negotiation process within a pre-dominantly heterosexual system of cultural symbols and values, which he, of course, is already able to ‘compare’ and evaluate when he is out and about at school or visiting friends in their homes. Unlike in Helen and Ben’s home, the TV is therefore allowed to stay out of the closet. Still, Liz rarely watches TV at all, for reasons not dissimilar to those of Helen and Ben. Apart from this, she shares a lack of spare time with many other single parents. Significantly, the living room and TV do receive a queer ‘make-over’ now and then, when Tim is in bed or with his father on a weekend and ‘the girls’ come over for a drink, chat and video viewing (noticeably, the living room furniture and TV get pushed around and re-arranged to accommodate the crowd). In this sense, Liz, in her home-making practices, carefully manages and performs ‘object relationships’ that allow her and her son to ‘fit in’ as much as to advocate ‘difference’ within the construction of ‘normalcy’. The pressures of this negotiation process are clearly visible. Conclusion – Re-Engendering Home and Techno-Practices As women as much as lesbians, Helen, Ben and Liz are, like so many others, part of a historical and much wider struggle regarding visibility, equality and justice. If this article had been dedicated to gay/queer men and their techno- and home-making sensibilities, it would have read somewhat differently to be sure. Of course, questions of gender and sexual identities would have remained equally paramount, as they always should, enfolding questions of class, race and ethnicity (Pink 2004). The concept and practice of home have a deeply engendered history. Queer practices ‘at home’ are always already tied up with knowledges of gendered practices and spaces. As Morley has observed, ‘space is gendered on a variety of scales … the local is often associated with femininity and seen as the natural basis of home and community, into which an implicitly masculine realm intrudes’ (“Home Territories” 59). As the public and private realms have been gendered masculine and feminine respectively, so have media and ICTs. Although traditional ideas of home and gender relations are beginning to break down and the increasing personalization and mobilization of ICTs blur perceptions of the public and private, certain (idealized, heterosexualized and gendered) images of home, domesticity and family life seem to be recurring in popular discourse as well as mainstream academic writing. As feminist theorists have illustrated the ways in which gender needs to be seen as performative, feminist and queer theorists also ought to work further on finding vocabularies and discourses that capture and highlight diversity, without re-invoking the spectre of the nuclear family (home) itself (Weeks, Heaphy and Donovan). What I found was not the ‘domesticated’ lesbian ‘at home’ in a traditional feminine sphere. Rather, I experienced a complex set of re-negotiations and re-inscriptions of the domestic, of gender and sexual values and identities as well as techno-practices, leaving a trace, a mark on the system no matter how small (Helen: ‘I do wonder what the neighbours make of us’). The pressure and indeed desire to ‘fit in’ is often enormous and therefore affords the re-tracing of certain trodden paths of domesticity and ICT consumption. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to the day when even Liz can put that old telly into the closet as it has lost its meaning as a cultural signifier of a particular kind. References Ahmed, Sara. Queer Phenomenology – Orientations, Objects, Others. Durham and London: Duke UP, 2006. Bell, David, and Gill Valentine. “Introduction: Orientations.” mapping desire. Eds. David Bell and Gill Valentine. London: Routledge, 1995. 1-27. Berker, Thomas, Maren Hartmann, Yves Punie and Katie J. Ward, eds. Domestication of Media and Technology. Maidenhead: Open UP, 2006. Bryson, Mary, Lori MacIntosh, Sharalyn Jordan, Hui-Ling Lin. “Virtually Queer?: Homing Devices, Mobility, and Un/Belongings.” Canadian Journal of Communication 31.3 (2006). Elwood, Sarah A.. “Lesbian Living Spaces: Multiple Meanings of Home.” From Nowhere to Everywhere – Lesbian Geographies. Ed. Gill Valentine. New York and London: Harrington Park Press, 2000. 11-27. Eves, Alison. “Queer Theory, Butch/Femme Identities and Lesbian Space.” Sexualities 7.4 (2004): 480-496. Gorman-Murray, Andrew. “Reconfiguring Domestic Values: Meanings of Home for Gay Men and Lesbians.” Housing, Theory and Society 24.3 (2007). [in press]. ———. “Queering Home or Domesticating Deviance? Interrogating Gay Domesticity through Lifestyle Television.” International Journal of Cultural Studies 9.2 (2006): 227-247. ———. “Queering the Family Home: Narratives from Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Youth Coming Out in Supportive Family Homes in Australia.” Gender, Place and Culture 15.1 (2008). [in press]. Green, Eileen. “Technology, Leisure and Everyday Practices.” Virtual Gender – Technology and Consumption. Eds. Eileen Green and Alison Adam. London: Routledge, 2001. 173-188. Johnston, Lynda, and Gill Valentine. “Wherever I Lay My Girlfriend, That’s My Home – The Performance and Surveillance of Lesbian Identities in Domestic Environments.” mapping desire. Eds. David Bell and Gill Valentine. London: Routledge, 1995. 99-113. Karl, Irmi. “On/Offline: Gender, Sexuality, and the Techno-Politics of Everyday Life.” Queer Online – Media, Technology & Sexuality. Kate O’Riordan and David J Phillips. New York: Peter Lang, 2007. 45-64. Kopytoff, Igor. “The Cultural Biography of Things: Commoditization as Process.” The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective. Ed. Arjun Appadurai. New York: Cambridge UP, 1986. 64-91. Morley, David. Family Television – Cultural Power and Domestic Leisure. London: Routledge, 1986/2005. ———. Home Territories – Media, Mobility and Identity. London: Routledge, 2000. ———. “What’s ‘Home’ Got to Do with It? Contradictory Dynamics in the Domestication of Technology and the Dislocation of Domesticity.” Domestication of Media and Technology. Eds. Thomas Berker, Maren Hartmann, Yves Punie and Katie J. Ward. Maidenhead: Open UP, 2006. 21-39. ———. Media, Modernity and Technology – The Geography of the New. London: Routledge, 2007. Pink, Sarah. Home Truths – Gender, Domestic Objects and Everyday Life. Oxford and New York: Berg, 2004. Russo Lemor, Anna Maria. “Making a ‘Home’. The Domestication of Information and Communication Technologies in Single Parents’ Households.” Domestication of Media and Technology. Eds. Thomas Berker, Maren Hartmann, Yves Punie and Katie J. Ward. Maidenhead: Open UP, 2006. 165-184. Silverstone, Roger. “Beneath the Bottom Line: Households and Information and Communication Technologies in an Age of the Consumer.” PICT Policy Papers 17. Swindon: ESRC, 1991. ———. Television and Everyday Life. London: Routledge, 1994. ———. Why Study the Media. London: Sage, 1999. ———. “Domesticating Domestication: Reflections on the Life of a Concept.” Domestication of Media and Technology. Eds. Thomas Berker, Maren Hartmann, Yves Punie and Katie J. Ward. Maidenhead: Open UP, 2006. 229-48. Silverstone, Roger, Eric Hirsch and David Morley. “Listening to a Long Conversation: An Ethnographic Approach to the Study of Information and Communication Technologies in the Home.” Cultural Studies 5.2 (1991): 204-27. ———. “Information and Communication Technologies and the Moral Economy of the Household.” Consuming Technologies – Media and Information in Domestic Spaces. Eds. Roger Silverstone and Eric Hirsch. London: Routledge, 1992. 15-31. Spigel, Lynn. Make Room for TV: Television and the Family Ideal in Post-War America. Chicago: Chicago UP, 1992. UK Office for National Statistics. July 2005. 21 Aug. 2007http://www.statistics.gov.uk/focuson/families>. Valentine, Gill. “Introduction.” From Nowhere to Everywhere: Lesbian Geographies. Ed. Gill Valentine. Binghampton, NY: Harrington Park Press, 2000. 1-9. Weeks, Jeffrey, Brian Heaphy, and Catherine Donovan. Same Sex Intimacies – Families of Choice and Other Life Experiments. London: Routledge, 2001. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Karl, Irmi. "Domesticating the Lesbian?: Queer Strategies and Technologies of Home-Making." M/C Journal 10.4 (2007). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0708/06-karl.php>. APA Style Karl, I. (Aug. 2007) "Domesticating the Lesbian?: Queer Strategies and Technologies of Home-Making," M/C Journal, 10(4). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0708/06-karl.php>.

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Ozola, Silvija. "Renovation Concept of Liepaja City Centre Construction after World War II." Arts and Music in Cultural Discourse. Proceedings of the International Scientific and Practical Conference, September8, 2015, 157. http://dx.doi.org/10.17770/amcd2015.1364.

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The port city Liepaja had gained recognition in Europe and the world by World War I. On the coast of the Baltic Sea a resort developed, to which around 1880 a wide promenade – Kurhaus Avenue provided a functional link between the finance and trade centre in Old Liepaja. On November 8, 1890 the building conditions for Liepaja, developed according to the sample of Riga building regulations, were partly confirmed: the construction territory was divided into districts of wooden and stone buildings. In 1888 after the reconstruction of the trade canal Liepaja became the third most significant port in the Russian Empire. The railway (engineer Gavriil Semikolenov; 1879) and metal bridges (engineers Huten and Ruktesel; 1881) across the trade canal provided the link between Old Liepaja and the industrial territory in New Liepaja, where industrial companies and building of houses developed in the neighbourhood of the railway hub, but in spring 1899 the construction of a ten-kilometre long street electric railway line and power station was commenced. Since September 25 the tram movement provided a regular traffic between Naval Port (Latvian: Karosta), the residential and industrial districts in New Liepaja and the city centre in Old Liepaja. In 1907 the construction of the ambitious “Emperor Alexander’s III Military Port” and maritime fortress was completed, but already in the following year the fortress was closed. In the new military port there were based not only the navy squadrons of the Baltic Sea, but also the Pacific Ocean before sending them off in the war against Japan. The development of Liepaja continued: promenades, surrounded by Dutch linden trees, joined squares and parks in one united plantation system. On September 20, 1910 Liepaja City Council made a decision to close the New Market and start modernization of the city centre. In 1911 Liepaja obtained its symbol – the Rose Square. In the independent Republic of Latvia the implementation of the agrarian reform was started and the task to provide inhabitants with flats was set. Around 1927 in the Technical Department of Liepaja City the development of the master-plan was started: the territory of the city was divided into the industrial, commercial, residential and resort zone, which was greened. It was planned to lengthen Lord’s (Latvian: Kungu) Street with a dam, partly filling up Lake Liepaja in order to build the water-main and provide traffic with the eastern bank. The passed “Law of City Lands” and “Regulations for City Construction and Development of Construction Plans and Development Procedure” in Latvia Republic in 1928 promoted a gradual development of cities. In 1932 Liepaja received the radio transmitter. On the northern outskirts a sugar factory was built (architect Kārlis Bikše; 1933). The construction of the city centre was supplemented with the Latvian Society House (architect Kārlis Blauss and Valdis Zebauers; 1934-1935) and Army Economical Shop (architect Aleksandrs Racenis), as well as the building of a pawnshop and saving bank (architect Valdis Zebauers; 1936-1937). The hotel “Pēterpils”, which became the property of the municipality in 1936, was renamed as the “City Hotel” and it was rebuilt in 1938. In New Liepaja the Friendly Appeal Elementary school was built (architect Karlis Bikše), but in the Naval Officers Meeting House was restored and it was adapted for the needs of the Red Cross Bone Tuberculosis Sanatorium (architect Aleksandrs Klinklāvs; 1930-1939). The Soviet military power was restored in Latvia and it was included in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. During the World War II buildings in the city centre around the Rose Square and Great (Latvian: Lielā) Street were razed. When the war finished, the “Building Complex Scheme for 1946-1950” was developed for Liepaja. In August 1950 the city was announced as closed: the trade port was adapted to military needs. Neglecting the historical planning of the city, in 1952 the restoration of the city centre building was started, applying standard projects. The restoration of Liepaja City centre building carried out during the post-war period has not been studied. Research goal: analyse restoration proposals for Liepaja City centre building, destroyed during World War II, and the conception appropriate to the socialism ideology and further development of construction.

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Hearn, James (Jim) Joseph. "Percy." M/C Journal 13, no.5 (October16, 2010). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.284.

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Percy was a put upon pig. Everywhere he went, others pointed and stared. It was never Percy’s intention to be the focus of gossip and innuendo, but it seemed that from the moment he was born, other animals were destined to imbue him with all sorts of various—and often competing—meanings. Percy had asked for none of it. He thought of life as a rather simple affair. What made it complex and often baffling had more to do with what his farmyard friends projected onto him rather than anything that Percy would describe as pig related. As such, Percy had decided early on in life, that he would have no truck with superstition of any kind. The horses would grimace as he walked by; the cows would shake their heads and smile as if … well, Percy could never work out what the ‘as if’ stood in for. It obviously, though, had something to do with long, long ago. Recently, Percy had begun thinking about leaving the farm. This was not a decision to be taken lightly; in fact, it required a great deal of thought and careful planning: mulling over possible outcomes, unforeseen dangers and bends in the road. All clichés of course, but so many elements of any journey are. It was in the setting off, Percy reasoned, that the clichéd nature of any journey ended, and the individual narrative began. Percy’s one friend in the farmyard was Ian the carpet snake, and like Percy, he was unpopular with the other animals. Ian was something of a philosopher and Percy enjoyed their occasional conversations, particularly when things were going poorly for him with the other animals. Which was generally often and generally for reasons that had to do with ancient history rather than any particular matter at hand. “I think that it’s my body that’s the problem”, Percy sighed to Ian as he trotted into the barn. Ian was never quick to respond, reluctant as he was to withdraw from whatever band of sunlight he had managed to slither into. “And what problem is that little pig”, Ian demurred, unable to open his eyes just yet. “Oh well, the same problem as ever I expect”, Percy replied, obviously troubled by his relationships with the other animals in the farmyard. “They’ve been at it again have they?” Ian asked. “The thing is they’re never not at it”, Percy said grumpily. “And I’m sick of trying to work out why it is that everyone has such problems with me”. “Perhaps if you weren’t the only pig in the farmyard …” “But that’s just it, I am the only pig in the farmyard and it’s becoming intolerable. I have no understanding as to why, for the horses, I am an utter disgrace: to the cows, I’m something to pity; the birds see me as an object of ridicule and the chickens … are so arrogant toward me. Chickens! For goodness sake!” “And how is all this related to your body?” Ian asked. “Well,” Percy began, “I can’t help but think I’m somehow flawed. It’s as if my body is a joke of some kind. And it’s a joke that everyone else seems to understand but me. And no one, and I do mean no one, is prepared to tell me the joke to my face. If only I could understand why they feel so strongly about my very presence I might be able to argue my case, assure them that I am somehow different to the pigs they have in their minds”. “Mmm”, Ian muttered as he slithered into a coil and out of his sunlight. This was always the moment of commitment with Ian; the moment that signified a conversation was becoming interesting to the point where he might be encouraged to say something deep and wise; profound even. “Well, they do have a point, Percy”, Ian said. “You are enormously fat, your legs are very short, and your tail curls in disgrace at the size of your behind”. “But that’s just who I am”, squealed Percy in despair. “I can’t help the form my body takes”. Percy was close to tears, his frustration beginning to overwhelm him. “Do not cry or I will not talk to you”, Ian demanded, suddenly forceful. “Oh not you too. Can’t you see I’m distressed? My body”, Percy began, “is constantly hungry. It gives me no relief and my legs … can’t you see they have to be this way in order to support my frame? Being short means my legs are very powerful, they can move me about at more than a fair clip. It’s not right that the horses belittle me. It’s as if all the other animals think I’ve somehow asked to be born this way. As if … no one can see my good points”. “And tell me, Percy”, Ian asked kindly, “what are your good points?” “Well”, Percy replied, “I’m not fussy. I’m very pragmatic. I’m not a dreamer like the cows, or vain like the horses. Nor am I unable to commit like the birds. I have a great capacity to enlighten others as to the possibilities of pleasure and”, Percy continued, a little less sure, “I am loyal and kind”. “Mmm”, Ian demurred once more, “and yet the others are still unkind to you”. “The grasshoppers say that it’s a hangover from the dark ages; that no one actually remembers why it is they should hate me … it’s just that everyone’s sure that is what they’re supposed to do”. “Perhaps,” began Ian, “If you ate a little less?” “But you don’t understand either”, Percy cried. “You’re meant to be my friend, Ian. My one and only friend and yet you criticise me just like they do. As if … as if, my very pig-ness offends you”. “Well I do know how you feel if that is any consolation, Percy. Trust me when I say that my fan club are not people you want to hang out with. Honestly, snake lovers are troubled folk. They simple don’t understand a snake’s desire to be left alone”. “Well I don’t want to be left alone. I want to belong!” shouted Percy. So loud did Percy shout, that the horses standing outside the barn overheard him. And the idea of Percy wanting to belong made them laugh and neigh so loudly that the noise threatened to bring the humans over. Which was never a good idea. Except at feeding time. “Oh, Percy”, Ian sighed, as the horses cantered off shaking their manes in the breeze. “You can’t escape your identity. You think I want to be a carpet snake? Well, I don’t. I want to be an eagle. I’d do anything to be an eagle but that’s just not going to happen. One has to accept ones fate. And unfortunately for you, what being a pig means in this particular moment, is … well”, Ian said rationally, “rather a sad thing. But I will say this, being a pig is better than being a rat. Rats are foul and nasty creatures and you will not find anyone to disagree”. “Except perhaps a rat”, Percy exclaimed. “Oh, they know what foul creatures they are alright”, Ian corrected Percy. “But only because everyone thinks poorly of them”, Percy implored. “Such reasons exist for good … reason”, Ian stated. “Well I’m sure that the reason there are so many rats is because they know they have to stick together. They know the world is against them through no fault of their own”. “For goodness sake, Percy … our identities are put upon us all. Depending upon who our parents are, what time and place we are born into. Tell me this … if you were born a hundred years ago in a different country, do you think you would be the same pig? Do you think you would even speak the same language?” “Well … I don’t know. I’m sure I would have the same pig qualities”. “Indeed. But those qualities belong to your body, to your pig-ness rather than to who Percy is”. “But who Percy is … is constantly put-upon. Constantly manufactured by the other animals. It’s as if my fate was already decided when I was born; as if, just being born a pig was somehow wrong; somehow a disgraceful, offensive thing”. “Exactly”, Ian agreed enthusiastically. “Well, it’s not logical. It’s offensive and cruel”, Percy replied, suddenly agitated. “No one … not one single other animal has ever thought to address me as Percy. They simply see me as a pig. And the absolute worst thing about that is, being a pig, is somehow a dreadful thing for each and every other animal in the farmyard. No one thinks highly of pigs. Not even the dreadful fox who despite his cruel nature would never think to eat pork”. “Well … I’m sure if you lost a little weight’, Ian suggested. “Oh, you’re no help at all”, Percy exclaimed, suddenly angry. “Well I’m not going to take it anymore. I’m going to find a place where I belong. A place where other pigs like me have opportunities and the chance …”, Percy broke off, his courage suddenly deserting him. “The chance for what?” Ian enquired rather cynically. “It doesn’t matter”, Percy replied. “Oh, I think it does” Ian added. “You do, after all, need to know the reason for setting off”. “The reason I’m setting off is because I’m tired of being the only pig; the only animal in the barn who is put-upon is such vicious ways. Why have such dreadful meanings attached themselves to my pig-ness? It’s not fair. I want the chance”, Percy continued. “I want the chance to like my pig-ness, to celebrate my short, fat body and curly tail. I want to find a place where what it means to be a pig is normal rather than something obscure or somehow something to be ridiculed”. “Mmm”, Ian muttered once more as he stretched his long body into the fading band of light. “Good luck and God speed little pig”. “And I’m not a little pig!” Percy exclaimed as he trotted away from Ian, into the reassuring squalor of his pen. Later that night, after all the other animals had fallen asleep, Percy gently opened the latch that kept the gate of his pen closed, walked to the open door of the barn, then disappeared into the bright and starry night. The next morning there was much commotion in the barnyard. The farmer, upon realising that Percy had disappeared, mounted a short though thorough search of the farm. All the other animals were surprised by the farmer’s obvious concern for Percy. It was a concern that the other animals did not share. “Good thing, too”, said the horses amongst each other. “Dreadful little animal”, said the cows. “The neighbourhood is so much cleaner already”, tweetered the birds. “And less smelly”, chimed in the chickens. “Good riddance”, agreed Ian the carpet snack, who was keen to use the occasion to ingratiate himself with the other animals. “You know …” said the oldest and wisest of the cows. “To be born a pig is a punishment from the Gods”. “Yes I know”, said the horse standing next to the cow. “That pig must have killed someone in a past life”. “Yes”, replied the cow, “I never did like the way he tried to be so friendly when he was obviously such a foul creature”. “His very pig-ness disgusted me”, agreed Ian. “Still …”, replied the old cow somewhat suspiciously to Ian. “You did talk with him from time to time”. “It wasn’t that I liked talking to the pig”, corrected Ian. “The pig would simply trot over to where I was … on those dreadful, stumpy, trotting legs and talk and talk and talk. Last time he did so I was asleep; I didn’t wake up until he’d uttered his last sentence”. “You were giggling like a couple of school children yesterday”, corrected the horse. “It wasn’t me…”, Ian replied, attempting to correct the impression that Percy and he were somehow friends. “If you really want to know what happened to the pig last night … I ate him”. The other animals were suddenly dumbfounded. “Liar”, said the old cow. “Yes, liar”, agreed the horse. “It’s not a lie. I always hated that pig and last night …. When everyone else was asleep, I ate the pig”, Ian lied. “You’re a liar, snake. I saw the pig leave early this morning. He opened the latch on the gate to his pen and walked out the barn door without so much as a backwards glance”. Ian looked around at the other animals. Then he slithered away. “That damn snake is just as bad as the pig”, snorted horse. “Worse”, suggested the wise old cow. “You know snakes are compelled to live their lives so close to the ground because the Gods cut off all their legs after one of them lied about what he was capable of”. “Sounds just like that horrible carpet snake”, sneered chicken. “And carpet snakes are called carpet snakes because they came from that dreadful country over the hill that makes the rugs that humans love so much”. “Dreadful, dreadful, slithering snake”, hissed the blackest of the horses. Percy trotted merrily in the bright morning sun, just off to the side of the dirt road. He found that constantly travelling suited him. The whole idea of living in a pen was actually not something he ever wanted to return to. In fact, despite his initial fears when he set off the night before, Percy decided there was very little he liked about his past life. Now that he had his freedom he was determined to keep it; treasure it like the most precious of things. All the animals had decided at a hastily convened meeting that Ian the carpet snake had to be disposed of. Everyone agreed that the farm would be a much friendlier place without both the pig and the snake. “This is our one chance”, horse said very slowly and seriously. “If we don’t grasp it now, we will be forever condemned to share our farm with creatures who none of us like”. “It is a rare opportunity”, mused the cow. “Well it simply has to happen”, said the chicken haughtily. “What we need”, suggested the horse. “Is a plan”. “Yes”, agreed the cow. “Well I already have a plan”, said the bird from up in the tree. “And what’s that?” asked the horse. “Well, because the snake always eats all the mice before any of us birds have a chance to indulge, our plan is to poison a mice and then … just before it dies, place it near the carpet snake so he eats it and in so doing, poisons himself”. The other animals all looked up at the two birds on the branch above their heads. “You’ve really thought about this”, horse said. “Well, of course we have”, fumed the other bird. “Why just yesterday I was swooping down on a little mouse and just as I reached out to grab it in my claws, that evil snake swooped from nowhere and swallowed it whole”. “The snake is very greedy”, mused the cow. “Yes. Nobody likes the snake. Am I right?” asked the horse. “Hear, hear”, everyone agreed. “Right. Put your plan into action then birds and let’s all meet back here in an hour”, commanded the horse. “Good luck”, called the chickens after the birds. Percy couldn’t believe his eyes. He’d heard the noise in the distance as he trotted along in the sun, and then, from out of nowhere, a truck had turned a corner on the winding dirt road and driven straight past him. On board the truck was layer upon layer of pigs; what seemed to Percy like millions of pigs. A whole high-rise city of moving pigs, all squealing and talking in a language that was unfamiliar to him. And as the truck that was filled with pigs rolled past Percy, all he could do was follow it with his eyes. Suddenly Percy was overcome with a sense that his destiny lay onboard that truck; that if only he could manage to get inside the city of moving pigs then he would finally feel that he had found somewhere he could belong. Percy set off at a furious pace, running as fast as he could after the truck. As he got closer and closer, he realised that all the pigs were calling out to him. They seemed to be cheering him on, excited … no, desperate for him to succeed. Percy thought that if he could just run up alongside the driver’s window and somehow get his attention—perhaps by squealing very, very loudly—that the driver would stop the truck and ... The city of pigs continued to squeal desperately at Percy as he raced past their many faces. And Percy squealed back as best he could, desperate to get to the front of the truck and draw the driver’s attention. The truck suddenly slowed to negotiate a bump in the dirt road and Percy found himself in front off the cab. He turned back to face the slowly rolling wheels of the truck and squealed at the top of his voice. The truck’s air brakes hissed noisily and then the whole countryside went quiet for a beat. Percy was breathing very heavily; his face was deep red as he looked desperately up at the windscreen of the cab. Both doors of the truck opened at once and the driver and his passenger hopped to the ground. “Never seen that before”, said the passenger to the driver. “No. Wonder where he came from?” asked the driver. “I think he wants to get on board”, suggested the passenger. Then both the men laughed as they whistled to Percy and slapped at their legs, encouraging the pig to join them at the back of the truck. All the other pigs suddenly squealed as one, desperate to get Percy’s attention. Percy had never heard such a noise; it was both completely familiar though unintelligible. The other pigs seemed somehow overwhelmed by his presence … as if, they’d never seen a pig quite like Percy before. And Percy, as he trotted up the ramp of the truck into the comforting squalor of a million other pigs, squealed happily back at them, finally knowing what it felt like to belong.

24

Mead, Amy. "Bold Walks in the Inner North: Melbourne Women’s Memoir after Jill Meagher." M/C Journal 20, no.6 (December31, 2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1321.

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Each year, The Economist magazine’s “Economist Intelligence Unit” ranks cities based on “healthcare, education, stability, culture, environment and infrastructure”, giving the highest-ranking locale the title of most ‘liveable’ (Wright). For the past six years, The Economist has named Melbourne “the world’s most liveable city” (Carmody et al.). A curious portmanteau, the concept of liveability is problematic: what may feel stable and safe to some members of the community may marginalise others due to several factors such as gender, disability, ethnicity or class.The subjective nature of this term is referred to in the Australian Government’s 2013 State of Cities report, in the chapter titled ‘Liveability’:In the same way that the Cronulla riots are the poster story for cultural conflict, the attack on Jillian Meagher in Melbourne’s Brunswick has resonated strongly with Australians in many capital cities. It seemed to be emblematic of their concern about violent crime. Some women in our research reported responding to this fear by arming themselves. (274)Twenty-nine-year-old Jill Meagher’s abduction, rape, and murder in the inner northern suburb of Brunswick in 2012 disturbs the perception of Melbourne’s liveability. As news of the crime disseminated, it revived dormant cultural narratives that reinforce a gendered public/private binary, suggesting women are more vulnerable to attack than men in public spaces and consequently hindering their mobility. I investigate here how texts written by women writers based in Melbourne’s inner north can latently serve as counter narratives to this discourse, demonstrating how urban public space can be benign, even joyful, rather than foreboding for women. Cultural narratives that promote the vulnerability of women oppress urban freedoms; this paper will use these narratives solely as a catalyst to explore literary texts by women that enact contrary narratives that map a city not by vicarious trauma, but instead by the rich complexity of women’s lives in their twenties and thirties.I examine two memoirs set primarily in Melbourne’s inner north: Michele Lee’s Banana Girl (2013) and Lorelai Vashti’s Dress, Memory: A memoir of my twenties in dresses (2014). In these texts, the inner north serves as ‘true north’, a magnetic destination for this stage of life, an opening into an experiential, exciting adult world, rather than a place haunted. Indeed, while Lee and Vashti occupy the same geographical space that Meagher did, these texts do not speak to the crime.The connection is made by me, as I am interested in the affective shift that follows a signal crime such as the Meagher case, and how we can employ literary texts to gauge a psychic landscape, refuting the discourse of fear that is circulated by the media following the event. I wish to look at Melbourne’s inner north as a female literary milieu, a site of boldness despite the public breaking that was Meagher’s murder: a site of female self-determination rather than community trauma.I borrow the terms “boldness”, “bold walk” and “breaking” from Finnish geographer Hille Koskela (and note the thematic resonances in scholarship from a city as far north as Helsinki). Her paper “Bold Walks and Breakings: Women’s spatial confidence versus fear of violence” challenges the idea that “fearfulness is an essentially female quality”, rather advocating for “boldness”, seeking to “emphasise the emancipatory content of … [women’s] stories” (302). Koskela uses the term “breaking” in her research (primarily focussed on experiences of Helsinki women) to describe “situations … that had transformed … attitudes towards their environment”, referring to the “spatial consequences” that were the result of violent crimes, or threats thereof. While Melbourne women obviously did not experience the Meagher case personally, it nevertheless resulted in what Koskela has dubbed elsewhere as “increased feelings of vulnerability” (“Gendered Exclusions” 111).After the Meagher case, media reportage suggested that Melbourne had been irreversibly changed, made vulnerable, and a site of trauma. As a signal crime, the attack and murder was vicariously experienced and mediated. Like many crimes committed against women in public space, Meagher’s death was transformed into a cautionary tale, and this storying was more pronounced due to the way the case played out episodically in the media, particularly online, allowing the public to follow the case as it unfolded. The coverage was visually hyperintensive, and particular attention was paid to Sydney Road, where Meagher had last been seen and where she had met her assailant, Adrian Bayley, who was subsequently convicted of her murder.Articles from media outlets were frequently accompanied by cartographic images that superimposed details of the case onto images of the local area—the mind map and the physical locality both marred by the crime. Yet Koskela writes, “the map of everyday experiences is in sharp contrast to the maps of the media. If a picture of a place is made by one’s own experiences it is more likely to be perceived as a safe ordinary place” (“Bold Walks” 309). How might this picture—this map—be made through genre? I am interested in how memoir might facilitate space for narratives that contest those from the media. Here I prefer the word memoir rather than use the term life-writing due to the former’s etymological adherence to memory. In Vashti and Lee’s texts, memory is closely linked to place and space, and for each of them, Melbourne is a destination, a city that they have come to alone from elsewhere. Lee came to the city after growing up in Canberra, and Vashti from Brisbane. In Dress, Memory, Vashti writes that the move to Melbourne “… makes you feel like a pioneer, one of those dusty and determined characters out of an American history novel trudging west to seek a land of gold and dreams” (83).Deeply engaging with Melbourne, the text eschews the ‘taken for granted’ backdrop idea of the city that scholar Jane Darke observes in fiction. She writes thatmodern women novelists virtually take the city as backdrop for granted as a place where a central female figure can be or becomes self-determining, with like-minded female friends as indispensable support and undependable men in walk-on roles. (97)Instead, Vashti uses memoir to self-consciously examine her relationship with her city, elaborating on the notion of moving from elsewhere as an act of self-determination, building the self through geographical relocation:You’re told you can find treasure – the secret bars hidden down the alleyways, the tiny shops filled with precious curios, the art openings overflowing onto the street. But the true gold that paves Melbourne’s footpaths is the promise that you can be a writer, an artist, a musician, a performer there. People who move there want to be discovered, they want to make a mark. (84)The paths are important here, as Vashti embeds herself on the street, walking through the text, generating an affective cartography as her life is played out in what is depicted as a benign, yet vibrant, urban space. She writes of “walking, following the grid of the city, taking in its grey blocks” (100), engendering a sense of what geographer Yi-Fu Tuan calls ‘topophilia’: “the affective bond between people and place or setting” (4). There is a deep bond between Vashti and Melbourne that is evident in her work that is demonstrated in her discussion of public space. Like her, friends from Brisbane trickle down South, and she lives with them in a series of share houses in the inner North—first Fitzroy, then Carlton, then North Melbourne, where she lives with two female friends and together they “roamed the streets during the day in a pack” (129).Vashti’s boldness not only lies in her willingness to take bodily to the streets, without fear, but also in her fastidious attention to her physical appearance. Her memoir is framed sartorially: chronologically arranged, from age twenty to thirty, each chapter featuring equally detailed reports of the events of that year as well as the corresponding outfits worn. A dress, transformative, is spotlighted in each of these chapters, and the author is photographed in each of these ‘feature’ dresses in a glossy section in the middle of the book. Koskela writes that, “if women dress up to be part of the urban spectacle, like 19th-century flâneurs, and also to mediate their confidence, they oppose their erasure and reclaim urban space”. For Koskela, the appearance of the body in public is an act of boldness:dressing can be seen as a means of reproducing power relations; in Foucaultian terms, it is a way of being one’s own overseer, and regulating even the most intimate spheres … on the other hand, interpreted in another way, dressing up can be seen as a form of resistance against the male gaze, as an opposition to the visual mastery over women, achieved by not being invisible or absent, but by dressing up proudly. (“Bold Walks” 309)Koskela’s affirmation that clothing can enact urban boldness contradicts reportage on the Meagher case that suggested otherwise. Some news outlets focussed on the high heels Meagher was wearing the night she was raped and murdered, as if to imply that she may have been able to elude her fate had she donned flats. The Age quotes witnesses who saw her on Sydney Road the night she was killed; one says she was “a little unsteady on her feet but not too bad”, another that she “seemed to be struggling to walk up the hill in her high heels” (Russell). But Vashti is well aware of the spatial confidence that the right clothing provides. In the chapter “Twenty-three”, she writes of being housebound by heartbreak, that “just leaving the house seemed like an epic undertaking”, so she “picked a dress a dress that would make me feel good … the woman in me emerged when I slid it on. In it, I instantly had shape, form. A purpose” (99). She and her friends don vocational costumes to outplay the competitive inner Melbourne rental market, eventually netting their North Melbourne terrace house by dressing like “young professionals”: “dressed up in smart op-shop blouses and pencil skirts to walk to the real estate office” (129).Michele Lee’s text Banana Girl also delves into the relationship between personal aesthetics and urban space, describing Melbourne as “a town of costumes, after all” (117), but her own style as “indifferently hip to the outside world without being slavish about it” (6). Lee’s world is East Brunswick for much of the book, and she establishes this connection early, introducing herself in the first chapter, as one of the “subversive and ironic people living in the hipster boroughs of the inner North of Melbourne” (6). She describes the women in her local area – “Brunswick Girls”, she dubs them: “no one wears visible make up, or if they do it’s not lathered on in visible layers; the haircuts are feminine without being too stylish, the clothing too; there’s an overall practical appearance” (89).Lee displays more of a knowingness than Vashti regarding the inner North’s reputation as the more progressive and creative side of the Yarra, confirmed by the Sydney Morning Herald:The ‘northside’ comprises North Melbourne, Carlton, Fitzroy, Collingwood, Abbotsford, Thornbury, Brunswick and Coburg. Bell Street is the boundary for northsiders. It stands for artists, warehouse parties, bicycles, underground music, lightless terrace houses, postmodernity and ‘awareness’. (Craig)As evidenced in late scholar John Maclaren’s book Melbourne: City of Words, the area has long enjoyed this reputation: “After the war, these neighbourhoods were colonized by migrants from Europe, and in the 1960s by the artists, musicians, writers, actors, junkies and layabouts whose stories Helen Garner was to tell” (146). As a young playwright, Lee sees herself reflected in this milieu, writing that she’s “an imaginative person, I’m university educated, I vote the way you’d expect me to vote and I’m a member of the CPSU. On principle I remain a union member” (7), toeing that line of “awareness” pithily mentioned by the SMH.Like Vashti, there are constant references to Lee’s exact geographical location in Melbourne. She ‘drops pins’ throughout, cultivating a connection to place that blurs home and the street, fostering a sense of belonging beyond one’s birthplace, belonging to a place chosen rather than raised in. She plants herself in this local geography. Returning to the first chapter, she includes “jogger by the Merri Creek” in her introduction (7), and later jokingly likens a friendship with an ex as “no longer on stage at the Telstra Dome but still on tour” (15), employing Melbourne landmarks as explanatory shorthand. She refers to places by name: one could physically tour inner North and CBD hotspots based on Lee’s text, as it is littered with mentions of bars, restaurants, galleries and theatre venues. She frequents the Alderman in East Brunswick and Troika in the city, as well as a bar that Jill Meagher spent time in on the night she went missing – the Brunswick Green.While offering the text a topographical authenticity, this can sometimes prove distracting: rather than simply stating that she goes to the library, she writes that she visits “the City of Melbourne library” (128), and rather than just going to a pizza parlour, they visit “Bimbo’s” (129) or “Pizza Meine Liebe” (101). Yet when Lee visits family in Canberra, or Laos on an arts grant, business names are forsaken. One could argue that the cultural capital offered by namedropping trendy Melburnian bars, restaurants and nightclubs translates awkwardly on the page, and risks dating the text considerably, but elevates the spatiality of Lee’s work. And these landmarks are important within the text, as Lee’s world is divided spatially. She refers to “Theatre Land” when discussing her work in the arts, and her share house not as ‘home’ but consistently as “Albert Street”. She partitions her life into these zones: zones of emotion, zones of intellect/career, zones of family/heritage – the text offers close insight into Lee’s personal cartography, with her traversing the map “stubbornly on foot, still resisting becoming part of Melbourne’s bike culture” (88).While not always walking alone – often accompanied by an ex-boyfriend she nicknames “Husband” – Lee is independently-minded, stating, “I operate solo, I pay my own way” (34), meeting up with various romantic and sexual interests through the text for daytime trysts in empty office buildings or late nights out in the CBD. She is adventurous, yet reminds that she was not always so. She recalls a time when she was still residing in Canberra and visited a boyfriend who was living in Melbourne and felt intimidated by the “alien city”, standing in stark contrast to the familiarity she demonstrates otherwise.Lee and Vashti’s texts both chronicle women who freely occupy public space, comfortable in their surroundings, not engaging on the page with cultural narratives and media reportage that suggest they would be safer off the streets. Both demonstrate what Koskela calls the “pleasure to be able to take possession of space” (“Bold Walks” 308) – yet it could be argued that the writer’s possession of space is so routine, so unremarkable that it transcends pleasure: it is comfortable. They walk the streets alone and catch public transport alone without incident. They contravene advice such as that given by Victorian Police Homicide Squad chief Mick Hughes’s comments that women shouldn’t be “alone in parks” following the fatal stabbing of teenager Masa Vukotic in a Doncaster park in 2015.Like Meagher’s death, Vukotic’s murder was also mobilised by the media – and one could argue, by authorities – to contain women, to further a narrative that reinforces the public/private gender binary. However, as Koskela reminds, the fact that some women are bold and confident shows that women are not only passively experiencing space but actively take part in producing it. They reclaim space for themselves, not only through single occasions such as ‘take back the night’ marches, but through everyday practices and routinized uses of space. (“Bold Walks” 316)These memoirs act as resistance, actively producing space through representation: to assert the right to the city, one must be bold, and reclaim space that is so often overlaid with stories of violence against women. As Koskela emphasises, this is only done through use of the space, “a way of de-mystifying it. If one does not use the space, … ‘the mental map’ of the place is filled with indirect descriptions, the image of it is constructed through media and the stories heard” (“Bold Walks” 308). Memoir can take back this image through stories told, demonstrating the personal connection to public space. Koskela writes that, “walking on the street can be seen as a political act: women ‘write themselves onto the street’” (“Urban Space in Plural” 263). ReferencesAustralian Government. Department of Infrastructure and Transport. State of Australian Cities 2013. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia, 2013. 17 Jan. 2017 <http://infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure/pab/soac/files/2013_00_infra1782_mcu_soac_full_web_fa.pdf>.Carmody, Broede, and Aisha Dow. “Top of the World: Melbourne Crowned World's Most Liveable City, Again.” The Age, 18 Aug. 2016. 17 Jan. 2017 <http://theage.com.au/victoria/top-of-the-world-melbourne-crowned-worlds-most-liveable-city-again-20160817-gqv893.html>.Craig, Natalie. “A City Divided.” Sydney Morning Herald, 5 Feb. 2012. 17 Jan. 2017 <http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/about-town/a-city-divided-20120202-1quub.html>.Darke, Jane. “The Man-Shaped City.” Changing Places: Women's Lives in the City. Eds. Chris Booth, Jane Darke, and Susan Yeadle. London: Paul Chapman Publishing, 1996. 88-99.Koskela, Hille. “'Bold Walk and Breakings’: Women's Spatial Confidence versus Fear of Violence.” Gender, Place and Culture 4.3 (1997): 301-20.———. “‘Gendered Exclusions’: Women's Fear of Violence and Changing Relations to Space.” Geografiska Annaler, Series B, Human Geography, 81.2 (1999). 111–124.———. “Urban Space in Plural: Elastic, Tamed, Suppressed.” A Companion to Feminist Geography. Eds. Lise Nelson and Joni Seager. Blackwell, 2005. 257-270.Lee, Michele. Banana Girl. Melbourne: Transit Lounge, 2013.MacLaren, John. Melbourne: City of Words. Arcadia, 2013.Russell, Mark. ‘Happy, Witty Jill Was the Glue That Held It All Together.’ The Age, 19 June 2013. 30 Jan. 2017 <http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/happy-witty-jill-was-the-glue-that-held-it-all-together-20130618-2ohox.html>Tuan, Yi-Fu. Topophilia: A Study of Environmental Perception, Attitudes and Values. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall Inc, 1974.Wright, Patrick, “Melbourne Ranked World’s Most Liveable City for Sixth Consecutive Year by EIU.” ABC News, 18 Aug. 2016. 17 Jan. 2017 <http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-18/melbourne-ranked-worlds-most-liveable-city-for-sixth-year/7761642>.

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Apperley, Tom, Bjorn Nansen, Michael Arnold, and Rowan Wilken. "Broadband in the Burbs: NBN Infrastructure, Spectrum Politics and the Digital Home." M/C Journal 14, no.4 (August23, 2011). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.400.

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The convergence of suburban homes and digital media and communications technologies is set to undergo a major shift as next-generation broadband infrastructures are installed. Embodied in the Australian Government’s National Broadband Network (NBN) and the delivery of fibre-optic cable to the front door of every suburban home, is an anticipated future of digital living that will transform the landscape and experience of suburban life. Drawing from our research, and from industry, policy and media documents, we map some scenarios of the NBN rollout in its early stages to show that this imaginary of seamless broadband in the suburbs and the transformation of digital homes it anticipates is challenged by local cultural and material geographies, which we describe as a politics of spectrum. The universal implementation of policy across Australia faces a considerable challenge in dealing with Australia’s physical environment. Geography has always had a major impact on communications technologies and services in Australia, and a major impetus of building a national broadband network has been to overcome the “tyranny of distance” experienced by people in many remote, regional and suburban areas. In 2009 the minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE), Stephen Conroy, announced that with the Government’s NBN policy “every person and business in Australia, no-matter where they are located, will have access to affordable, fast broadband at their fingertips” (Conroy). This ambition to digitally connect and include imagines the NBN as the solution to the current patchwork of connectivity and Internet speeds experienced across the country (ACCAN). Overcoming geographic difference and providing fast, universal and equitable digital access is to be realised through an open access broadband network built by the newly established NBN Co. Limited, jointly owned by the Government and the private sector at a cost estimated at $43 billion over eight years. In the main this network will depend upon fibre-optics reaching over 90% of the population, and achieving download speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s. The remaining population, mostly living in rural and remote areas, will receive wireless and satellite connections providing speeds of 12 Mbit/s (Conroy). Differential implementation in relation to comparisons of urban and remote populations is thus already embedded in the policy, yet distance is not the only characteristic of Australia’s material geographies that will shape the physical implementation of the NBN and create a varied spectrum of the experience of broadband. Instead, in this article we examine the uneven experience of broadband we may see occurring within suburban regions; places in which enhanced and collective participation in the digital economy relies upon the provision of faster transmission speeds and the delivery of fibre “the last mile” to each and every premise. The crucial platform for delivering broadband to the ’burbs is the digital home. The notion of the connected or smart or digital home has been around in different guises for a number of decades (e.g. Edwards et al.), and received wide press coverage in the 1990s (e.g. Howard). It has since been concretised in the wake of the NBN as telecommunications companies struggle to envision a viable “next step” in broadband consumption. Novel to the NBN imaginary of the digital home is a shift from thinking about the digital home in terms of consumer electronics and interoperable or automatic devices, based on shared standards or home networking, to addressing the home as a platform embedded within the economy. The digital home is imagined as an integral part of a network of digital living with seamless transitions between home, office, supermarket, school, and hospital. In the imaginary of the NBN, the digital home becomes a vital connection in the growing digital economy. Communications Patchwork, NBN Roll-Out and Infrastructure Despite this imagined future of seamless connectivity and universal integration of suburban life with the digital economy, there has been an uneven take-up of fibre connections. We argue that this suggests that the particularities of place and the materialities of geography are relevant for understanding the differential uptake of the NBN across the test sites. Furthermore, we maintain that these issues provide a useful model for understanding the ongoing process and challenges that the rollout of the NBN will face in providing even access to the imagined future of the digital home to all Australians. As of June 2011 an average of 70 per cent of homes in the five first release NBN sites have agreed to have the fibre cables installed (Grubb). However, there is a dramatic variation between these sites: in Armidale, NSW, and Willunga, SA, the percentage of properties consenting to fibre connections on their house is between 80-90 per cent; whereas in Brunswick, Victoria, and Midway Point, Tasmania, the take-up rate is closer to 50 per cent (Grubb). We suggest that these variations are created by a differential geography of connectivity that will continue to grow in significance as the NBN is rolled out to more locations around Australia. These can be seen to emerge as a consequence of localised conditions relating to, for example, installation policy, a focus on cost, and installation logistics. Another significant factor, unable to be addressed within the scope of this paper, is the integration of the NBN with each household’s domestic network of hardware devices, internal connections, software, and of course skill and interest. Installation Policy The opt-in policy of the NBN Co requires that owners of properties agree to become connected—as opposed to being automatically connected unless they opt-out. This makes getting connected a far simpler task for owner-occupiers over renters, because the latter group were required to triangulate with their landlords in order to get connected. This was considered to be a factor that impacted on the relatively low uptake of the NBN in Brunswick and Midway Point, and is reflected in media reports (Grubb) and our research: There was a bit of a problem with Midway Point, because I think it is about fifty percent of the houses here are rentals, and you needed signatures from the owners for the box to be put onto the building (anon. “Broadband in the Home” project). …a lot of people rent here, so unless their landlord filled it in they wouldn’t know (anon. “Broadband in the Home” project). The issue is exacerbated by the concentration of rental properties in particular suburbs and complicated rental arrangements mediated through agents, which prevent effective communication between the occupiers and owners of a property. In order to increase take-up in Tasmania, former State Premier, David Bartlett, successfully introduced legislation to the Tasmanian state legislature in late 2010 to make the NBN opt-out rather than opt-in. This reversed the onus of responsibility and meant that in Tasmania all houses and businesses would be automatically connected unless otherwise requested, and in order to effect this simple policy change, the government had to change trespass laws. However, other state legislatures are hesitant to follow the opt-out model (Grubb). Differentials in owner-occupied and rental properties within urban centres, combined with opt-in policies, are likely to see a continuation of the connectivity patchwork that that has thus far characterised Australian communications experience. A Focus on Cost Despite a great deal of public debate about the NBN, there is relatively little discussion of its proposed benefits. The fibre-to-the-home structure of the NBN is also subject to fierce partisan political debate between Australia’s major political parties, particularly around the form and cost of its implementation. As a consequence of this preoccupation with cost, many Australian consumers cannot see a “value proposition” in connecting, and are not convinced of the benefits of the NBN (Brown). The NBN is often reduced to an increased minimum download rate, and to increased ISP fees associated with high speeds, rather than a broader discussion of how the infrastructure can impact on commerce, education, entertainment, healthcare, and work (Barr). Moreover, this lack of balance in the discussion of costs and benefits extends in some instances to outright misunderstandings about the difference between infrastructure and service provision: …my neighbour across the road did not understand what that letter meant, and she would have to have been one of dozens if not hundreds in the exactly the same situation, who thought they were signing up for a broadband plan rather than just access to the infrastructure (anon. “Broadband in the Home” project) Lastly, the advent of the NBN in the first release areas does not override the costs of existing contracts for broadband delivered over the current copper network. Australians are often required to sign long-term contracts that prevent them from switching immediately to the new HSB infrastructure. Installation Logistics Local variations in fibre installation were evident prior to the rollout of the NBN, when the increased provision of HSB was already being used as a marketing device for greenfield (newly developed) estates in suburban Australia. In the wake of the NBN rollouts, some housing developers have begun to lay “NBN-ready” optic fibre in greenfield estates. While this is a positive development for those who a purchasing a newly-developed property, those that invest in brownfield “re-developments,” may have to pay over twice the amount for the installation of the NBN (Neales). These varying local conditions of installation are reflected in the contractual arrangements for installing the fibre, the installers’ policies for installation, and the processes of installation (Darling): They’re gonna have to do 4000 houses a day … and it was a solid six months to get about 800 houses hooked up here. So, logistically I just can’t see it happening. (anon. “Broadband in the Home” project) Finally, for those who do not take-up the free initial installation offer, for whatever reason, there will be costs to have contractors return and connect the fibre (Grubb; Neales). Spectrum Politics, Fibre in the Neighbourhood The promise that the NBN will provide fast, universal and equitable digital access realised through a fibre-optic network is challenged by the experience of first release sites such as Midway Point. As evident above, and due to a number of factors, there is a likelihood in supposedly NBN-connected places of varied connectivity in which service will range from dial-up to DSL and ADSL to fibre and wireless, all within a single location. The varied connectivity in the early NBN rollout stages suggests that the patchwork of Internet connections commonly experienced in Australian suburbs will continue rather than disappear. This varied patchwork can be understood as a politics of spectrum. Rod Tucker (13-14) emphasises that the crucial element of spectrum is its bandwidth, or information carrying capacity. In light of this the politics of spectrum reframes the key issue of access to participation in the digital economy to examine stakes of the varying quality of connection (particularly download speeds), through the available medium (wireless, copper, coaxial cable, optical fibre), connection (modem, antenna, gateway) and service type (DSL, WiFi, Satellite, FTTP). This technical emphasis follows in the wake of debates about digital inclusion (e.g., Warschauer) to re-introduce the importance of connection quality—embedded in older “digital divide” discourse—into approaches that look beyond technical infrastructure to the social conditions of their use. This is a shift that takes account of the various and intertwined socio-technical factors influencing the quality of access and use. This spectrum politics also has important implications for the Universal Service Obligation (USO). Telstra (the former Telecom) continues to have the responsibility to provide every premise in Australia with a standard telephone service, that is at least a single copper line—or equivalent service—connection. However, the creation of the NBN Co. relieves Telstra of this obligation in the areas which have coverage from the fibre network. This agreement means that Telstra will gradually shut down its ageing copper network, following the pattern of the NBN rollout and transfer customers to the newly developed broadband fibre network (Hepworth and Wilson). Consequently, every individual phone service in those areas will be required to move onto the NBN to maintain the USO. This means that premises not connected to the NBN because the owners of the property opted out—by default or by choice—are faced with an uncertain future vis-à-vis the meaning and provision of the USO because they will not have access to either copper or fibre networks. At this extreme of spectrum politics, the current policy setting may result in households that have no possibility of a broadband connection. This potential problem can be resolved by a retro-rollout, in which NBN fibre connection is installed at some point in the future to every premises regardless of whether they originally agreed or not. Currently, however, the cost of a retrospective connection is expected to be borne by the consumer: “those who decline to allow NBN Co on to their property will need to pay up to $300 to connect to the NBN at a later date” (Grubb) Smaller, often brownfield development estates also face particular difficulties in the current long-term switch of responsibilities from Telstra to the NBN Co. This is because Telstra is reluctant to install new copper networks knowing that they will soon become obsolete. Instead, “in housing estates of fewer than 100 houses, Telstra is often providing residents with wireless phones that are unable to connect to the Internet” (Thompson). Thus a limbo is created, where new residents will not have access to either copper or fibre fixed line connections. Rather, they will have to use whatever wireless Internet is available in the area. Particularly concerning is that the period of the rollout is projected to last for eight years. As a result: “Thousands of Australians—many of them in regional areas—can expect years of worse, rather than better, Internet services as the National Broadband Network rolls out across the country” (Thompson). And, given different take-up rates and costs of retro-fitting, this situation could continue for many people and for many years after the initial rollout is completed. Implications of Spectrum Politics for the Digital Home What does this uncertain and patchwork future of connectivity imply for digital living and the next-generation broadband suburb? In contrast to the imagined post-NBN geography of the seamless digital home, local material and cultural factors will still create varied levels of service. This predicament challenges the ideals of organisations such as the Digital Living Network, an industry body comprised of corporate members, “based on principles of open standards and home networking interoperability [which] will unleash a rich digital media environment of interconnected devices that enable us all to experience our favorite content and services wherever and whenever we want” (Vohringer). Such a vision of convergence takes a domestic approach to the “Internet of things” by imagining a user-friendly network of personal computing, consumer electronics, mobile technologies, utilities, and other domestic technologies. The NBN anticipates a digital home that is integrated into the digital economy as a node of production and consumption. But this future is challenged by the patchwork of connectivity. Bruno Latour famously remarked that even the most extensive and powerful networks are local at every point. Although he was speaking of actor-networks, not broadband networks, analysis of the Australian experience of high-speed broadband would do well to look beyond its national characteristics to include its local characteristics, and the constellations between them. It is at the local level, importantly, at the level of the household and suburb, that the NBN will be experienced in daily life. As we have argued here, we have reason to expect that this experience will be as disparate as the network is distributed, and we have reason to believe that local cultural and material factors such as installation policies, discussions around costs and benefits, the household’s own internal digital infrastructure, and installation logistics at the level of the house and the neighbourhood, will continue to shape a patchworked geography of media and communications experiences for digital homes. References Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN). National Broadband Network: A Guide for Consumers. Internet Society of Australia (ISOC-AU) and ACCAN, 2011. Barr, Trevor. “A Broadband Services Typology.” The Australian Economic Review 43.2 (2010): 187-193. Brown, Damien. “NBN Now 10 Times Faster.” The Mercury 13 Aug. 2010. ‹http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2010/08/13/165435_todays-news.html›. Conroy, Stephen (Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy). “New National Broadband Network”. Canberra: Australian Government, 7 April 2009. ‹http://www.minister.dbcde.gov.au/media/media_releases/2009/022›. Darling, Peter. “Building the National Broadband Network.” Telecommunications Journal of Australia 60.3 (2010): 42.1-12. Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE). “Impacts of Teleworking under the NBN.” Report prepared by Access Economics. Canberra, 2010. Edwards, Keith, Rebecca Grinter, Ratul Mahajan, and David Wetherall. “Advancing the State of Home Networking.” Communications of the ACM 54.6 (2010): 62-71. Grubb, Ben. “Connect to NBN Now or Pay Up to $300 for Phone Line.” The Sydney Morning Herald 15 Oct. 2010. ‹http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/connect-to-nbn-now-or-pay-up-to-300-for-phone-line-20101015-16ms3.html›. Hepworth, Annabel, and Lauren Wilson. “Customers May Be Forced on to NBN to Keep Phones.” The Australian 12 Oct. 2010. ‹http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/customers-may-be-forced-on-to-nbn-to-keep-phones/story-fn59niix-1225937394605›. Howard, Sandy. “How Your Home Will Operate.” Business Review Weekly 25 April 1994: 100. Intel Corporation. “Intel and the Digital Home.” ‹http://www.intel.com/standards/case/case_dh.htm›. Latour, Bruno. Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. Neales, Sue. “Bartlett Looks at ‘Opt-out’ NBN.” The Mercury 28 July 2010. ‹http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2010/07/28/161721_tasmania-news.html›. Spigel, Lynn. “Media Homes: Then and Now.” International Journal of Cultural Studies 4.4 (2001): 385–411. Thompson, Geoff. “Thousands to Be Stuck in NBN ‘Limbo’.” ABC Online 26 April 2011. ‹http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/04/26/3200127.htm›. Tietze, S., and G. Musson. “Recasting the Home—Work Relationship: A Case of Mutual Adjustment?” Organization Studies 26.9 (2005): 1331–1352. Trulove, James Grayson (ed.). The Smart House. New York: HDI, 2003. Tucker, Rodney S. “Broadband Facts, Fiction and Urban Myths.” Telecommunications Journal of Australia 60.3 (2010): 43.1 to 43.15. Vohringer, Cesar. CTO of Philips Consumer Electronics (from June 2003 DLNA press release) cited on the Intel Corporation website. ‹http://www.intel.com/standards/case/case_dh.htm›. Warschauer, Mark. Technology and Social Inclusion: Rethinking the Digital Divide. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2003. Wilken, Rowan, Michael Arnold, and Bjorn Nansen. “Broadband in the Home Pilot Study: Suburban Hobart.” Telecommunications Journal of Australia 61.1 (2011): 5.1-16.

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Meleo-Erwin,ZoeC. "“Shape Carries Story”: Navigating the World as Fat." M/C Journal 18, no.3 (June10, 2015). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.978.

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Story spreads out through time the behaviors or bodies – the shapes – a self has been or will be, each replacing the one before. Hence a story has before and after, gain and loss. It goes somewhere…Moreover, shape or body is crucial, not incidental, to story. It carries story; it makes story visible; in a sense it is story. Shape (or visible body) is in space what story is in time. (Bynum, quoted in Garland Thomson, 113-114) Drawing on Goffman’s classic work on stigma, research documenting the existence of discrimination and bias against individuals classified as obese goes back five decades. Since Cahnman published “The Stigma of Obesity” in 1968, other researchers have well documented systematic and growing discrimination against fat people (cf. Puhl and Brownell; Puhl and Heuer; Puhl and Heuer; Fikkan and Rothblum). While weight-based stereotyping has a long history (Chang and Christakis; McPhail; Schwartz), contemporary forms of anti-fat stigma and discrimination must be understood within a social and economic context of neoliberal healthism. By neoliberal healthism (see Crawford; Crawford; Metzel and Kirkland), I refer to the set of discourses that suggest that humans are rational, self-determining actors who independently make their own best choices and are thus responsible for their life chances and health outcomes. In such a context, good health becomes associated with proper selfhood, and there are material and social consequences for those who either unwell or perceived to be unwell. While the greatest impacts of size-based discrimination are structural in nature, the interpersonal impacts are also significant. Because obesity is commonly represented (at least partially) as a matter of behavioral choices in public health, medicine, and media, to “remain fat” is to invite commentary from others that one is lacking in personal responsibility. Guthman suggests that this lack of empathy “also stems from the growing perception that obesity presents a social cost, made all the more tenable when the perception of health responsibility has been reversed from a welfare model” (1126). Because weight loss is commonly held to be a reasonable and feasible goal and yet is nearly impossible to maintain in practice (Kassierer and Angell; Mann et al.; Puhl and Heuer), fat people are “in effect, asked to do the impossible and then socially punished for failing” (Greenhalgh, 474). In this article, I explore how weight-based stigma shaped the decisions of bariatric patients to undergo weight loss surgery. In doing so, I underline the work that emotion does in circulating anti-fat stigma and in creating categories of subjects along lines of health and responsibility. As well, I highlight how fat bodies are lived and negotiated in space and place. I then explore ways in which participants take up notions of time, specifically in regard to risk, in discussing what brought them to the decision to have bariatric surgery. I conclude by arguing that it is a dynamic interaction between the material, social, emotional, discursive, and the temporal that produces not only fat embodiment, but fat subjectivity “failed”, and serves as an impetus for seeking bariatric surgery. Methods This article is based on 30 semi-structured interviews with American bariatric patients. At the time of the interview, individuals were between six months and 12 years out from surgery. After obtaining Intuitional Review Board approval, recruitment occurred through a snowball sample. All interviews were audio-taped with permission and verbatim interview transcripts were analyzed by means of a thematic analysis using Dedoose (www.dedoose.com). All names given in this article are pseudonyms. This work is part of a larger project that includes two additional interviews with bariatric surgeons as well as participant-observation research. Findings Navigating Anti-Fat Stigma In discussing what it was like to be fat, all but one of the individuals I interviewed discussed experiencing substantive size-based stigma and discrimination. Whether through overt comments, indirect remarks, dirty looks, open gawking, or being ignored and unrecognized, participants felt hurt, angry, and shamed by friends, family, coworkers, medical providers, and strangers on the street because of the size of their bodies. Several recalled being bullied and even physically assaulted by peers as children. Many described the experience of being fat or very fat as one of simultaneous hypervisibility and invisibility. One young woman, Kaia, said: “I absolutely was not treated like a person … . I was just like this object to people. Just this big, you know, thing. That’s how people treated me.” Nearly all of my participants described being told repeatedly by others, including medical professionals, that their inability to lose weight was effectively a failure of the will. They found these comments to be particularly hurtful because, in fact, they had spent years, even decades, trying to lose weight only to gain the weight back plus more. Some providers and family members seemed to take up the idea that shame could be a motivating force in weight loss. However, as research by Lewis et al.; Puhl and Huerer; and Schafer and Ferraro has demonstrated, the effect this had was the opposite of what was intended. Specifically, a number of the individuals I spoke with delayed care and avoided health-facilitating behaviors, like exercising, because of the discrimination they had experienced. Instead, they turned to health-harming practices, like crash dieting. Moreover, the internalization of shame and blame served to lower a sense of self-worth for many participants. And despite having a strong sense that something outside of personal behavior explained their escalating body weights, they deeply internalized messages about responsibility and self-control. Danielle, for instance, remarked: “Why could the one thing I want the most be so impossible for me to maintain?” It is important to highlight the work that emotion does in circulating such experiences of anti-fat stigma and discrimination. As Fraser et al have argued in their discussion on fat and emotion, the social, the emotional, and the corporeal cannot be separated. Drawing on Ahmed, they argue that strong emotions are neither interior psychological states that work between individuals nor societal states that impact individuals. Rather, emotions are constitutive of subjects and collectivities, (Ahmed; Fraser et al.). Negative emotions in particular, such as hate and fear, produce categories of people, by defining them as a common threat and, in the process, they also create categories of people who are deemed legitimate and those who are not. Thus following Fraser et al, it is possible to see that anti-fat hatred did more than just negatively impact the individuals I spoke with. Rather, it worked to produce, differentiate, and drive home categories of people along lines of health, weight, risk, responsibility, and worth. In this next section, I examine the ways in which anti-fat discrimination works at the interface of not only the discursive and the emotive, but the material as well. Big Bodies, Small Spaces When they discussed their previous lives as very fat people, all of the participants made reference to a social and built environment mismatch, or in Garland Thomson’s terms, a “misfit”. A misfit occurs “when the environment does not sustain the shape and function of the body that enters it” (594). Whereas the built environment offers a fit for the majority of bodies, Garland Thomson continues, it also creates misfits for minority forms of embodiment. While Garland Thomson’s analysis is particular to disability, I argue that it extends to fat embodiment as well. In discussing what it was like to navigate the world as fat, participants described both the physical and emotional pain entailed in living in bodies that did not fit and frequently discussed the ways in which leaving the house was always a potential, anxiety-filled problem. Whereas all of the participants I interviewed discussed such misfitting, it was notable that participants in the Greater New York City area (70% of the sample) spoke about this topic at length. Specifically, they made frequent and explicit mentions of the particular interface between their fat bodies and the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), and the tightly packed spaces of the city itself. Greater New York City area participants frequently spoke of the shame and physical discomfort in having to stand on public transportation for fear that they would be openly disparaged for “taking up too much room.” Some mentioned that transit seats were made of molded plastic, indicating by design the amount of space a body should occupy. Because they knew they would require more space than what was allotted, these participants only took seats after calculating how crowded the subway or train car was and how crowded it would likely become. Notably, the decision to not take a seat was one that was made at a cost for some of the larger individuals who experienced joint pain. Many participants stated that the densely populated nature of New York City made navigating daily life very challenging. In Talia’s words, “More people, more obstacles, less space.” Participants described always having to be on guard, looking for the next obstacle. As Candice put it: “I would walk in some place and say, ‘Will I be able to fit? Will I be able to manoeuvre around these people and not bump into them?’ I was always self-conscious.” Although participants often found creative solutions to navigating the hostile environment of both the MTA and the city at large, they also identified an increasing sense of isolation that resulted from the physical discomfort and embarrassment of not fitting in. For instance, Talia rarely joined her partner and their friends on outings to movies or the theater because the seats were too tight. Similarly, Decenia would make excuses to her husband in order to avoid social situations outside of the home: “I’d say to my husband, ‘I don’t feel well, you go.’ But you know what? It was because I was afraid not to fit, you know?” The anticipatory scrutinizing described by these participants, and the anxieties it produced, echoes Kirkland’s contention that fat individuals use the technique of ‘scanning’ in order to navigate and manage hostile social and built environments. Scanning, she states, involves both literally rapidly looking over situations and places to determine accessibility, as well as a learned assessment and observation technique that allows fat people to anticipate how they will be received in new situations and new places. For my participants, worries about not fitting were more than just internal calculation. Rather, others made all too clear that fat bodies are not welcome. Nina recalled nasty looks she received from other subway riders when she attempted to sit down. Decenia described an experience on a crowded commuter train in which the woman next to her openly expressed annoyance and disgust that their thighs were touching. Talia recalled being aggressively handed a weight loss brochure by a fellow passenger. When asked to contrast their experiences living in New York City with having travelled or lived elsewhere, participants almost universally described the New York as a more difficult place to live for fat people. However, the experiences of three of the Latinas that I interviewed troubled this narrative. Katrina felt that the harassment she received in her country of origin, the Dominican Republic, was far worse than what she now experienced in the New York Metropolitan Area. Although Decenia detailed painful experiences of anti-fat stigma in New York City, she nevertheless described her life as relatively “easy” compared to what it was like in her home country of Brazil. And Denisa contrasted her neighbourhood of East Harlem with other parts of Manhattan: “In Harlem it's different. Everybody is really fat or plump – so you feel a bit more comfortable. Not everybody, but there's a mix. Downtown – there's no mix.” Collectively, their stories serve as a reminder (see Franko et al.; Grabe and Hyde) to be suspicious of over determined accounts that “Latino culture” is (or people of colour communities in general are), more accepting of larger bodies and more resistant to weight-based stigma and discrimination. Their comments also reflect arguments made by Colls, Grosz, and Garland Thomson, who have all pointed to the contingent nature between space and bodies. Colls argue that sizing is both a material and an emotional process – what size we take ourselves to be shifts in different physical and emotional contexts. Grosz suggests that there is a “mutually constitutive relationship between bodies and cities” – one that, I would add, is raced, classed, and gendered. Garland Thomson has described the relationship between bodies and space/place as “a dynamic encounter between world and flesh.” These encounters, she states, are always contingent and situated: “When the spatial and temporal context shifts, so does the fit, and with it meanings and consequences” (592). In this sense, fat is materialized differently in different contexts and in different scales – nation, state, city, neighbourhood – and the materialization of fatness is always entangled with raced, classed, and gendered social and political-economic relations. Nevertheless, it is possible to draw some structural commonalities between divergent parts of the Greater New York City Metropolitan Area. Specifically, a dense population, cramped physical spaces, inaccessible transportation and transportation funding cuts, social norms of fast paced life, and elite, raced, classed, and gendered norms of status and beauty work to materialize fatness in such a way that a ‘misfit’ is often the result for fat people who live and/or work in this area. And importantly, misfitting, as Garland Thomson argues, has consequences: it literally “casts out” when the “shape and function of … bodies comes into conflict with the shape and stuff of the built world” (594). This casting out produces some bodies as irrelevant to social and economic life, resulting in segregation and isolation. To misfit, she argues, is to be denied full citizenship. Responsibilising the Present Garland Thomson, discussing Bynum’s statement that “shape carries story”, argues the following: “the idea that shape carries story suggests … that material bodies are not only in the spaces of the world but that they are entwined with temporality as well” (596). In this section, I discuss how participants described their decisions to get weight loss surgery by making references to the need take responsibility for health now, in the present, in order to avoid further and future morbidity and mortality. Following Adams et al., I look at how the fat body is lived in a state of constant anticipation – “thinking and living toward the future” (246). All of the participants I spoke with described long histories of weight cycling. While many managed to lose weight, none were able to maintain this weight loss in the long term – a reality consistent with the medical fact that dieting does not produce durable results (Kassirer and Angell; Mann et al.; Puhl and Heuer). They experienced this inability as not only distressing, but terrifying, as they repeatedly regained the lost weight plus more. When participants discussed their decisions to have surgery, they highlighted concerns about weight related comorbidities and mobility limitations in their explanations. Consistent then with Boero, Lopez, and Wadden et al., the participants I spoke with did not seek out surgery in hopes of finding a permanent way to become thin, but rather a permanent way to become healthy and normal. Concerns about what is considered to be normative health, more than simply concerns about what is held to be an appropriate appearance, motivated their decisions. Significantly, for these participants the decision to have bariatric surgery was based on concerns about future morbidity (and mortality) at least as much, if not more so, than on concerns about a current state of ill health and impairment. Some individuals I spoke with were unquestionably suffering from multiple chronic and even life threatening illnesses and feared they would prematurely die from these conditions. Other participants, however, made the decision to have bariatric surgery despite the fact that they had no comorbidities whatsoever. Motivating their decisions was the fear that they would eventually develop them. Importantly, medial providers explicitly and repeatedly told all of these participants that lest they take drastic and immediate action, they would die. For example: Faith’s reproductive endocrinologist said: “you’re going to have diabetes by the time you’re 30; you’re going to have a stroke by the time you’re 40. And I can only hope that you can recover enough from your stroke that you’ll be able to take care of your family.” Several female participants were warned that without losing weight, they would either never become pregnant or they would die in childbirth. By contrast, participants stated that their bariatric surgeons were the first providers they had encountered to both assert that obesity was a medical condition outside of their control and to offer them a solution. Within an atmosphere in which obesity is held to be largely or entirely the result of behavioural choices, the bariatric profession thus positions itself as unique by offering both understanding and what it claims to be a durable treatment. Importantly, it would be a mistake to conclude that some bariatric patients needed surgery while others choose it for the wrong reasons. Regardless of their states of health at the time they made the decision to have surgery, the concerns that drove these patients to seek out these procedures were experienced as very real. Whether or not these concerns would have materialized as actual health conditions is unknown. Furthermore, bariatric patients should not be seen as having been duped or suffering from ‘false consciousness.’ Rather, they operate within a particular set of social, cultural, and political-economic conditions that suggest that good citizenship requires risk avoidance and personal health management. As these individuals experienced, there are material and social consequences for ‘failing’ to obtain normative conceptualizations of health. This set of conditions helps to produce a bariatric patient population that includes both those who were contending with serious health concerns and those who feared they would develop them. All bariatric patients operate within this set of conditions (as do medical providers) and make decisions regarding health (current, future, or both) by using the resources available to them. In her work on the temporalities of dieting, Coleman argues that rather than seeing dieting as a linear and progressive event, we might think of it instead a process that brings the future into the present as potential. Adams et al suggest concerns about potential futures, particularly in regard to health, are a defining characteristic of our time. They state: “The present is governed, at almost every scale, as if the future is what matters most. Anticipatory modes enable the production of possible futures that are lived and felt as inevitable in the present, rendering hope and fear as important political vectors” (249). The ability to act in the present based on potential future risks, they argue, has become a moral imperative and a marker of proper of citizenship. Importantly, however, our work to secure the ‘best possible future’ is never fully assured, as risks are constantly changing. The future is thus always uncertain. Acting responsibly in the present therefore requires “alertness and vigilance as normative affective states” (254). Importantly, these anticipations are not diagnostic, but productive. As Adams et al state, “the future arrives already formed in the present, as if the emergency has already happened…a ‘sense’ of the simultaneous uncertainty and inevitability of the future, usually manifest in entanglements of fear and hope” (250). It is in this light, then, that we might see the decision to have bariatric surgery. For these participants, their future weight-related morbidity and mortality had already arrived in the present and thus they felt they needed to act responsibly now, by undergoing what they had been told was the only durable medical intervention for obesity. The emotions of hope, fear, anxiety and I would suggest, hatred, were key in making these decisions. Conclusion Medical, public health, and media discourses frame obesity as an epidemic that threatens to bring untold financial disaster and escalating rates of morbidity and mortality upon the nation state and the world at large. As Fraser et al argue, strong emotions (such hatred, fear, anxiety, and hope), are at the centre of these discourses; they construct, circulate, and proliferate them. Moreover, they create categories of people who are deemed legitimate and categories of others who are not. In this context, the participants I spoke with were caught between a desire to have fatness understood as a medical condition needing intervention; the anti-fat attitudes of others, including providers, which held that obesity was a failure of the will and nothing more; their own internalization of these messages of personal responsibility for proper behavioural choices, and, the biologically intractable nature of fatness wherein dieting not only fails to reduce weight in the vast majority of cases but results, in the long term, in increased weight gain (Kassirer and Angell; Mann et al.; Puhl and Heuer). Widespread anxiety and embarrassment over and fear and hatred of fatness was something that the individuals I interviewed experienced directly and which signalled to them that they were less than human. Their desire for weight loss, therefore was partially a desire to become ‘normal.’ In Butler’s term, it was the desire for a ‘liveable life. ’A liveable life, for these participants, included a desire for a seamless fit with the built environment. The individuals I spoke with were never more ashamed of their fatness than when they experienced a ‘misfit’, in Garland Thomson’s terms, between their bodies and the material world. Moreover, feelings of shame over this disjuncture worked in tandem with a deeply felt, pressing sense that something must be done in the present to secure a better health future. The belief that bariatric surgery might finally provide a durable answer to obesity served as a strong motivating factor in their decisions to undergo bariatric surgery. By taking drastic action to lose weight, participants hoped to contest stigmatizing beliefs that their fat bodies reflected pathological interiors. Moreover, they sought to demonstrate responsibility and thus secure proper subjectivities and citizenship. In this sense, concerns, anxieties, and fears about health cannot be disentangled from the experience of anti-fat stigma and discrimination. Again, anti-fat bias, for these participants, was more than discursive: it operated through the circulation of emotion and was experienced in a very material sense. The decision to have weight loss surgery can thus be seen as occurring at the interface of emotion, flesh, space, place, and time, and in ways that are fundamentally shaped by the broader social context of neoliberal healthism. AcknowledgmentI am grateful to the anonymous reviewers of this article for their helpful feedback on earlier version. References Adams, Vincanne, Michelle Murphy, and Adele E. Clarke. “Anticipation: Technoscience, Life, Affect, Temporality.” Subjectivity 28.1 (2009): 246-265. Ahmed, Sara. “Affective Economies.” Social Text 22.2 (2004): 117-139 Boero, Natalie. Killer Fat: Media, Medicine, and Morals in the American "Obesity Epidemic". New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2012. Butler, Judith. Undoing Gender. New York: Routledge, 2004. Bynum, Caroline Walker. 1999. Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities. National Endowment for the Humanities. Washington, DC, 1999. Cahnman, Werner J. “The Stigma of Obesity.” The Sociological Quarterly 9.3 (1968): 283-299. Chang, Virginia W., and Nicholas A. Christakis. “Medical Modeling of Obesity: A Transition from Action to Experience in a 20th Century American Medical Textbook.” Sociology of Health & Illness 24.2 (2002): 151-177. Coleman, Rebecca. “Dieting Temporalities: Interaction, Agency and the Measure of Online Weight Watching.” Time & Society 19.2 (2010): 265-285. Colls, Rachel. “‘Looking Alright, Feeling Alright:’ Emotions, Sizing, and the Geographies of Women’s Experience of Clothing Consumption.” Social & Cultural Geography 5.4 (2004): 583-596. Crawford, Robert. “You Are Dangerous to Your Health: The Ideology and Politics of Victim Blaming.” International Journal of Health Services 7.4 (1977): 663-680. ———. “Health as a Meaningful Social Practice.: Health 10.4 (2006): 401-20. Dedoose. Computer Software. n.d. Franko, Debra L., Emilie J. Coen, James P. Roehrig, Rachel Rodgers, Amy Jenkins, Meghan E. Lovering, Stephanie Dela Cruz. “Considering J. Lo and Ugly Betty: A Qualitative Examination of Risk Factors and Prevention Targets for Body Dissatisfaction, Eating Disorders, and Obesity in Young Latina Women.” Body Image 9.3 (2012), 381-387. Fikken, Janna J., and Esther D. Rothblum. “Is Fat a Feminist Issue? Exploring the Gendered Nature of Weight Bias.” Sex Roles 66.9-10 (2012): 575-592. Fraser, Suzanne, JaneMaree Maher, and Jan Wright. “Between Bodies and Collectivities: Articulating the Action of Emotion in Obesity Epidemic Discourse.” Social Theory & Health 8.2 (2010): 192-209. Garland Thomson, Rosemarie. “Misfits: A Feminist Materialist Disability Concept.” Hypatia 26.3 (2011): 591-609. Goffman, Erving. Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1963. Grabe, Shelly, and Janet S. Hyde. “Ethnicity and Body Dissatisfaction among Women in the United States: A Meta-Analysis.” Psychological Bulletin 132.2 (2006): 622. Greenhalgh, Susan. “Weighty Subjects: The Biopolitics of the U.S. War on Fat.” American Ethnologist 39.3 (2012): 471-487. Grosz, Elizabeth A. “Bodies-Cities.” Feminist Theory and the Body: A Reader, eds. Janet Price and Margrit Shildrick. New York: Routledge, 1999. 381-387. Guthman, Julie. “Teaching the Politics of Obesity: Insights into Neoliberal Embodiment and Contemporary Biopolitics.” Antipode 41.5 (2009): 1110-1133. Kassirer, Jerome P., and M. Marcia Angell. “Losing Weight: An Ill-Fated New Year's Resolution.” The New England Journal of Medicine 338.1 (1998): 52. Kirkland, Anna. “Think of the Hippopotamus: Rights Consciousness in the Fat Acceptance Movement.” Law & Society Review 42.2 (2008): 397-432. Lewis, Sophie, Samantha L. Thomas, R. Warwick Blood, David Castle, Jim Hyde, and Paul A. Komesaroff. “How Do Obese Individuals Perceive and Respond to the Different Types of Obesity Stigma That They Encounter in Their Daily Lives? A Qualitative Study.” Social Science & Medicine 73.9 (2011): 1349-56. López, Julia Navas. “Socio-Anthropological Analysis of Bariatric Surgery Patients: A Preliminary Study.” Social Medicine 4.4 (2009): 209-217. McPhail, Deborah. “What to Do with the ‘Tubby Hubby?: ‘Obesity,’ the Crisis of Masculinity, and the Nuclear Family in Early Cold War Canada. Antipode 41.5 (2009): 1021-1050. Mann, Traci, A. Janet Tomiyama, Erika Westling, Ann-Marie Lew, Barbara Samuels, and Jason Chatman. “Medicare’s Search for Effective Obesity Treatments.” American Psychologist 62.3 (2007): 220-233. Metzl, Jonathan. “Introduction: Why ‘Against Health?’” Against Health: How Health Became the New Morality, eds. Jonathan Metzl and Anna Kirkland. New York: NYU Press, 2010. 1-14. Puhl, Rebecca M. “Obesity Stigma: Important Considerations for Public Health.” American Journal of Public Health 100.6 (2010): 1019-1028.———, and Kelly D. Brownell. “Psychosocial Origins of Obesity Stigma: Toward Changing a Powerful and Pervasive Bias.” Obesity Reviews 4.4 (2003): 213-227. ——— and Chelsea A. Heuer. “The Stigma of Obesity: A Review and Update.” Obesity 17.5 (2009): 941-964. Schafer, Markus H., and Kenneth F. Ferraro. “The Stigma of Obesity: Does Perceived Weight Discrimination Affect Identity and Physical Health?” Social Psychology Quarterly 74.1 (2011): 76-97. Schwartz, H. Never Satisfied: A Cultural History of Diets, Fantasies, and Fat. New York: Anchor Books, 1986. Wadden, Thomas A., David B. Sarwer, Anthony N. Fabricatore, LaShanda R. Jones, Rebecca Stack, and Noel Williams. “Psychosocial and Behavioral Status of Patients Undergoing Bariatric Surgery: What to Expect before and after Surgery.” The Medical Clinics of North America 91.3 (2007): 451-69. Wilson, Bianca. “Fat, the First Lady, and Fighting the Politics of Health Science.” Lecture. The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. 14 Feb. 2011.

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Phillips, Jennifer Anne. "Closure through Mock-Disclosure in Bret Easton Ellis’s Lunar Park." M/C Journal 12, no.5 (December13, 2009). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.190.

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In a 1999 interview with the online magazine The AV Club, a subsidiary of satirical news website, The Onion, Bret Easton Ellis claimed: “I’ve never written a single scene that I can say took place, I’ve never written a line of dialogue that I’ve heard someone say or that I have said” (qtd. in Klein). Ten years later, in the same magazine, Ellis was reminded of this quote and asked why most of his novels have been perceived as veiled autobiographies. Ellis responded:Well, they are autobiographical in the sense that they reflect who I was at a particular moment in my life. There was talk of a memoir, and I realized why I couldn’t write a memoir, because the books are the memoir—they completely sum up how I was feeling, what I was thinking about, what my obsessions were, what I was fantasizing about, who I was, in a fictional context over the last 25 years or so (qtd. in Tobias).Despite any protestations to the contrary, Bret Easton Ellis’s novels have included various intentional and unintentional disclosures which reflect the author’s personal experiences. This pattern of self-disclosure became most overt in his most recent novel, Lunar Park (2005), in which the narrator shares a name, vocation and many aspects of his personal history with Ellis himself. After two decades and many assumptions made about Ellis’s personal life in the public media, it seems on the surface as if this novel uses disclosure as the site of closure for several rumours and relationships which have haunted his career. It is possible to see how this fictional text transgresses the boundaries between fiction and fact in an attempt to sever the feedback loop between the media’s representation of Ellis and the interpretation of his fictional texts. Yet it is important to note that with Ellis, there is always more beneath the surface. This is evident after only one chapter of Lunar Park when the novel changes form from an autobiography into a fictional ghost story, both of which are told by Bret Easton Ellis, a man who simultaneously reflects and refracts aspects of the real life author.Before analysing Lunar Park, it is helpful to consider the career trajectory which led to its creation. Bret Easton Ellis made his early fame writing semi-fictional accounts of rich, beautiful, young, yet ambitionless members of generation-X, growing up in the 1980s in America. His first novel, Less Than Zero (1985), chronicled the exploits of his protagonists as they drifted from party to party, from one meaningless sexual encounter to another; all while anesthetised on a co*cktail of Valium, Prozac, Percocet and various illegal drugs. The brutal realism of his narrative, coupled with the structure—short vignettes like snapshots and short chapters told in simplistic style—led the text to be hailed as the first “MTV Novel” (Annesley 90; see also: Freese).It is not difficult to discover the many similarities that exist between the creator of Less Than Zero and his fictional creation, Clay, the novel’s narrator-protagonist. Both grew up in Los Angeles and headed east to attend a small liberal-arts college. Both Ellis’s and Clay’s parents were divorced and both young men grew up living in a house with their mother and their two sisters. Ellis’s relationship with his father was, by all accounts, as strained as what is represented in the few meetings Clay has with his own father in Less Than Zero. In these scenes, Clay describes a brief, perfunctory lunch meeting in an expensive restaurant in which Clay’s father is too preoccupied by work to acknowledge his son’s presence.Ellis’s second novel, The Rules of Attraction (1987), is set at Camden College, the same college that Clay attends in Less Than Zero. At one point, Clay even guest-narrates a chapter of The Rules of Attraction; the phrase, “people are afraid to walk across campus after midnight” (205) recalls the opening line of Less Than Zero, “people are afraid to merge on highways in Los Angeles” (5). Camden bears quite a few similarities with Bennington College, the college which Ellis himself was attending when Less Than Zero was published and Ellis was catapulted into the limelight. Even Ellis himself has admitted that the book is, “a completely fictionalized portrait of a group of people, all summations of friends I knew” (qtd. in Tobias).The authenticity of Ellis’s narrative voice was considered as an insight which came from participation (A Conversation with Bret Easton Ellis). The depiction of disenfranchised youth in the Reagan era in America was so compelling because Ellis seemed to personify and even embody the malaise and listlessness of his narrators in his public performances and interviews. In the minds of many readers and critics, Ellis’s narrators were a fictional extrapolation of Ellis himself. The association of Ellis to his fictional narrators backfired when Ellis’s third novel, American Psycho (1991), was published. The novel was criticised for its detached depiction of Patrick Bateman, who narrates in minute detail his daily routine which includes an extensive beauty regime, lunchtimes and dinnertimes spent in extravagant New York restaurants, a relationship with a fiancée and a mistress, a job on Wall Street in which he seems to do no real “work,” and his night-time hobby where brutally murders women, homeless men, gay men and even a small child. Bateman’s choice of victims can be interpreted as unconsciously aimed at anyone why may threaten his dominant position as a wealthy, white, heterosexual male. While Bateman kills as many men as he does women, his male victims are killed quickly in sudden bursts of violence. Bateman’s female victims are the subject of brutal torture, prolonged violent sexualized attacks, and in many cases inhumane post-mortem disfigurement and dismemberment.The public reception of American Psycho has been analysed as much as the text itself, (see: Murphet; Brien). Because American Psycho is narrated in the first-person voice of Bateman, there is no escape from his subjectivity. Many, including the National Organization of Women, interpreted this lack of authorial comment as Ellis’s tacit agreement and acceptance of Bateman’s behaviour. Another similar interpretation was made by Roger Rosenblatt in his pre-publication review of American Psycho in which he forthrightly encourages readers to “Snuff this Book” (Rosenblatt). Rosenblatt finds no ironic critique in Ellis’s representation of Bateman, instead finding himself at a loss to understand Ellis’s intention in writing American Psycho, saying “one only assumes, Mr. Ellis disapproves. It's a bit hard to tell what Mr. Ellis intends exactly, because he languishes so comfortably in the swamp he purports to condemn” (n.p.).In much the same way as Ellis’s previous narrators had reflected his experience and opinions, Ellis was considered as accepting and even glorifying the actions of a misogynistic serial killer. Ellis himself has commented on the popularised “misreading” of his novel: “Because I never step in anywhere and say, ‘Hey, this is all wrong,’ people get upset. That’s outrageous to me! Who’s going to say that serial killing is wrong?! Isn’t that a given? There’s no need to say that” (qtd. in. Klein)Ellis himself was treated as if he had committed the actual crimes that Patrick Bateman describes. The irony being that, as I have argued elsewhere (Phillips), there are numerous signs within the text which point to the possibility that Patrick Bateman did not commit the crimes as he claims: he can be interpreted as an unreliable narrator. Although the unreliability is Bateman’s narration doesn’t remove the effect which the reader experiences, it does indicate a distance between the author and the narrator. This distance was overlooked by many critics who interpreted Ellis as agreeing and condoning Bateman’s views and actions.When Ellis’s fourth novel, Glamorama was published, the decadent lifestyle represented in the text was again considered to be a reflection of Ellis’s personal experience. The star-studded parties and glamorous night clubs seemed to be lifted straight out of Ellis’s experience (although, no-one would ever claim that Ellis was a fashion-model-turned-international-terrorist like his narrator, Victor). One reviewer notes that “even when Bret Easton Ellis writes about killer yuppies and terrorist fashion models, a lot of people still think he's writing about himself” (Waldren).With the critical tendency to read an autobiographical confession out of Ellis’s fictional works firmly in place, it is not hard to see why Ellis decided to make the narrator of his fifth novel, Lunar Park, none other than Bret Easton Ellis himself. It is my contention that Lunar Park is the site of disclosures based on the real life of Bret Easton Ellis. I believe that Ellis chose the form of a mock-autobiography-turned-ghost-story as the site of exorcism for the many ghosts which have haunted his career, namely, his public persona and the publication of American Psycho. Ultimately, it is the exorcism of a more personal ghost, namely his father Robert Martin Ellis which provides the most private disclosure in the text and therefore the most touching, truthful and abiding site of closure for the entire novel and for Ellis himself. For ease, I will refer to the narrator of Lunar Park as Bret and the author of Lunar Park as Ellis.On the surface, it appears that Lunar Park is an autobiographical memoir. In one of the many mixed reviews of the novel (see: Murray; "Behind Bret's Mask"; Hand), Steve Almond’s title describes how Ellis masquerading as Ellis “is not a pretty sight” (Almond). The opening chapter is told in autobiographical style and charts Bret’s meteoric rise from college student to member of the literary brat pack (alongside Jay McInerney and Tama Jancowitz), to reviled author of American Psycho (1991) reaching his washed-up, drug-addled and near-death nadir during the Glamorama (1998) book tour. However, careful reading of this chapter reveals that the real-life Ellis is obscuring as much about himself as he appears to be revealing. Although it takes the form of a candid disclosure of his personal life, there are elements of the narrator’s story which do not agree with the public record of the author Ellis.The fictional Bret claims to have attended Camden College, and that his manuscript for Less Than Zero was a college project, discovered by his professor. While the plot of this story does reflect Ellis’s actual experience, he has set Bret’s story at Camden College, the fictional setting of The Rules of Attraction. By adding an element of fiction into the autobiographical account, Ellis is indicating that he is not identical to his narrating counterpart. It also signifies the Bret that exists in the fictional space whereas Ellis resides in the “real world.”In Lunar Park, Bret also talks about his relationship with Jayne Dennis. Jayne is described as a model-turned-actress, an up and coming Hollywood superstar who in the 1980s performed in films alongside Keanu Reeves. Jayne is one of the truly fictional characters in Lunar Park. She doesn’t exist outside of the text, except in two websites which were established to promote the publication of Lunar Park in 2005 (www.jaynedennis.com and www.jayne-dennis.com). While Bret and Jayne are dating, Jayne falls pregnant. Bret begs her to have an abortion. When Jayne decides to keep the child, her relationship with Bret falls apart. Bret meets his son Robby only twice from birth until the age of 10. The relationship between the fictional Bret and the fictional Jayne creates Robby, a fictional offspring who shares a name with Robert Martin Ellis (Bret and Ellis’s father).Many have been tempted to participate in Ellis’s game, to sift fact from fiction in the opening chapter of Lunar Park. Holt and Abbot published a two page point-by-point analysis of where the real-life Ellis diverged from the fictional Bret. The promotional website established by Ellis’s publisher was named www.twobrets.com to invite such a comparison. Although this game is invited by Ellis, he has also publicly stated that there is more to Lunar Park than the comparison between himself and his fictional counterpart:My worry is that people will want to know what’s true and what’s not […] All the things that are in the book—my quote-unquote autobiography—I just don’t want to answer any of those questions. I don’t like demystifying the text (qtd. in Wyatt n.p.)Although Ellis refuses to demystify the text, one of the purposes of inserting himself into the text is to trap readers in this very game, and to confuse fact with fiction. Although the text opens with a chapter which reads like Ellis’s autobiography, careful reading of the textual Bret against the extra-textual Ellis reveals that this chapter contains almost as much fiction as the “ghost story” which fills the remaining 400-odd pages. This ghost story could have been told by any first-person narrator. By writing himself into the text, Ellis is writing his public persona into the fictional character of Bret. One of the effects of blurring the lines between public and private, reality and fiction is that Ellis’s real-life disclosures invite the reader to read the fictional text against their extra-textual knowledge of Ellis himself. In this way, Ellis is able to address the many ghosts which have haunted his career—most importantly the public reception of American Psycho and his public persona. A more personal ghost is the ghost of Ellis’s father who has been written into the text, literally haunting Bret’s home with messages from beyond the grave. Closure occurs when these ghosts have been exorcised. The question is: is Lunar Park Ellis’s attempt to close down the public debates, or to add more fuel to the fire?One of the areas in which Ellis seeks to find closure is in the controversy surrounding American Psycho. Ellis uses his fictional voice to re-write the discourse surrounding the creation and reception of the text. There are deliberate contradictions in Bret’s version of writing American Psycho. In Lunar Park, Bret describes the writing process of American Psycho. In an oddly ornate passage for Ellis (who seldom uses adverbs), Bret describes how he would “fearfully watch my hands as the pen swept across the yellow legal pads” (19) blaming the “spirit” of Patrick Bateman for visiting and causing the book to be written. When it was finished, the “spirit” was “disgustingly satisfied” and stopped “gleefully haunting” Bret’s dreams. This shift in writing style may be an indication of a shift from reality into a fictionalised account of the writing of American Psycho. Much of the plot of Lunar Park is taken up with the consequences of American Psycho, when a madman starts replicating crimes exactly as they appear in the novel. It is almost as if Patrick Bateman is haunting Bret and his family. When informed that his fictional violence has disrupted his quiet suburban existence, Bret laments, “this was the moment that detractors of the book had warned me about: if anything happened to anyone as a result of the publication of this novel, Bret Easton Ellis was to blame” (181-2). By the end of Lunar Park Bret decides to “kill” Patrick Bateman once and for all, by writing an epilogue in which Bateman is burnt alive.On the surface, it appears that Lunar Park is the site of an apology about American Psycho. However, this is not entirely the case. Much of Bret’s description of writing American Psycho is contradictory to Ellis’s personal accounts where he consciously researched the gruesome details of Bateman’s crimes using an FBI training manual (Rose). Although Patrick Bateman is destroyed by the end of Lunar Park, extra-textually, neither Bret nor Ellis is not entirely apologetic for his creation. Bret argues that American Psycho was “about society and manners and mores, and not about cutting up women. How could anyone who read the book not see this?” (182). Extra-textually, in an interview Ellis admitted that when he re-read “the violence sequences I was incredibly upset and shocked […] I can't believe that I wrote that. Looking back, I realize, God, you really sort of stepped over a line there” (qtd. in Wyatt n.p.). However, in that same interview, Ellis admits to lying to reporters if he feels that the reporter is “out to get” him. Therefore, Ellis’s apology may not actually be an apology at all.Lunar Park presents an explanation about how and why American Psycho was written. This explanation is much akin to claiming that “the devil made me do it”, by arguing that Bret was possessed by “the spirit of this madman” (18). While it may seem that this explanation is an attempt to close the vast amount of discussion surrounding why American Psycho was written, Ellis is actually using his fictional persona to address the public outcry about his most controversial novel, providing an apology for a text, which is really no apology at all. Ultimately, the reliability of Bret’s account depends on the reader’s knowledge of Ellis’s public persona. This interplay between the fictional Bret and the real-life Ellis can be seen in Lunar Park’s account of the Glamorama publicity tour. In Lunar Park, Bret describes his own version of the Glamorama book tour. For Bret, this tour functions as his personal nadir, the point in his life where he hits rock bottom and looks to Jayne Dennis as his saviour. Throughout the tour, Bret describes taking all manner of drugs. At one point, threatened by his erratic behaviour, Bret’s publishers asked a personal minder to join the book tour, reporting back on Bret’s actions which include picking at nonexistent scabs, sobbing at his appearance in a hotel mirror and locking himself in a bookstore bathroom for over an hour before emerging and claiming that he had a snake living in his mouth (32-33).The reality of the Glamorama book tour is not anywhere near as wild as that described by Bret in Lunar Park. In reviews and articles addressing the real-life Glamorama book tour, there are no descriptions of these events. One article, from the The Observer (Macdonald), does describe a meeting over lunch where Ellis admits to drinking way too much the night before and then having to deal with phone calls from fans he can’t remember giving his phone-number to. However, as previously mentioned, in that same article a friend of Ellis’s is quoted as saying that Ellis frequently lies to reporters. Bret’s fictional actions seem to confirm Ellis’s real life “party boy” persona. For Moran, “the name of the author [him]self can become merely an image, either used to market a literary product directly or as a kind of free floating signifier within contemporary culture” (61). Lunar Park is about all of the connotations of the name Bret Easton Ellis. It is also a subversion of those expectations. The fictional Glamorama book tour shows Ellis’s media persona taken to an extreme until it becomes a self-embodying parody. In Lunar Park, Ellis is deliberately amplifying his public persona, accepting that no amount of truthful disclosure will erase the image of Bret-the-party-boy. However, the remainder of the novel turns this image on its head by removing Bret from New York and placing him in middle-American suburbia, married, and with two children in tow.Ultimately, although the novel appears as a transgression of fact and fiction, Bret may be the most fictional of all of Ellis’s narrators (with the exception of Patrick Bateman). Bret is married where Ellis is single. Bret is heterosexual whereas Ellis is hom*osexual, and used the site of Lunar Park to confirm his hom*osexuality. Bret has children whereas Ellis is childless. Bret has settled down into the heartland of American suburbia, a wife and two children in tow whereas Ellis has made it clear that this lifestyle is not one he is seeking. The novel is presented as the site of Ellis’s personal disclosure, and yet only creates more fictional fodder for the public image of Ellis, there are elements of true and personal disclosures from Ellis life, which he is using the text as the site for his own brand of closure. The most genuine and heartfelt closure is achieved through Ellis’s disclosure of his relationship with his father.The death of Ellis’s father, Robert Martin Ellis has an impact on both the textual and extra-textual levels of Lunar Park. Textually, the novel takes the form of a ghost story, and it is Robert himself who is haunting Bret. These spectral disturbances manifest themselves in Bret’s house which slowly transforms into a representation of his childhood home. Bret also receives nightly e-mails from the bank in which his father’s ashes have been stored in a safe-deposit box. These e-mails contain an attached video file showing the last few moments of Robert Martin Ellis’s life. Bret never finds out who filmed the video. Extra-textually, the death of Robert Martin Ellis is clearly signified in the fact that Lunar Park is dedicated to him as well as Michael Wade Kaplan, two men close to Ellis who have died. The trope of fathers haunting their sons is further highlighted by Ellis’s inter-textual references to Shakespeare’s Hamlet including a quote in the epigraph: “From the table of my memory / I’ll wipe away all trivial fond records, / all saws of books, all forms, all pressures past / that youth and observation copied there” (1.5.98-101). The names of various geographical locations in Bret’s neighbourhood: Bret and Jayne live on Elsinore Lane, named for Elsinore castle, Bret also visits Fortinbras Mall, Osric hotel and Ophelia Boulevard. In Hamlet, the son is called upon by the ghost of his father to avenge his death. In Lunar Park, Bret is called upon to avenge himself against the wrongs inflicted upon him by his own father.The ambiguity of the relationships between fathers and sons is summarised in the closing passage of the novel. So, if you should see my son, tell him I say hello, be good, that I am thinking of him and that I know he’s watching over me somewhere, and not to worry: that he can always find me here, whenever he wants, right here, my arms held out and waiting, in the pages, behind the covers, at the end of Lunar Park (453).Although Bret earlier signals the reader to interpret this passage as a message from Bret to his son Robby (45), it is also possible to interpret is as a message from the fictional Robert Martin Ellis to the fictional Bret. In this reading, Lunar Park is not just a novel, a game or a post-modern deconstruction of the fact and fiction binary, it instead becomes an exorcism for the author. The process of writing Lunar Park to casts the spectre of the real-life Robert Martin Ellis out of his life to a place where Bret (and Ellis) can always find him. This relationship is the site not only of disclosure – reflecting Ellis’s own personal angst with his late father – but of closure, where Ellis has channelled his relationship and indeed exorcised his father into the text.Lunar Park contains several forms of disclosures, most of which transgress the line between fiction and fact. Lunar Park does not provide a closure from the tendency to read autobiography into Ellis’s texts, instead, chapter one provides as much fiction as fact, as evident in the discussions of American Psycho and the Glamorama book tour. Although chapter one presents in an autobiographical form, the remainder of the text reveals how fictional “Bret Easton Ellis” really is. Much of Lunar Park can be interpreted as a puzzle whose answer depends on the reader’s knowledge and understanding of the public perception, persona and profile of Bret Easton Ellis himself. Although seeming to provide closure on the surface, by playing with fiction and fact, Lunar Park only opens up more ground for discussion of Ellis, his novels, his persona and his fictional worlds. These are discussions I look forward to participating in, particularly as 2010 will see the publication of Ellis’s sixth novel (and sequel to Less Than Zero), Imperial Bedrooms.Although much of Ellis’s game in Lunar Park is to tease the reader by failing to provide true disclosures or meaningful and finite closure, the ending of the Lunar Park indicates the most honest, heartfelt and abiding closure for the text and for Ellis himself. Devoid of games and extra-textual riddles, the end of the novel is a message from a father to his son. By disclosing details of his troubled relationship with his father, both Ellis and his fictional counterpart Bret are able to exorcise the ghost of Robert Martin Ellis. As the novel closes, the ghost who haunts the text has indeed been exorcised and is now standing, with “arms held out and waiting, in the pages, behind the covers, at the end of Lunar Park” (453). ReferencesAlmond, Steve. "Ellis Masquerades as Ellis, and It Is Not a Pretty Sight." Boston Globe 14 Aug. 2005.Annesley, James. Blank Fictions: Consumerism, Culture and the Contemporary American Novel. London: Pluto Press, 1998."Behind Bret's Mask." Manchester Evening News 10 Oct. 2005.Brien, Donna Lee. "The Real Filth in American Psycho: A Critical Reassessment." M/C Journal 9.5 (2006). 30 Nov. 2009 < http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0610/01-brien.php >.Ellis, Bret Easton. Less than Zero. London: Vintage, 1985.–––. The Rules of Attraction. London: Vintage, 1987.–––. American Psycho. London: Picador, 1991.–––. Glamorama. New York: Knopf, 1998.–––. Lunar Park. New York: Knopf, 2005.Freese, Peter. "Bret Easton Ellis, Less than Zero; Entropy in the 'Mtv Novel'?" Modes of Narrative: Approaches to American, Canadian and British Fiction. Eds. Reingard Nishik and Barbara Korts. Wurzburg: Konighausen and Naumann, 1990. 68–87. Hand, Elizabeth. "House of Horrors; Bret Easton Ellis, the Author of 'American Psycho,' Rips into His Most Frightening Subject Yet—Himself." The Washington Post 21 Aug. 2005.Klein, Joshua. "Interview with Bret Easton Ellis." The Onion AV Club 17 Mar.(1999). 5 Sep. 2009 < http://www.avclub.com/articles/bret-easton-ellis,13586/ >.Macdonald, Marianna. “Interview—Bret Easton Ellis—All Cut Up.” The Observer 28 June 1998.Moran, Joe. Star Authors. London: Pluto Press, 2000.Murphet, Julian. Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho: A Reader's Guide. New York: Continuum, 2002.Murray, Noel. "Lunar Park [Review]." The Onion AV Club 2 Aug. 2005. 1 Nov. 2009 < http://www.avclub.com/articles/lunar-park,4393/ >.Phillips, Jennifer. "Unreliable Narration in Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho: Interaction between Narrative Form and Thematic Content." Current Narratives 1.1 (2009): 60–68.Rose, Charlie. “A Conversation with Bret Easton Ellis”. The Charlie Rose Show. Prod. Charlie Rose and Yvette Vega. PBS. 7 Sep. 1994. Rosenblatt, Roger. "Snuff This Book! Will Bret Easton Ellis Get Away with Murder?" The New York Times 16 Dec. 1990: Arts.Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Ed. Graham Holderness and Bryan Loughrey. Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1992.Tobias, Scott. "Bret Easton Ellis (Interview)". The Onion AV Club 22 Apr. 2009. 31 Aug. 2009 < http://www.avclub.com/articles/bret-easton-ellis%2C26988/1/ >.Wyatt, Edward. "Bret Easton Ellis: The Man in the Mirror." The New York Times 7 Aug. 2005: Arts.

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Green, Lelia, and Van Hong Nguyen. "Cooking from Life: The Real Recipe for Street Food in Ha Noi." M/C Journal 16, no.3 (June23, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.654.

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Introduction This paper is based upon an investigation into the life of a street market in the city of Ha Noi in Vietnam, and experience of the street food served on Ha Noi’s pavements. It draws upon interviews with itinerant food vendors conducted by the researchers and upon accounts of their daily lives from a Vietnamese film subtitled in English and French, sourced from the Vietnamese Women’s Museum (Jensen). The research considers the lives of the people making and selling street food against the distilled versions of cultural experience accessible through the pages of two recent English language cookbooks focussing upon this cuisine. The data from the fieldwork is used as a point for critical comparison (Fram) with recipes and descriptions from Hanoi Street Food (Vandenberghe and Thys) and Vietnamese Street Food (Lister and Pohl), two recent relevant English language cookbooks. The research question addressed is “How are the everyday lives of Vietnamese street market cooks (mis)represented in cookery-related books published for an English-language readership?” The research team comprises an Australian Cultural Studies academic (Lelia Green) and a bi-lingual Vietnamese researcher (Nguyen Hong Van), who is Ha Noi born and bred, but who has lived overseas and whose first degree, in Sociology, is from a Canadian university. In each other’s company and over a period of some weeks, Lelia and Van spent more than 40 hours on ethnographic fieldwork in street markets, and interviewing street vendors. The purpose of the research was exploratory, but it was also undertaken as a means of making the labour and lives of marginalised women more visible, since most itinerant food vendors in Vietnam are women (Jensen). As Bhomik notes, male vendors “are engaged in motor cycle repair or sale of higher priced goods such as personal products, souvenirs etc. and their earnings are higher” (2261). Although the teamwork between Lelia and Van went some way to resolve the challenges posed by insider/outsider qualitative research (Corbin, Dwyer, and Buckle), Van has never lived or worked as a street vendor. First Take an Informal Street Market … Eating on the Street An informal Vietnamese street market is a multi-layered space, ordered according to the geography of the area in which the food is prepared and consumed. The informality of a street market indicates its status between legitimacy and repression. Informal street markets spring up in locales where there is significant demand—usually office workers nearby, and schools. The food they sell is cheap and flavourful, catering for the needs of people who have little time or money and want something hot and nourishing to start, punctuate, or end the day. As markets grow, so the vendors in the market constitute a secondary population in need of sustenance. Itinerant street vendors carry with them everything they need for their day’s work. Typically this includes a little oil or coal-based stove, their raw ingredients, dishes or trays for food preparation and serving, often a bowl for washing food or utensils, and a large bag to carry the dirty dishes used by their customers. Often these tools of their trade will be carried in two baskets balanced upon a pole that acts as a yoke across the vendor’s neck. Sometimes well-resourced vendors will also carry, (or push a bicycle or cart with), sets of small plastic stools and tables, so that their clients can sit and enjoy their food. In the semi-tropical climate of Ha Noi, carrying the raw materials to cook for and feed dozens of patrons is a tiring and difficult business. These street vendors’s lives are made more complex by the semi-legitimacy of the informal street market where itinerants are viewed as potential sources of income by a series of officials who extort small but frequent payments in the form of demanding bribes, or levying fines for illegal activity such as obstructing the pavement (Lincoln). Trung, who sells crab noodles, says the police are the most difficult aspect of her job: “they can come anytime and confiscate all my stuff and give me a fine. One time I was so panicked when I saw them approaching on a small truck that I took all my bowls and ran. The bowl slipped out of my hands and cut into my leg. I still have a deep scar from that accident” (Trung). Now add a smattering of street vendors. Bánh Mỳ: Bread Rolls “1 French baguette”, states the Vandenberghe and Thys recipe for bánh mỳ, implicitly acknowledging the hundred years of French colonisation which provides Vietnam with its excellent breads and pastries, “beat the eggs lightly in a mixing bowl, crumble the paté and combine the paté and the lightly beaten eggs. Put the oil in a small frying pan and cook the omelette […] fold the omelette double and put it on the [grilled, heated] bread […] the variations are endless” (71). The young Vietnamese woman, Anh, sells bánh mỳ trứng ngải cứu, bread rolls with egg cooked with mugwort, an aromatic leafy herb. She explains her initial motivation to sell food on the street: “some women in my village already came to the city to sell. I can’t earn much money at home and I need money to send my children to school, so I decided to follow them” (Anh). She shares rented accommodation in the city with other women—sometimes up to ten people in a room (Jensen)—and starts her day at 4.30am, washing vegetables and preparing her baskets. Although a street trader herself, she is networked into a complex set of supply and delivery connections. Her eggs and bread are delivered fresh each morning and she buys the mugwort from a market near her lodgings. “I leave home around 6am and start walking along the streets. […] I mostly sell to shop keepers. They have to stay in their shop so I bring breakfast to them. I walk through a lot of streets, whenever someone calls out I will stop and make bread for them” (Anh). Mid-morning, at around 10am, Anh goes back to her home to have lunch and prepare for the afternoon, with a fresh delivery of eggs around 1.00-1.30pm. Usually, she leaves again around 2.00pm “but if it’s too hot outside, I will stay until 3pm, because it is very tiring to walk in the heat, and people don’t eat that early either. I go home whenever I sell out […], sometimes as early as 4pm, or as late as 7pm” (Anh). Like many street vendors, Anh has sought out points of contact with the local community to punctuate her walking with episodes of rest. Her customers are mainly other Vietnamese people, “shop keepers and residents of the streets I walk along every day. There is an old lady. I sit in front of her shop every afternoon from 3pm to 5pm. She eats one egg every day” (Anh). Anh has been selling Bánh mỳ on the streets for three years, but this is not her only source of income: “At home I grow rice, but I can only harvest it at the end of the season. It only takes a storm or hail to destroy the whole effort I spend for months […] This [food] is very easy to make, and I make a little profit everyday” (Anh). She has never worked from a recipe book: “I think only people in hotels, like a big chef who makes complicated dishes need recipes, this one is very easy, just a common everyday food” (Anh). As for the problems posed by the policing of informal markets, Anh says: “if I am not careful, the ward police will give me a fine for selling on the street.” Such a calamity can write off the profit of many hours’ or days’ work. Xôi: Sticky Rice Xôi is a popular street food dish, and Lister and Pohl provide two recipes, one for xôi lạc (sticky rice with peanuts)(68), and one for xôi xéo (sticky rice with turmeric and mung beans, and fried shallots) (80). Nga, the xôi seller interviewed for this research, sells both types of sticky rice along with xôi gậc (a festive red sticky rice cooked with and coloured by spiny bitter gourd, and typically eaten at Tết, the celebration for the Lunar New Year) and xôi đỗ đen, sticky rice with black bean. She used to specialise in only one kind of sticky rice but, as she says, “business was slow so I added other types of sticky rice. I sit here in the morning everyday anyway, so I sell different types, a small quantity for each” (Nga). The biggest complication for street vendors selling sticky rice is the requirement that it is still being steamed just before being sold, so that it is hot, soft, and sticky, and not dried out. The cooked sticky rice is usually packed in banana leaves under a plastic cover and put in a bamboo basket. The basket helps with ventilation while banana leaves keep the rice moist and the plastic cover keeps in heat. Traditionally, xôi is also sold in banana leaves. Nga uses first a layer of banana leaf, then one of plastic, and finally newspaper. Nga is a grandmother and constructs her street vending as a retirement job, which puts food on the table for her husband and herself. In Vietnam, there is a tradition that the younger generations look after their elders, but her work as a street vendor means that Nga and her husband can retain their autonomy and help their own family, for longer. Nga starts cooking at 4.00am, but her street food is only one element of her income: “In addition to selling here, I also deliver to restaurants. Actually most of my income comes from them. I deliver at around 5 to 5.30am, and start selling here at 6” (Nga). Both of Lister and Pohl’s recipes start with soaking the sticky rice overnight in water, just as Nga does. She says, “I wash the rice and soak them before I go to bed the night before. I get up, start the stove which uses black coal. I sell out all the rice everyday, otherwise it won’t taste good […] usually I sell out at 8 or 8.30am, 9am at the latest. I don’t work in the afternoon. I pick up my grandchildren at 4pm and take care of them until the end of the day.” Nga has strong views about the place of recipes in cooking, especially in cooking as a business: I don’t need to learn from a book. Written recipes or informal teaching from relatives is the same, they are just the starting point. What matters is you learn from your own experience. For example, you soak your rice for 6 hours today, but your customers complain that the rice is not soft, so you soak it for 8 hours next time. Or maybe you sell to a poorer community, you will adjust your ingredients to cheaper type, so you can reduce your price but still make profit; but if you sell in a richer neighbourhood, you make sure you have good quality, even with higher price, or else they will not buy from you (Nga). Lister and Pohl dedicate a two-page spread (70-1) to Ðặng Thị Sáu and her Xôi shopfront stall, noting that she learned her business from her mother-in-law who was “an itinerant sticky rice peddler for most of her life, walking the city streets, selling from bamboo baskets. It was a hard and uncertain life and not one Sáu wanted to follow” (70). Sáu’s compromise, ultimately, was to sell sticky rice from the comparative security and stability of a fixed location. Lister and Pohl’s focus upon Sáu and her food, along with the pictures of everyday life featured in Vietnamese Street Food, mean that this is more than an inspirational cookbook. It is a vivid introduction to the vernacular foodways of Vietnam “a set of social, economic and cultural practices around the production and consumption of food that are normatively distinctive to an ethnocultural group” (Jonas 119). Bún Riêu Cua: Crab Meat Noodle Crab meat noodle is a complicated recipe and a reminder that many people who eat street food do so because these are favourite Vietnamese dishes which may require considerable effort to prepare. The specialisation of street food vendors, making a complicated dish for the relish of dozens of customers, allows busy Vietnamese workers to enjoy their authentic cuisine at an affordable cost without the time constraints of buying multiple ingredients and making the dish themselves. The recipe in Hanoi Street Food involves several steps: preparation of the sauce using sautéing, frying and reducing (Jones); cooking of the crab in boiling water (not including separately bought crabmeat used in the sauce); creation of a chicken stock, to which the sauce is added; along with the washing and chopping a range of vegetables including soya bean sprouts, spring onions, lettuce, fresh herbs, lime etc., some of which is used as garnish (Vandenberghe, and Thys 90). Trung and her husband have been selling their bún riêu cua for five years. For nine years prior to working as a street food vendor, Trung was a recyclables collector. She began working in the city when she “followed a cousin to Ha Noi so I could earn money to support my family of six people. At first I collected materials such as plastic bottles, metal, papers, etc, but because I carried too much on my shoulders, I developed severe back pain and shoulder pain” (Trung). Now she and her husband use a bicycle to help carry the various necessities for her bún riêu cua street stall, using the vehicle to reduce some of the physical burden of the work. Trung learned how to make bún riêu cua from an aunt in Hai Phong, “I just observed her and other people”. The dish remains time consuming, however:I get up at 3am to start preparing the crab and cook the soup. My husband washes vegetables. It often takes us about 2 hours. By 5am, we leave the house, and we are here by 5.30, ready to sell breakfast […] I am most busy during lunchtime, from 10am to 1-2pm. Breakfast time can last from 6am to 9am. When I am not selling to customers I often get tired and easily fall asleep because I always crave sleep. In between, my husband and I wash dishes. He also delivers to people too. We get lots of phone calls from patients of the hospitals nearby. They say my food is more delicious than food in the hospital’s canteen […] Usually I go home around 4pm in the summer and 5 to 6pm in the winter. But I also stop by different shops to buy ingredients for the next day on my way home. Once I get home, I wash the bowls, re-supply and re-arrange my stuffs, and do some preparation. I work until I go to bed at 9pm (Trung). The illustration for this recipe in Hanoi Street Food is not of the dish itself, but of young Vietnamese men enjoying the dish. As is the case with Lister and Pohl, Vandenberghe and Thys’s book is about more than recipes, it is a rich evocation of daily life on the streets of Vietnam. Serve with a Side-dish of Conclusions Authentic street food is cooked, sold and consumed on the street. However, street food cookbooks tend to recommended shopfront eateries, partly because they are easier to find, and are more convenient, in that neither the tourist nor the vendor is at risk of police intervention. Another reason for featuring the more established vendors with their own premises concerns food hygiene: In 1989 the Vietnamese government adopted a law on the protection of people’s health. A survey on food samples in Hanoi showed that 47 per cent were microbiologically unsafe. [This has now changed.] The government has adopted two practices for ensuring safer street food, namely, monitoring street food vendors through a licensing system, and educating and training them on hygiene (Bhowmik 2260). Such licensing, training and the maintenance of hygiene standards are more difficult to police with itinerant food vendors. In the two cookbooks featured, ingredients tend to be measured as to specific amounts, with the idea that the result should be predictable. Street vendors, however, learn to cook their signature dishes from friends, relatives, and experience. They do not measure their ingredients while cooking, and their products vary from one vendor to another, and also to some extent from day to day, even given the same cook. This creates a special characteristic of street food and means that regular customers gravitate to particular vendors whose choice of seasoning and cooking techniques culminates in the most attractive results according to their personal taste. While there are lots of stalls captioned as bánh mỳ, regular customers will find that there are significant differences between stalls. One reason for this is offered in Lister and Pohl: small quantities of special ingredients that are difficult to get in Vietnam and impossible elsewhere. The cook in a featured Bánh cuốn stall (selling rice pancakes) adds a drop of giant water bug juice to season her dipping broth: “ ‘It’s the real thing! One drop off the top of a chopstick is enough’ she explains” (Lister, and Pohl 33). As is clear from the interviews with vendors, itinerant sellers of street food don’t use recipe books, and have generally learned how to cook their dishes through women’s networks of family and friends. The two cookbooks discussed are designed for consumption by people who engage in or aspire to “food and drink tourism” (Boniface vii) in Vietnam, whether the readers have visited in person or become aware of the cuisine through popular culture, such as Luke Nguyen’s SBS cooking shows (Nguyen). They are as much coffee table books as collections of recipes, and are written by westerners for a western readership. The recipes focus on ingredients that can be sourced in everyday western contexts but the beautiful and evocative photographs of daily life in Vietnam, supplemented by written commentary on people and place, clearly locate the recipes in their Vietnamese cultural context. Culinary tourism allows people unfamiliar with a cuisine and culture to use “food to explore new cultures and ways of being” (Long 21). Street food vendors are part of many communities. They require knowledge, skill, and personal networks to acquire the quality ingredients at the best possible price for the daily routine of food preparation and selling. Whereas recipe books deal with domestic-scale food production, a vendor may cook for a hundred or more people in a single day. Many itinerant street food sellers work in the city to support absent husbands and children in rural locations, taking money home on a regular basis ($20 profit a fortnight makes their labour worthwhile), and spending 10 days in 14 on the streets (Jensen). As women help each other to begin a career as a vendor through oral teaching, observation, and first-hand experience, they do away with the invisible, authoritative voice of cookbooks. Itinerant food sellers are also a part of the larger communities in which they work, including customers, their suppliers, and other actors such as the authorities and the media. This larger community sets the tone for their food, and their lives. The vast majority of vendors of street food are women, prepared to work hard and with passion and pride to make enough money to make a difference to their families. Books about street food might help recreate some of the dishes that can be bought on the streets of Vietnam. After participating in street life, however, as an observer or customer, it becomes clear that recipe cookbooks intended for English readers only capture part of the complexity and beauty of street food, and the lives of those who make it. References Anh. Personal communication. Trans. Nguyen Hong Van. 2013. Boniface, Priscilla. Tasting Tourism: Travelling for Food and Drink. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003. Bhowmik, Sharit K. “Street Vendors in Asia: A Review.” Economic and Political Weekly (2005): 2256–64. Burr, Vivien. Social Constructionism. 2nd ed. Oxford: Routledge, 2003. Corbin Dwyer, Sonya, and Jennifer L. Buckle. “The Space Between: On Being an Insider-Outsider in Qualitative Research.” International Journal of Qualitative Methods 8.1 (2009): 54–63. Fram, Sheila M. “The Constant Comparative Analysis Method Outside of Grounded Theory.” The Qualitative Report 18, Article 1 (2013): 1–25. 28 Apr. 2013 ‹http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR18/fram1.pdf›. Jensen, Rolf. Street Vendors [DVD of three films, Their Voices, Thuy’s Story and Loi’s Story]. Ha Noi: Vietnamese Women’s Museum, 2012. Jonas, Tammi. “Eating the Vernacular, Being Cosmopolitan.” Cultural Studies Review 19.1 (2013): 117–37. 19 May 2013 ‹http://epress.lib.uts.edu.au/journals/index.php/csrj/article/viewFile/3076/3428›. Jones, G. Stephen. “The Difference between Sautéing, Pan Frying and Stir Frying [blog post].” The Reluctant Gourmet. 30 Apr. 2010. 28 Apr. 2013 ‹http://reluctantgourmet.com/cooking-techniques/frying/item/856-saute-pan-fry-and-stir-fry›. Lincoln, Martha. “Report from the Field: Street Vendors and the Informal Sector in Hanoi.” Dialectical Anthropology 32.3 (2008): 261–5. Lister, Tracey, and Andreas Pohl. Vietnamese Street Food. Rev. ed. Melbourne: Hardie Grant, 2013. Long, Lucy. “A Folkloristic Perspective on Eating and Otherness.” Culinary Tourism. Ed. Lucy Long. Lexington: UP of Kentucky, 2004. 20–50. Nga. Personal communication. (trans. Nguyen Hong Van), 2013. Nguyen, Luke. Luke Nyugen’s Vietnam [SBS]. 2009 ‹http://www.sbs.com.au/shows/lukenguyen/watchonline/page/i/1/show/lukenguyen›. Trung. Personal communication. Trans. Nguyen Hong Van. 2013. Vandenberghe, Tom, and Luk Thys. Hanoi Street Food: Cooking and Travelling in Vietnam. Tielt: Uitgeverij Lannoo nv, 2011.

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Kozak, Nadine Irène. "Building Community, Breaking Barriers: Little Free Libraries and Local Action in the United States." M/C Journal 20, no.2 (April26, 2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1220.

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Image 1: A Little Free Library. Image credit: Nadine Kozak.IntroductionLittle Free Libraries give people a reason to stop and exchange things they love: books. It seemed like a really good way to build a sense of community.Dannette Lank, Little Free Library steward, Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, 2013 (Rumage)Against a backdrop of stagnant literacy rates and enduring perceptions of urban decay and the decline of communities in cities (NCES, “Average Literacy”; NCES, “Average Prose”; Putnam 25; Skogan 8), legions of Little Free Libraries (LFLs) have sprung up across the United States between 2009 and the present. LFLs are small, often homemade structures housing books and other physical media for passersby to choose a book to take or leave a book to share with others. People have installed the structures in front of homes, schools, libraries, churches, fire and police stations, community gardens, and in public parks. There are currently 50,000 LFLs around the world, most of which are in the continental United States (Aldrich, “Big”). LFLs encompass building in multiple senses of the term; LFLs are literally tiny buildings to house books and people use the structures for building neighbourhood social capital. The organisation behind the movement cites “building community” as one of its three core missions (Little Free Library). Rowan Moore, theorising humans’ reasons for building, argues desire and emotion are central (16). The LFL movement provides evidence for this claim: stewards erect LFLs based on hope for increased literacy and a desire to build community through their altruistic actions. This article investigates how LFLs build urban community and explores barriers to the endeavour, specifically municipal building and right of way ordinances used in attempts to eradicate the structures. It also examines local responses to these municipal actions and potential challenges to traditional public libraries brought about by LFLs, primarily the decrease of visits to public libraries and the use of LFLs to argue for defunding of publicly provided library services. The work argues that LFLs build community in some places but may threaten other community services. This article employs qualitative content analysis of 261 stewards’ comments about their registered LFLs on the organisation’s website drawn from the two largest cities in a Midwestern state and an interview with an LFL steward in a village in the same state to analyse how LFLs build community. The two cities, located in the state where the LFL movement began, provide a cross section of innovators, early adopters, and late adopters of the book exchanges, determined by their registered charter numbers. Press coverage and municipal documents from six cities across the US gathered through a snowball sample provide data about municipal challenges to LFLs. Blog posts penned by practising librarians furnish some opinions about the movement. This research, while not a representative sample, identifies common themes and issues around LFLs and provides a basis for future research.The act of building and curating an LFL is a representation of shared beliefs about literacy, community, and altruism. Establishing an LFL is an act of civic participation. As Nico Carpentier notes, while some civic participation is macro, carried out at the level of the nation, other participation is micro, conducted in “the spheres of school, family, workplace, church, and community” (17). Ruth H. Landman investigates voluntary activities in the city, including community gardening, and community bakeries, and argues that the people associated with these projects find themselves in a “denser web of relations” than previously (2). Gretchen M. Herrmann argues that neighbourhood garage sales, although fleeting events, build an enduring sense of community amongst participants (189). Ray Oldenburg contends that people create associational webs in what he calls “great good places”; third spaces separate from home and work (20-21). Little Free Libraries and Community BuildingEmotion plays a central role in the decision to become an LFL steward, the person who establishes and maintains the LFL. People recount their desire to build a sense of community and share their love of reading with neighbours (Charter 4684; Charter 8212; Charter 9437; Charter 9705; Charter 16561). One steward in the study reported, “I love books and I want to be able to help foster that love in our neighbourhood as well” (Charter 4369). Image 2: A Little Free Library, bench, water fountain, and dog’s water bowl for passersby to enjoy. Image credit: Nadine Kozak.Relationships and emotional ties are central to some people’s decisions to have an LFL. The LFL website catalogues many instances of memorial LFLs, tributes to librarians, teachers, and avid readers. Indeed, the first Little Free Library, built by Todd Bol in 2009, was a tribute to his late mother, a teacher who loved reading (“Our History”). In the two city study area, ten LFLs are memorials, allowing bereaved families to pass on a loved one’s penchant for sharing books and reading (Charter 1235; Charter 1309; Charter 4604; Charter 6219; Charter 6542; Charter 6954; Charter 10326; Charter 16734; Charter 24481; Charter 30369). In some cases, urban neighbours come together to build, erect, and stock LFLs. One steward wrote: “Those of us who live in this friendly neighborhood collaborated to design[,] build and paint a bungalow themed library” to match the houses in the neighbourhood (Charter 2532). Another noted: “Our neighbor across the street is a skilled woodworker, and offered to build the library for us if we would install it in our yard and maintain it. What a deal!” (Charter 18677). Community organisations also install and maintain LFLs, including 21 in the study population (e.g. Charter 31822; Charter 27155).Stewards report increased communication with neighbours due to their LFLs. A steward noted: “We celebrated the library’s launch on a Saturday morning with neighbors of all ages. We love sitting on our front porch and catching up with the people who stop to check out the books” (Charter 9673). Another exclaimed:within 24 hours, before I had time to paint it, my Little Free Library took on a life of its own. All of a sudden there were lots of books in it and people stopping by. I wondered where these books came from as I had not put any in there. Little kids in the neighborhood are all excited about it and I have met neighbors that I had never seen before. This is going to be fun! (Charter 15981)LFLs build community through social interaction and collaboration. This occurs when neighbours come together to build, install, and fill the structures. The structures also open avenues for conversation between neighbours who had no connection previously. Like Herrmann’s neighbourhood garage sales, LFLs create and maintain social ties between neighbours and link them by the books they share. Additionally, when neighbours gather and communicate at the LFL structure, they create a transitory third space for “informal public life”, where people can casually interact at a nearby location (Oldenburg 14, 288).Building Barriers, Creating CommunityThe erection of an LFL in an urban neighbourhood is not, however, always a welcome sight. The news analysis found that LFLs most often come to the attention of municipal authorities via citizen complaints, which lead to investigations and enforcement of ordinances. In Kansas, a neighbour called an LFL an “eyesore” and an “illegal detached structure” (Tapper). In Wisconsin, well-meaning future stewards contacted their village authorities to ask about rules, inadvertently setting off a six-month ban on LFLs (Stingl; Rumage). Resulting from complaints and inquiries, municipalities regulated, and in one case banned, LFLs, thus building barriers to citizens’ desires to foster community and share books with neighbours.Municipal governments use two major areas of established code to remove or prohibit LFLs: ordinances banning unapproved structures in residents’ yards and those concerned with obstructions to right of ways when stewards locate the LFLs between the public sidewalk and street.In the first instance, municipal ordinances prohibit either front yard or detached structures. Controversies over these ordinances and LFLs erupted in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, in 2012; Leawood, Kansas, in 2014; Shreveport, Louisiana, in 2015; and Dallas, Texas, in 2015. The Village of Whitefish Bay banned LFLs due to an ordinance prohibiting “front yard structures,” including mailboxes (Sanburn; Stingl). In Leawood, the city council argued that an LFL, owned by a nine-year-old boy, violated an ordinance that forbade the construction of any detached structures without city council permission. In Shreveport, the stewards of an LFL received a cease and desist letter from city council for having an “accessory structure” in the front yard (LaCasse; Burris) and Dallas officials knocked on a steward’s front door, informing her of a similar breach (Kellogg).In the second instance, some urban municipalities argued that LFLs are obstructions that block right of ways. In Lincoln, Nebraska, the public works director noted that the city “uses the area between the sidewalk and the street for snow storage in the winter, light poles, mailboxes, things like that.” The director continued: “And I imagine these little libraries are meant to congregate people like a water cooler, but we don’t want people hanging around near the road by the curb” (Heady). Both Lincoln in 2014 and Los Angeles (LA), California, in 2015, cited LFLs for obstructions. In Lincoln, the city notified the Southminster United Methodist Church that their LFL, located between the public sidewalk and street, violated a municipal ordinance (Sanburn). In LA, the Bureau of Street Services notified actor Peter Cook that his LFL, situated in the right of way, was an “obstruction” that Cook had to remove or the city would levy a fine (Moss). The city agreed at a hearing to consider a “revocable permit” for Cook’s LFL, but later denied its issuance (Condes).Stewards who found themselves in violation of municipal ordinances were able to harness emotion and build outrage over limits to individuals’ ability to erect LFLs. In Kansas, the stewards created a Facebook page, Spencer’s Little Free Library, which received over 31,000 likes and messages of support. One comment left on the page reads: “The public outcry will force those lame city officials to change their minds about it. Leave it to the stupid government to rain on everybody’s parade” (“Good”). Children’s author Daniel Handler sent a letter to the nine-year-old steward, writing as Lemony Snicket, “fighting against librarians is immoral and useless in the face of brave and noble readers such as yourself” (Spencer’s). Indeed, the young steward gave a successful speech to city hall arguing that the body should allow the structures because “‘lots of people in the neighborhood used the library and the books were always changing. I think it’s good for Leawood’” (Bauman). Other local LFL supporters also attended council and spoke in favour of the structures (Harper). In LA, Cook’s neighbours started a petition that gathered over 100 signatures, where people left comments including, “No to bullies!” (Lopez). Additionally, neighbours gathered to discuss the issue (Dana). In Shreveport, neighbours left stacks of books in their front yards, without a structure housing them due to the code banning accessory structures. One noted, “I’m basically telling the [Metropolitan Planning Commission] to go sod off” (Friedersdorf; Moss). LFL proponents reacted with frustration and anger at the perceived over-reach of the government toward harmless LFLs. In addition to the actions of neighbours and supporters, the national and local press commented on the municipal constraints. The LFL movement has benefitted from a significant amount of positive press in its formative years, a press willing to publicise and criticise municipal actions to thwart LFL development. Stewards’ struggles against municipal bureaucracies building barriers to LFLs makes prime fodder for the news media. Herbert J. Gans argues an enduring value in American news is “the preservation of the freedom of the individual against the encroachments of nation and society” (50). The juxtaposition of well-meaning LFL stewards against municipal councils and committees provided a compelling opportunity to illustrate this value.National media outlets, including Time (Sanburn), Christian Science Monitor (LaCasse), and The Atlantic, drew attention to the issue. Writing in The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf critically noted:I wish I was writing this to merely extol this trend [of community building via LFLs]. Alas, a subset of Americans are determined to regulate every last aspect of community life. Due to selection bias, they are overrepresented among local politicians and bureaucrats. And so they have power, despite their small-mindedness, inflexibility, and lack of common sense so extreme that they’ve taken to cracking down on Little Free Libraries, of all things. (Friedersdorf, n.p.)Other columnists mirrored this sentiment. Writing in the LA Times, one commentator sarcastically wrote that city officials were “cracking down on one of the country’s biggest problems: small community libraries where residents share books” (Schaub). Journalists argued this was government overreach on non-issues rather than tackling larger community problems, such as income inequality, homelessness, and aging infrastructure (Solomon; Schaub). The protests and negative press coverage led to, in the case of the municipalities with front yard and detached structure ordinances, détente between stewards and councils as the latter passed amendments permitting and regulating LFLs. Whitefish Bay, Leawood, and Shreveport amended ordinances to allow for LFLs, but also to regulate them (Everson; Topil; Siegel). Ordinances about LFLs restricted their number on city blocks, placement on private property, size and height, as well as required registration with the municipality in some cases. Lincoln officials allowed the church to relocate the LFL from the right of way to church property and waived the $500 fine for the obstruction violation (Sanburn). In addition to the amendments, the protests also led to civic participation and community building including presentations to city council, a petition, and symbolic acts of defiance. Through this protest, neighbours create communities—networks of people working toward a common goal. This aspect of community building around LFLs was unintentional but it brought people together nevertheless.Building a Challenge to Traditional Libraries?LFL marketing and communication staff member Margaret Aldrich suggests in The Little Free Library Book that LFLs are successful because they are “gratifyingly doable” projects that can be accomplished by an individual (16). It is this ease of building, erecting, and maintaining LFLs that builds concern as their proliferation could challenge aspects of library service, such as public funding and patron visits. Some professional librarians are in favour of the LFLs and are stewards themselves (Charter 121; Charter 2608; Charter 9702; Charter 41074; Rumage). Others envision great opportunities for collaboration between traditional libraries and LFLs, including the library publicising LFLs and encouraging their construction as well as using LFLs to serve areas without, or far from, a public library (Svehla; Shumaker). While lauding efforts to build community, some professional librarians question the nomenclature used by the movement. They argue the phrase Little Free Libraries is inaccurate as libraries are much more than random collections of books. Instead, critics contend, the LFL structures are closer to book swaps and exchanges than actual libraries, which offer a range of services such as Internet access, digital materials, community meeting spaces, and workshops and programming on a variety of topics (American Library Association; Annoyed Librarian). One university reference and instruction librarian worries about “the general public’s perception and lumping together of little free libraries and actual ‘real’ public libraries” (Hardenbrook). By way of illustration, he imagines someone asking, “‘why do we need our tax money to go to something that can be done for FREE?’” (Hardenbrook). Librarians holding this perspective fear the movement might add to a trend of neoliberalism, limiting or ending public funding for libraries, as politicians believe that the localised, individual solutions can replace publicly funded library services. This is a trend toward what James Ferguson calls “responsibilized” citizens, those “deployed to produce governmentalized results that do not depend on direct state intervention” (172). In other countries, this shift has already begun. In the United Kingdom (UK), governments are devolving formerly public services onto community groups and volunteers. Lindsay Findlay-King, Geoff Nichols, Deborah Forbes, and Gordon Macfadyen trace the impacts of the 2012 Localism Act in the UK, which caused “sport and library asset transfers” (12) to community and volunteer groups who were then responsible for service provision and, potentially, facility maintenance as well. Rather than being in charge of a “doable” LFL, community groups and volunteers become the operators of much larger facilities. Recent efforts in the US to privatise library services as governments attempt to cut budgets and streamline services (Streitfeld) ground this fear. Image 3: “Take a Book, Share a Book,” a Little Free Library motto. Image credit: Nadine Kozak. LFLs might have real consequences for public libraries. Another potential unintended consequence of the LFLs is decreasing visits to public libraries, which could provide officials seeking to defund them with evidence that they are no longer relevant or necessary. One LFL steward and avid reader remarked that she had not used her local public library since 2014 because “I was using the Little Free Libraries” (Steward). Academics and librarians must conduct more research to determine what impact, if any, LFLs are having on visits to traditional public libraries. ConclusionLittle Free Libraries across the United States, and increasingly in other countries, have generated discussion, promoted collaboration between neighbours, and led to sharing. In other words, they have built communities. This was the intended consequence of the LFL movement. There, however, has also been unplanned community building in response to municipal threats to the structures due to right of way, safety, and planning ordinances. The more threatening concern is not the municipal ordinances used to block LFL development, but rather the trend of privatisation of publicly provided services. While people are celebrating the community built by the LFLs, caution must be exercised lest central institutions of the public and community, traditional public libraries, be lost. Academics and communities ought to consider not just impact on their local community at the street level, but also wider structural concerns so that communities can foster many “great good places”—the Little Free Libraries and traditional public libraries as well.ReferencesAldrich, Margaret. “Big Milestone for Little Free Library: 50,000 Libraries Worldwide.” Little Free Library. Little Free Library Organization. 4 Nov. 2016. 25 Feb. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/big-milestone-for-little-free-library-50000-libraries-worldwide/>.Aldrich, Margaret. The Little Free Library Book: Take a Book, Return a Book. Minneapolis, MN: Coffee House Press, 2015.Annoyed Librarian. “How to Protect Little Free Libraries.” Library Journal Blog 9 Jul. 2015. 26 Mar. 2017 <http://lj.libraryjournal.com/blogs/annoyedlibrarian/2015/07/09/how-to-protect-little-free-libraries/>.American Library Association. “Public Library Use.” State of America’s Libraries: A Report from the American Library Association (2015). 25 Feb. 2017 <http://www.ala.org/tools/libfactsheets/alalibraryfactsheet06>.Bauman, Caroline. “‘Little Free Libraries’ Legal in Leawood Thanks to 9-year-old Spencer Collins.” The Kansas City Star 7 Jul. 2014. 25 Feb. 2017 <http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article687562.html>.Burris, Alexandria. “First Amendment Issues Surface in Little Free Library Case.” Shreveport Times 5 Feb. 2015. 25 Feb. 2017 <http://www.shreveporttimes.com/story/news/local/2015/02/05/expert-use-zoning-law-clashes-first-amendment/22922371/>.Carpentier, Nico. Media and Participation: A Site of Ideological-Democratic Struggle. Bristol: Intellect, 2011.Charter 121. “The World Map.” Little Free Library (2017). 26 Mar. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/>.Charter 1235. “The World Map.” Little Free Library (2017). 26 Mar. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/>.Charter 1309. “The World Map.” Little Free Library (2017). 26 Mar. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/>.Charter 2532. “The World Map.” Little Free Library (2017). 26 Mar. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/>.Charter 2608. “The World Map.” Little Free Library (2017). 26 Mar. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/>.Charter 4369. “The World Map.” Little Free Library (2017). 26 Mar. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/>.Charter 4604. “The World Map.” Little Free Library (2017). 26 Mar. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/>.Charter 4684. “The World Map.” Little Free Library (2017). 26 Mar. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/>.Charter 6219. “The World Map.” Little Free Library (2017). 26 Mar. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/>.Charter 6542. “The World Map.” Little Free Library (2017). 26 Mar. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/>.Charter 6954. “The World Map.” Little Free Library (2017). 26 Mar. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/>.Charter 8212. “The World Map.” Little Free Library (2017). 26 Mar. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/>.Charter 9437. “The World Map.” Little Free Library (2017). 26 Mar. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/>.Charter 9673. “The World Map.” Little Free Library (2017). 26 Mar. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/>.Charter 9702. “The World Map.” Little Free Library (2017). 26 Mar. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/>.Charter 9705. “The World Map.” Little Free Library (2017). 26 Mar. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/>.Charter 10326. “The World Map.” Little Free Library (2017). 26 Mar. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/>.Charter 15981. “The World Map.” Little Free Library (2017). 26 Mar. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/>.Charter 16561. “The World Map.” Little Free Library (2017). 26 Mar. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/>.Charter 16734. “The World Map.” Little Free Library (2017). 26 Mar. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/>.Charter 18677. “The World Map.” Little Free Library (2017). 26 Mar. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/>.Charter 24481. “The World Map.” Little Free Library (2017). 26 Mar. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/>.Charter 27155. “The World Map.” Little Free Library (2017). 26 Mar. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/>.Charter 30369. “The World Map.” Little Free Library (2017). 26 Mar. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/>.Charter 31822. “The World Map.” Little Free Library (2017). 26 Mar. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/>.Charter 41074. “The World Map.” Little Free Library (2017). 26 Mar. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/>.Condes, Yvonne. “Save the Little Library!” MomsLA 10 Aug. 2015. 25 Feb. 2017 <http://momsla.com/save-the-micro-library/>.Dana. “The Tenn-Mann Library Controversy, Part 3.” Read with Dana (30 Jan. 2015). 25 Feb. 2017 <https://readwithdana.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/the-tenn-mann-library-controversy-part-three/>.Everson, Jeff. “An Ordinance to Amend and Reenact Chapter 106 of the Shreveport Code of Ordinances Relative to Outdoor Book Exchange Boxes, and Otherwise Providing with Respect Thereto.” City of Shreveport, Louisiana 9 Oct. 2015. 25 Feb. 2017 <http://ftpcontent4.worldnow.com/ksla/pdf/LFLordinance.pdf>.Ferguson, James. “The Uses of Neoliberalism.” Antipode 41.S1 (2009): 166-84.Findlay-King, Lindsay, Geoff Nichols, Deborah Forbes, and Gordon Macfadyen. “Localism and the Big Society: The Asset Transfer of Leisure Centres and Libraries—Fighting Closures or Empowering Communities.” Leisure Studies (2017): 1-13.Friedersdorf, Conor. “The Danger of Being Neighborly without a Permit.” The Atlantic 20 Feb. 2015. 25 Feb. 2017 <https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2015/02/little-free-library-crackdown/385531/>.Gans, Herbert J. Deciding What’s News: A Study of CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, Newsweek, and Time. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2004.“Good Luck Spencer.” Spencer’s Little Free Library Facebook Page 25 Jun. 2014. 26 Mar. 2017 <https://www.facebook.com/Spencerslittlefreelibrary/photos/pcb.527531327376433/527531260709773/?type=3>.Hardenbrook, Joe. “A Little Rant on Little Free Libraries (AKA Probably an Unpopular Post).” Mr. Library Dude (9 Apr. 2014). 25 Feb. 2017 <https://mrlibrarydude.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/a-little-rant-on-little-free-libraries-aka-probably-an-unpopular-post/>.Harper, Deb. “Minutes.” The Leawood City Council 7 Jul. 2014. <http://www.leawood.org/pdf/cc/min/07-07-14.pdf>. Heady, Chris. “City Wants Church to Move Little Library.” Lincoln Journal Star 9 Jul. 2014. 25 Feb. 2017 <http://journalstar.com/news/local/city-wants-church-to-move-little-library/article_7753901a-42cd-5b52-9674-fc54a4d51f47.html>. Herrmann, Gretchen M. “Garage Sales Make Good Neighbors: Building Community through Neighborhood Sales.” Human Organization 62.2 (2006): 181-191.Kellogg, Carolyn. “Officials Threaten to Destroy a Little Free Library in Texas.” Los Angeles Times (1 Oct. 2015). 25 Feb. 2017 <http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-little-free-library-texas-20150930-story.html>.LaCasse, Alexander. “Why Are Some Cities Cracking Down on Little Free Libraries.” Christian Science Monitor (5 Feb. 2015). 25 Feb. 2017 <http://www.csmonitor.com/Books/chapter-and-verse/2015/0205/Why-are-some-cities-cracking-down-on-little-free-libraries>.Landman, Ruth H. Creating the Community in the City: Cooperatives and Community Gardens in Washington, DC Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey, 1993. Little Free Library. Little Free Library Organization (2017). 25 Feb. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/>.Lopez, Steve. “Actor’s Curbside Libraries Is a Smash—for Most People.” LA Times 3 Feb. 2015. 25 Feb. 2017 <http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-0204-lopez-library-20150204-column.html>.Moore, Rowan. Why We Build: Power and Desire in Architecture. New York: Harper Design, 2013.Moss, Laura. “City Zoning Laws Target Little Free Libraries.” Mother Nature Network 25 Aug. 2015. 25 Feb. 2017 <http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/stories/city-zoning-laws-target-little-free-libraries>.National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Average Literacy and Numeracy Scale Scores of 25- to 65-Year Olds, by Sex, Age Group, Highest Level of Educational Attainment, and Country of Other Education System: 2012, table 604.10. 25 Feb. 2017 <https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d15/tables/dt15_604.10.asp?current=yes>.National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Average Prose, Document, and Quantitative Literacy Scores of Adults: 1992 and 2003. National Assessment of Adult Literacy. 25 Feb. 2017 <https://nces.ed.gov/naal/kf_demographics.asp>.Oldenburg, Ray. The Great Good Place: Cafés, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community. New York: Marlowe & Company, 1999.“Our History.” Little Free Library. Little Free Library Organization (2017). 25 Feb. 2017 <https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourhistory/>.Putnam, Robert D. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001.Rumage, Jeff. “Little Free Libraries Now Allowed in Whitefish Bay.” Whitefish Bay Patch (8 May 2013). 25 Feb. 2017 <http://patch.com/wisconsin/whitefishbay/little-free-libraries-now-allowed-in-whitefish-bay>.Sanburn, Josh. “What Do Kansas and Nebraska Have against Small Libraries?” Time 10 Jul. 2014. 25 Feb. 2017 <http://time.com/2970649/tiny-libraries-violating-city-ordinances/>.Schaub, Michael. “Little Free Libraries on the Wrong Side of the Law.” LA Times 4 Feb. 2015. 25 Feb. 2017 <http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-little-free-libraries-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-law-20150204-story.html>.Shumaker, David. “Public Libraries, Little Free Libraries, and Embedded Librarians.” The Embedded Librarian (28 April 2014) 26 Mar. 2017 <https://embeddedlibrarian.com/2014/04/28/public-libraries-little-free-libraries-and-embedded-librarians/>.Siegel, Julie. “An Ordinance to Amend Section 16.13 of the Municipal Code with Regard to Exempt Certain Little Free Libraries from Front Yard Setback Requirements.” Village of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin (5 Aug. 2013).Skogan, Wesley G. Police and Community in Chicago: A Tale of Three Cities. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.Solomon, Dan. “Dallas Is Regulating ‘Little Free Libraries’ for Some Reason.” Texas Monthly (14 Sept. 2016). 25 Feb. 2017 <http://www.texasmonthly.com/the-daily-post/dallas-regulating-little-free-libraries-reason/>.“Spencer’s Little Free Library.” Facebook 15 Jul. 2014. 25 Feb. 2017 <https://www.facebook.com/Spencerslittlefreelibrary/photos/pcb.527531327376433/527531260709773/?type=3>.Steward, M. Personal Interview. 7 Feb. 2017.Stingl, Jim. “Village Slaps Endnote on Little Libraries.” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 11 Nov. 2012: 1B, 7B.Streitfeld, David. “Anger as a Private Company Takes over Libraries.” The New York Times (26 Sept. 2010). 25 Feb. 2017 <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/27/business/27libraries.html>.Svehla, Louise. “Little Free Libraries—The Possibilities Are Endless.” Public Libraries Online (8 Mar. 2013). 25 Feb. 2017 <http://publiclibrariesonline.org/2013/03/little-free-libraries-the-possibilities-are-endless/>.Tapper, Jake. “Boy Fights Council to Save His Library.” CNN 4 Jul. 2014. 25 Feb. 2017 <http://thelead.blogs.cnn.com/2014/07/04/boy-fights-to-save-his-library/>.Topil, Greg. “Little Free Libraries in Lincoln.” City of Lincoln, Nebraska (n.d.). 25 Feb. 2017 <http://lincoln.ne.gov/City/pworks/engine/row/little-library.htm>.

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Hardley, Jess. "Embodied Perceptions of Darkness." M/C Journal 24, no.2 (April27, 2021). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2756.

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Introduction The past decade has seen a burgeoning new field titled “night studies” or “darkness studies” (Gwiazdzinski, Maggioli, and Straw). Key theorists Straw, Shaw, Dunn, and Edensor have spearheaded this new field, publishing a recent flurry of books and other scholarly work dedicated to various aspects of the night. Topics range, for instance, from the history of artificial lighting (Shaw), atmospheres of urban light and darkness (Sumartojo, Edensor, and Pink), street music and public space at night (Reia), the experience of eating in the dark (Edensor and Falconer), walking at night (Morris; Dunn), gendered experiences of the city at night (Hardley; Hardley and Richardson “Mobile Media”, “Mistrust”), and women’s solo experiences of the wilderness at night. Contributing to this new field, this article considers some of the embodied ways mobile media have been deployed in the urban night. To date, this topic has not received much attention within the fields of mobile media or night studies. The research presented in this article draws on a qualitative research project conducted in Australia from 2016-2020. The project focussed on participants’ use of mobile media in urban spaces at night and conducted a specific analysis of pertinent gendered differences. Throughout my iterative and longitudinal research process, I engaged various phases of data collection to explore participants’ night-time mobile media practices, as well as to consider how darkness and the night impact networked practices in ways that speak to the postphenomenological concept of multistability (Ihde Postphenomenology and Technoscience). I highlight the empirical findings through a series of participant stories, exploring salient insights into embodied perceptions of darkness and various ways of co-opting mobile media practices in the urban night. Methods: Data Collection, Interpretation, and Representation My research took place in Perth and Melbourne from 2016-2020. A total of 98 individuals, aged 19 to 67 years, participated. Participants came from diverse backgrounds, including urban and rural Australia, Sweden, America, Ethiopia, Italy, Argentina, USA, and England. They were students, teachers, chefs, unemployed, stay-at-home-parents, miners, small business owners, retired, doctors, and government scientists. They identified across the sexuality and gender identity spectrums. My techniques for data collection were grouped into four main phases: (i) an initial survey; (ii) home visits, which included interviews, haptic experiments, observations, and my own situatedness in participants’ homes; (iii) geo-locative tracking and text messaging; and (iv) online follow-up interviews. The study was open to anyone who lived in Perth or Melbourne, was over 18 years old, and used a smartphone. All phases of the data collection were conducted during the day or at night, depending on participant availability. My focus on darkness and the night, in relation to mobile media, evolved over time. The first question regarding mobile media and the night was posed in 2016 during initial data collection, using an online survey to cast a wide net to gather insights on networked functionality afforded by mobile phones and perceptions of safety and risk in urban and domestic space. Participants frequently referred to the differences between day and night. During home visits and face-to-face interviews in 2017, as well as online interviews in 2020, I sought to gain deeper insights into participants’ sensory experiences of darkness and the night. My interpretation and representation of the data adopts a similar approach as vignettes, which are described by Berry in her book on creative practice and mobile media. For Berry, vignettes are a way of “braiding” (xv) accounts of participant experience together. My particular use of this approach has been published in detail elsewhere (Hardley and Richardson “Digital Placemaking”). Postphenomenology, Multistability, and Mobile Media Throughout this article I frame engagement with mobile media as a particular kind of body-technology relation. As the founder of postphenomenology, Ihde, writes, “technologies transform our experience of the world and our perceptions and interpretations of our world, and we in turn become transformed in this process” (Postphenomenology and Technoscience 44). Ihde adapted phenomenology (from Merleau-Ponty, Husserl, and Heidegger) by shifting away from an essentialist body-subject to non-essentialist contextualisation. As Ihde explains (he uses archery longbows and arrows to make his point), all tools are the “same” in an abstract sense; however, “radically different practices fit differently into various contexts” (Postphenomenology and Technoscience 16). In other words, tools (including mobile media) are never neutral and are always multiple and variable depending on context and practice. All tools are therefore situated and embodied in culturally specific ways. Postphenomenological scholarship can, thus, be said to capture the cultural specificity of all human-technology relations. The following examples help illustrate this defining characteristic of postphenomenology, as distinct from phenomenology. It could be argued that Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological description of the blind man with his cane is an essentialist notion of what it’s like to experience blindness. On the other hand, Wellner’s postphenomenological description of using a mobile phone describes how the same technology can be used by different people in multiple ways, as people assign different meanings to the technology. This notion is best captured by the term multistability, which suggests each technology has numerous uses, applications and purposes. As Irwin explains, the term multistability—one of Ihde’s central concepts within postphenomenology—conveys the inherent adaptability and mutability of both bodies and media engagement, depending on the context or situatedness of a tool’s use. In the following sections, I first explore embodied perceptions of darkness and the night, and then explore how mobile media have modified participants’ embodied perception of darkness and how it informs their situated awareness of their urban surroundings. In terms of my research, this concerns how mobile media users embody their devices in an array of different ways, especially at night. “Feeling” the Night: Embodied Perceptions of Darkness Darkness, and the night, are not simply about the lack of vision. Indeed, while sensory perception in the dark, such as obscured vision and the heightening of other senses, comes into play, we also encounter the night through an enmeshed cultural relationship of darkness and danger. Shaw describes this relationship in the following way: darkness has been equated with danger: the night was a time when demons, criminals and others who presented a threat were imagined to be present in the landscape. Darkness was thus imagined as a space in which both real and mythical dangers were present. (“Controlling Darkness” 5) Chris, a young gay man living in a medium-sized town close to Melbourne, leaned back in his chair, closed his eyes, and laughed when I asked him if he has ever been scared of the dark. He responded: [Silence] Yeah! I have! Wow, what a funny question. [Laughter] I remember always checking my closet as a child before getting into bed. And the door had to be closed. I could not sleep if the closet door was open. When asked what he thought might be in the closet at night, he laughed again and shared: I have no idea. I don’t think I ever thought it was a person, just the unknown. How funny to think about that now—as a gay man I was scared of what might come out of the closet! [Laughter] Chris’s observation of his habitual childhood behaviour illustrates an embodied cultural imagery of darkness and the role of fear, anxieties and the unknown in the dark. He also spoke of “growing out of” his fantastical fear of the dark as he entered adulthood. This contrasts with what many women in my study described, noting their transition from childhood “fears of the dark” to very real and “felt” experiences of darkness and danger. This opened up a major finding in my research, and uncovered navigational and connectivity strategies often deployed by women in urban spaces at night (Hardley and Richardson “Mistrust”). For instance, Leah (a woman in her late 40s living in Perth), revealed her peripatetic engagement with the (sub)urban night when she described her cycling routes with her 8-year-old daughter. While talking with me via Zoom in 2020, she explained: I have an electric bike—it’s great. I can zip around the city and I have a kid’s seat on the back for my daughter. Sometimes I feel like a hybrid pedestrian—I can switch quickly between being on the road or the footpath. Recently, my daughter asked why we always take the long way home at night. I had to think quickly to come up with a response because I think she’s too young to know the truth. I told her that parks are often empty at night, so if something happens to us then there will be no one to help. In a way that’s true, but really, it’s because as a woman and a child it’s safer for us to remain on well-lit streets. Leah’s experience of the city and her mobility at night are distinctly gendered; she reflects on her experience as a “hybrid pedestrian” in relation to what could happen to her and her daughter if they were to ride through the park at night instead of remaining on the well-lit bike path. Overwhelmingly, the men who participated in my study did not share similar experiences or reflections. Introducing the embodiment of darkness and the night, along with associated fears and anxieties, in a general sense sets the atmospheric scene for a postphenomenological analysis of embodied experiences of the urban night and how users co-opt mobile media functionalities to manage their embodied experiences of the dark. Chris and Leah’s stories both suggest how we “feel” at night has important implications for the practical way(s) in which we engage, navigate and curate our experiences of the dark. In the following section, I consider how mobile devices are literally “handled”, particularly by women in the urban context, to mitigate fears and anxieties of the night. I contend that our embodied experience of the urban night is mediated by, and through, our collective and individual fears, anxieties and perceptions of danger in the dark. Co-opting Mobile Media: Multistable Experiences of the Urban Night Reflecting on his own practices of walking at night, Dunn writes, walking at night, however, offers something different, having the capacity to alter our ingrained, seemingly natural predispositions towards the urban surroundings, and our perceptions along with it. (9) Indeed, the night can offer a “capacity to alter”; however, I suggest that it can also reinforce anxieties and fears of the dark (both real and imagined). As such, walking at night can also reinforce “ingrained, seemingly natural predispositions”. Postphenomenology is useful here, as it offers a way to think through practices of what Ihde calls “amplification” and “reduction” of the corporeal schema. Through both actions, mobile media users habituate themselves or take up residence in the urban night by and through their use of smartphone functionalities, as well as their sense of networked connectivity. In the context of this article, the corporeal schema undergoes an amplification and reduction via the co-opting of mobile media, such as an embodied sense of networked connectivity or a tactile prop, to generate a “tele-cocoon” (Habuchi), “shield” (Verhoeff), or “bubble” (Bull Sounding). The corporeal schema can be understood as our lived experience of the world (Merleau-Ponty), whereby our “perceptual reach and bodily boundaries, is always-already extendible through artifacts and technologies” (Hardley and Richardson “Mistrust”). The digital cocoon afforded by mobile media is often gendered and overtly concerned with issues of personal safety and privacy, especially at night. For many women, generating an imagined boundary between the self and others in shared urban spaces is an important function of mobile media. As one Perth participant reflected, my phone’s a good distraction when I’m alone in a public place, especially at night if I’m waiting for someone. Sometimes guys will come up and try to start a conversation—it’s so annoying. If I focus on my phone, it’s like telling them to leave me alone. This tactical use of mobile media to carve out one’s own space in crowded social places was especially common among the women I interviewed. Yet, such practices are also deployed by men, albeit for different reasons. In Melbourne, Dane described the strategic use of his mobile phone as both a creative tool of connection and a means of communicating—especially to women at night—that he was non-threatening. As a proud late-adopter of smartphones, he explained to me that his main reason for buying one had been the camera function; he refers to his smartphone as “a camera that rings”. He particularly enjoys taking photos at night, during which time his familiar streets become “moody and strange”. He spends many hours walking in his neighbourhood, capturing shadows and uploading the images to his public Instagram account. Referring to his dark skin and shaved head, he joked, “I’d look great in a line-up” and added: sometimes I feel a bit self-conscious on the bus or train, particularly late at night, I think maybe I could seem like a threat or something. So, I’ll play a game or chat to friends about my photos via Instagram. I figure it works both ways—I don’t notice anyone and people don’t notice me. As these participant stories reveal, the personal privacy bubble offered by our mobile devices is co-opted differently. Turning to Ihde’s notion of multistability, these examples can be analysed and understood as mobile technologies’ potential variabilities with multiple outcomes (Ihde Postphenomenology and Technoscience). To explore and explain this further, I consider the following participant story in which Britta, an American living in Melbourne, reflected on her night-time pedestrian practices across two cities, sharing: at night, in Australia, my phone would be in my bra. In Philadelphia, it would be in my hand. It's totally different because of safety. When at University in the U.S., I would always talk to a friend while walking from one place to the next. It doesn't even cross my mind to do that in Australia. In Philadelphia, I would call one of the girls I lived with and if someone approached me, I could say, "Oh sh*t, I'm about to get mugged, this is where I am” and they could call the cops. It's a sense of being on guard. I would never walk using headphones in Philadelphia. In Australia, if I go running at night I listen to music with one earphone in. In this vignette, Britta has habituated an acute awareness of her corporeal schema. As Wellner suggests, “the world is always a negotiation between humans and their tools, their artifacts, their technology, and their devices” (5). In this context, Britta has an amplified awareness of her situatedness, and uses her mobile phone to listen to music in different ways depending on her geographical location. There is a direct connection to her use of headphones to listen to music and her embodied perception of personal safety at night. Turning to Ihde, this participant story can be explained through the term “non-neutrality”, which describes how “no technology is ‘one thing,’ nor is it incapable of belonging to multiple contexts” (Ihde Technology and Prognostic 47). Such an example points to the non-neutrality of mobile media, and how “our perception and environment are mediated by the technology” (Wellner 15). This analysis can be extended further to consider the use of headphones (as an extension of the mobile phone) and geographical location in relation to the concept of multistability—that is, the specificity of use. As Irwin writes, “how is it to be an earbudded body in the world? ... Earbuds are non-neutral and they are becoming deeply imbedded in daily life” (81). Indeed, Bull’s influential work on how personal stereos and iPods change users’ experiences of public spaces (Sound Moves) is useful here in understanding the background of what Irwin refers to as “keeping sound in and sound out” (81). It is, according to Irwin, “about privacy and isolation” (81); however, as Britta’s vignette shows, mobile media practices of privacy and isolation in urban spaces can be impacted by geographical location and urban darkness, and are also distinctly gendered. Applying the concept of multistability allows me to consider how, in some instances, mobile phones are often deployed as a proxy Do Not Disturb sign when alone in public (Hardley and Richardson “Mistrust”). While, in other instances, one’s embodied experience of being an earbudded body in the world can increase their perceptual sense of risk based on various factors, such as geographical location. Beyond this, it also speaks to the relational ontology between body and technology and the mutability of perception. In Britta’s example, her corporeal schema in the urban night is amplified by and through her personal and situated embodiment of mobile media use, particularly her decision to use headphones in specific ways depending on her geographical location. In 2017, I conducted a home visit with Dominique, a woman in her 30s living in Perth. During this visit, she reflected on her use of a Bluetooth earpiece, especially at night, sharing: I use a Bluetooth earpiece to talk over the phone. I also sometimes wear it at night even if I'm not on the phone or expecting a call as I can quickly request that Siri call someone for me without having to actually dig out my phone, unlock it and make the call. I prefer having my hands free. It can make me feel safer at night. Dominique’s description of having her mobile phone on standby can be understood as a habituated practice to overcome her anxieties of being alone at night in urban space, as well as to apprehend her sensory experience of the urban night by remaining “hands free”. Similar to Britta, Dominique’s embodiment in the urban night had become habituated and sedimented over time—or, in other words, “[a] force of habit” (Rosenberger and Verbeek 25). In this way, Dominique’s embodiment is configured depending on her contextual specificity, such as being alone in public spaces at night. Conclusion This article contributes to the emerging interdisciplinary field of “night studies” and “darkness studies” by focusing on the relationship between mobile media practices and the urban night. I based my methods, including data collection, interpretation and representation, in a postphenomenological framework, and detailed how this framework is useful in reflecting deeply and critically on mobile media use at night. Drawing from the framework’s key concept of multistability, I suggest a particular analysis of how users co-opt mobile media functionalities in situationally unique and personal ways in the urban night. The ways in which users co-opt these functionalities are often gendered. I unpacked how some of my research participants deploy mobile media functions as a means of managing their fears and anxieties of darkness and the urban night, and suggest that such uses are always dependent on the users specific situatedness, both within urban spaces and toward other city dwellers. In sum, this article has stressed the importance of situated and embodied experiences of darkness, and deploys postphenomenological insights to glean ways in which mobile media is implicated in the configuration of embodiment of the night. References Berry, Marsha. Creating with Mobile Media. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. Bull, Michael. Sounding Out the City: Personal Stereos and the Management of Everyday Life. New York: Berg Publishers, 2000. ———. Sound Moves: iPod Culture and Urban Experience. New York: Routledge, 2007. Dunn, Nick. Dark Matters: A Manifesto for the Nocturnal City. Alresford: Zero Books, 2016. Edensor, Tim. “Introduction to Geographies of Darkness.” Cultural Geographies 22.4 (2015). 27 March 2016 <https://doi.org/10.1177/1474474015604807>. Edensor, Tim, and Emily Falconer. "Dans Le Noir? Eating in the Dark: Sensation and Conviviality in a Lightless Place." Cultural Geographies 22.4 (2015). 2 April 2017 <https://doi.org/10.1177/1474474014534814>. Gwiazdzinski, Luc, Marco Maggioli, and Will Straw. "Geographies of the Night: From Geographical Object to Night Studies." Bollettino della Società Geografica Italiana 14 (2018): 9-22. Habuchi, Ichiyo. “Accelerating Reflexivity.” Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: Mobile Phones in Japanese Life. Eds. Mizuko Ito, Misa Matsuda, and Daisuke Okabe. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2005. 165-182. Hardley, Jess. “Mobile Media and the Urban Environment: Perceptions of Space and Safety.” Proceedings of the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, Washington DC, 3–7 Apr. 2019. Hardley, Jess, and Ingrid Richardson. “Mobile Media and the Embodiment of Risk and Safety in the Urban Night.” Proceedings of the Association of Internet Researchers Conference, Brisbane, 2–5 Oct. 2019. <https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2019i0.11051>. ———. “Digital Placemaking and Networked Corporeality: Embodied Mobile Media Practices in Domestic Space during Covid-19.” Convergence (2020). <https://doi-org.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/10.1177/1354856520979963>. ———. “Mistrust of the City at Night: Networked Connectivity and Embodied Perceptions of Risk and Safety.” Australian Feminist Studies (forthcoming 2021). Ihde, Don. Postphenomenology: Essays in the Postmodern Context. Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 1993. ———. Philosophy of Technology: An Introduction. New York: Paragon House, 1998. ———. “Technology and Prognostic Predicaments.” AI & Society 13 (1999): 44–51. ———. Bodies in Technology. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002. ———. Postphenomenology and Technoscience: The Peking University Lectures. New York: Suny Press, 2009. Irwin, Stacey. Digital Media: Human–Technology Connection. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2016. Lone Women. <https://www.lonewomeninflashesofwilderness.com>. Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. Phenomenology of Perception. London: Routledge, 2014 [1945]. Morris, Nina. "Night Walking: Darkness and Sensory Perception in a Night-Time Landscape Installation." Cultural Geographies 18.3 (2011). 8 Sep. 2016 <https://doi.org/10.1177/1474474011410277>. Reia, Jhessica. "Can We Play here? The Regulation of Street Music, Noise and Public Spaces after Dark." Nocturnes: Popular Music and the Night. Eds. Geoff Stahl and Giacomo Bottà. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2019. 163-176. Rosenberger, Robert, and Peter-Paul Verbeek. “A Field Guide to Postphenomenology.” Postphenomenological Investigations: Essays on Human-Technology Relations. Eds. Robert Rosenberger and Peter-Paul Verbeek. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2015. Shaw, Robert. “Controlling Darkness: Self, Dark and the Domestic Night.” Cultural Geographies 22.4 (2014). 16 Nov. 2016 <https://doi.org/10.1177/1474474014539250>. Shaw, Robert. The Nocturnal City. London: Routledge, 2018. Straw, Will. "Media and the Urban Night." Articulo 11 (2015). 15 Aug. 2017 <https://doi.org/10.4000/articulo.3098>. Sumartojo, Shanti, Tim Edensor, and Sarah Pink. "Atmospheres in Urban Light." Ambiances (En Ligne) 5 (2019). 5 June 2020 <https://doi.org/10.4000/ambiances.2586>. Verhoeff, Nanna. Mobile Screens: The Visual Regime of Navigation. Amsterdam: Amsterdam UP, 2012. Wellner, Galit. A Postphenomenological Inquiry of Cell Phones: Genealogies, Meanings, and Becoming. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2016.

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Varney, Wendy. "Homeward Bound or Housebound?" M/C Journal 10, no.4 (August1, 2007). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2701.

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Abstract:

If thinking about home necessitates thinking about “place, space, scale, identity and power,” as Alison Blunt and Robyn Dowling (2) suggest, then thinking about home themes in popular music makes no less a conceptual demand. Song lyrics and titles most often invoke dominant readings such as intimacy, privacy, nurture, refuge, connectedness and shared belonging, all issues found within Blunt and Dowling’s analysis. The spatial imaginary to which these authors refer takes vivid shape through repertoires of songs dealing with houses and other specific sites, vast and distant homelands, communities or, less tangibly, geographical or cultural settings where particular relationships can be found, supporting Blunt and Dowling’s major claim that home is complex, multi-scalar and multi-layered. Shelley Mallett’s claim that the term home “functions as a repository for complex, inter-related and at times contradictory socio-cultural ideas about people’s relationships with one another…and with places, spaces and things” (84) is borne out heavily by popular music where, for almost every sentiment that the term home evokes, it seems an opposite sentiment is evoked elsewhere: familiarity versus alienation, acceptance versus rejection, love versus loneliness. Making use of conceptual groundwork by Blunt and Dowling and by Mallett and others, the following discussion canvasses a range of meanings that home has had for a variety of songwriters, singers and audiences over the years. Intended as merely partial and exploratory rather than exhaustive, it provides some insights into contrasts, ironies and relationships between home and gender, diaspora and loss. While it cannot cover all the themes, it gives prominence to the major recurring themes and a variety of important contexts that give rise to these home themes. Most prominent among those songs dealing with home has been a nostalgia and yearning, while issues of how women may have viewed the home within which they have often been restricted to a narrowly defined private sphere are almost entirely absent. This serves as a reminder that, while some themes can be conducive to the medium of popular music, others may be significantly less so. Songs may speak directly of experience but not necessarily of all experiences and certainly not of all experiences equally. B. Lee Cooper claims “most popular culture ventures rely upon formula-oriented settings and phrasings to attract interest, to spur mental or emotional involvement” (93). Notions of home have generally proved both formulaic and emotionally-charged. Commonly understood patterns of meaning and other hegemonic references generally operate more successfully than alternative reference points. Those notions with the strongest cultural currency can be conveyed succinctly and denote widely agreed upon meanings. Lyrics can seldom afford to be deeply analytical but generally must be concise and immediately evocative. Despite that, this discussion will point to diverse meanings carried by songs about home. Blunt and Dowling point out that “a house is not necessarily nor automatically a home” (3). The differences are strongly apparent in music, with only a few songs relating to houses compared with homes. When Malvina Reynolds wrote in 1962 of “little boxes, on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky-tacky,” she was certainly referring to houses, not homes, thus making it easier to bypass the relationships which might have vested the inhabitants with more warmth and individuality than their houses, in this song about conformity and hom*ogeneity. The more complex though elusive concept of home, however, is more likely to feature in love songs and to emanate from diasporal songs. Certainly these two genres are not mutually exclusive. Irish songs are particularly noteworthy for adding to the array of music written by, or representational of, those who have been forced away from home by war, poverty, strife or other circ*mstances. They manifest identities of displacement rather than of placement, as studied by Bronwen Walter, looking back at rather than from within their spatial imaginary. Phil Eva claims that during the 19th Century Irish émigrés sang songs of exile in Manchester’s streets. Since many in England’s industrial towns had been uprooted from their homes, the songs found rapport with street audiences and entered popular culture. For example, the song Killarney, of hazy origins but thought to date back to as early as 1850, tells of Killarney’s lakes and fells, Emerald isles and winding bays; Mountain paths and woodland dells… ...her [nature’s] home is surely there. As well as anthropomorphising nature and giving it a home, the song suggests a specifically geographic sense of home. Galway Bay, written by A. Fahy, does likewise, as do many other Irish songs of exile which link geography with family, kin and sometimes culture to evoke a sense of home. The final verse of Cliffs of Doneen gives a sense of both people and place making up home: Fare thee well to Doneen, fare thee well for a while And to all the kind people I’m leaving behind To the streams and the meadows where late I have been And the high rocky slopes round the cliffs of Doneen. Earlier Irish songs intertwine home with political issues. For example, Tho’ the Last Glimpse of Erin vows to Erin that “In exile thy bosum shall still be my home.” Such exile resulted from a preference of fleeing Ireland rather than bowing to English oppression, which then included a prohibition on Irish having moustaches or certain hairstyles. Thomas Moore is said to have set the words of the song to the air Coulin which itself referred to an Irish woman’s preference for her “Coulin” (a long-haired Irish youth) to the English (Nelson-Burns). Diasporal songs have continued, as has their political edge, as evidenced by global recognition of songs such as Bayan Ko (My Country), written by José Corazon de Jesus in 1929, out of love and concern for the Philippines and sung among Filipinos worldwide. Robin Cohen outlines a set of criteria for diaspora that includes a shared belief in the possibility of return to home, evident in songs such as the 1943 Welsh song A Welcome in the Hillside, in which a Welsh word translating roughly as a yearning to return home, hiraeth, is used: We’ll kiss away each hour of hiraeth When you come home again to Wales. However, the immensely popular I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen, not of Irish origin but written by Thomas Westendorf of Illinois in 1875, suggests that such emotions can have a resonance beyond the diaspora. Anti-colonial sentiments about home can also be expressed by long-time inhabitants, as Harry Belafonte demonstrated in Island in the Sun: This is my island in the sun Where my people have toiled since time begun. Though I may sail on many a sea, Her shores will always be home to me. War brought a deluge of sentimental songs lamenting separation from home and loved ones, just as likely to be parents and siblings as sweethearts. Radios allowed wider audiences and greater popularity for these songs. If separation had brought a longing previously, the added horrors of war presented a stronger contrast between that which the young soldiers were missing and that which they were experiencing. Both the First and Second World Wars gave rise to songs long since sung which originated in such separations, but these also had a strong sense of home as defined by the nationalism that has for over a century given the contours of expectations of soldiers. Focusing on home, these songs seldom speak of the details of war. Rather they are specific about what the singers have left behind and what they hope to return to. Songs of home did not have to be written specifically for the war effort nor for overseas troops. Irving Berlin’s 1942 White Christmas, written for a film, became extremely popular with US troops during WWII, instilling a sense of home that related to familiarities and festivities. Expressing a sense of home could be specific and relate to regions or towns, as did I’m Goin’ Back Again to Yarrawonga, or it could refer to any home, anywhere where there were sons away fighting. Indeed the American Civil War song When Johnny Comes Marching Home, written by Patrick Sarsfield Gilmour, was sung by both Northerners and Southerners, so adaptable was it, with home remarkably unspecified and undescribed. The 1914 British song Keep the Home Fires Burning by Ivor Novello and Lena Ford was among those that evoked a connection between home and the military effort and helped establish a responsibility on those at home to remain optimistic: Keep the Homes fires burning While your hearts are yearning, Though your lads are far away They dream of home, There’s a silver lining Through the dark clouds shining, Turn the dark clouds inside out, Till the boys come Home. No space exists in this song for critique of the reasons for war, nor of a role for women other than that of homemaker and moral guardian. It was women’s duty to ensure men enlisted and home was rendered a private site for emotional enlistment for a presumed public good, though ironically also a point of personal hope where the light of love burned for the enlistees’ safe return. Later songs about home and war challenged these traditional notions. Two serve as examples. One is Pink Floyd’s brief musical piece of the 1970s, Bring the Boys Back Home, whose words of protest against the American war on Viet Nam present home, again, as a site of safety but within a less conservative context. Home becomes implicated in a challenge to the prevailing foreign policy and the interests that influence it, undermining the normal public sphere/private sphere distinction. The other more complex song is Judy Small’s Mothers, Daughters, Wives, from 1982, set against a backdrop of home. Small eloquently describes the dynamics of the domestic space and how women understood their roles in relation to the First and Second World Wars and the Viet Nam War. Reinforcing that “The materialities and imaginaries of home are closely connected” (Blunt and Dowling 188), Small sings of how the gold frames held the photographs that mothers kissed each night And the doorframe held the shocked and silent strangers from the fight. Small provides a rare musical insight into the disjuncture between the men who left the domestic space and those who return to it, and we sense that women may have borne much of the brunt of those awful changes. The idea of domestic bliss is also challenged, though from the returned soldier’s point of view, in Redgum’s 1983 song I Was Only Nineteen, written by group member John Schuman. It touches on the tragedy of young men thrust into war situations and the horrific after-affects for them, which cannot be shrugged off on return to home. The nurturing of home has limits but the privacy associated with the domestic sphere has often concealed the violence and mental anguish that happens away from public view. But by this time most of the songs referring to home were dominated once more by sentimental love, often borne of travel as mobility rose. Journeys help “establish the thresholds and boundaries of home” and can give rise to “an idealized, ideological and ethnocentric view of home” (Mallett 78). Where previously songsters had sung of leaving home in exile or for escape from poverty, lyrics from the 1960s onwards often suggested that work had removed people from loved ones. It could be work on a day-by-day basis, as in A Hard Day’s Night from the 1964 film of the same name, where the Beatles illuminate differences between the public sphere of work and the private sphere to which they return: When I’m home, everything seems to be alright, When I’m home feeling you holding me tight, tight, yeah and reiterated by Paul McCartney in Every Night: And every night that day is through But tonight I just want to stay in And be with you. Lyrics such as these and McCartney’s call to be taken “...home to the Mull of Kintyre,” singled him out for his home-and-hearth messages (Dempsey). But work might involve longer absences and thus more deepfelt loneliness. Simon and Garfunkel’s exemplary Homeward Bound starkly portrays a site of “away-ness”: I’m sittin’ in the railway station, got a ticket for my destination… Mundaneness, monotony and predictability contrast with the home to which the singer’s thoughts are constantly escaping. The routine is familiar but the faces are those of strangers. Home here is, again, not simply a domicile but the warmth of those we know and love. Written at a railway station, Homeward Bound echoes sentiments almost identical to those of (Leaving on a) Jet Plane, written by John Denver at an airport in 1967. Denver also co-wrote (Take Me Home) Country Roads, where, in another example of anthropomorphism as a tool of establishing a strong link, he asks to be taken home to the place I belong West Virginia, mountain momma, Take me home, Country Roads. The theme has recurred in numerous songs since, spawning examples such as Darin and Alquist’s When I Get Home, Chris Daughtry’s Home, Michael Bublé’s Home and Will Smith’s Ain’t No Place Like Home, where, in an opening reminiscent of Homeward Bound, the singer is Sitting in a hotel room A thousand miles away from nowhere Sloped over a chair as I stare… Furniture from home, on the other hand, can be used to evoke contentment and bliss, as demonstrated by George Weiss and Bob Thiele’s song The Home Fire, in which both kin and the objects of home become charged with meaning: All of the folks that I love are there I got a date with my favourite chair Of course, in regard to earlier songs especially, while the traveller associates home with love, security and tenderness, back at home the waiting one may have had feelings more of frustration and oppression. One is desperate to get back home, but for all we know the other may be desperate to get out of home or to develop a life more meaningful than that which was then offered to women. If the lot of homemakers was invisible to national economies (Waring), it seemed equally invisible to mainstream songwriters. This reflects the tradition that “Despite home being generally considered a feminine, nurturing space created by women themselves, they often lack both authority and a space of their own within this realm” (Mallett 75). Few songs have offered the perspective of the one at home awaiting the return of the traveller. One exception is the Seekers’ 1965 A World of Our Own but, written by Tom Springfield, the words trilled by Judith Durham may have been more of a projection of the traveller’s hopes and expectations than a true reflection of the full experiences of housebound women of the day. Certainly, the song reinforces connections between home and intimacy and privacy: Close the door, light the lights. We’re stayin’ home tonight, Far away from the bustle and the bright city lights. Let them all fade away, just leave us alone And we’ll live in a world of our own. This also strongly supports Gaston Bachelard’s claim that one’s house in the sense of a home is one’s “first universe, a real cosmos” (qtd. in Blunt and Dowling 12). But privacy can also be a loneliness when home is not inhabited by loved ones, as in the lyrics of Don Gibson’s 1958 Oh, Lonesome Me, where Everybody’s going out and having fun I’m a fool for staying home and having none. Similar sentiments emerge in Debbie Boone’s You Light up My Life: So many nights I’d sit by my window Waiting for someone to sing me his song. Home in these situations can be just as alienating as the “away” depicted as so unfriendly by Homeward Bound’s strangers’ faces and the “million people” who still leave Michael Bublé feeling alone. Yet there are other songs that depict “away” as a prison made of freedom, insinuating that the lack of a home and consequently of the stable love and commitment presumably found there is a sad situation indeed. This is suggested by the lilting tune, if not by the lyrics themselves, in songs such as Wandrin’ Star from the musical Paint Your Wagon and Ron Miller’s I’ve Never Been to Me, which has both a male and female version with different words, reinforcing gendered experiences. The somewhat conservative lyrics in the female version made it a perfect send-up song in the 1994 film Priscilla: Queen of the Desert. In some songs the absentee is not a traveller but has been in jail. In Tie a Yellow Ribbon round the Ole Oak Tree, an ex-inmate states “I’m comin’ home. I’ve done my time.” Home here is contingent upon the availability and forgivingness of his old girl friend. Another song juxtaposing home with prison is Tom Jones’ The Green, Green Grass of Home in which the singer dreams he is returning to his home, to his parents, girlfriend and, once again, an old oak tree. However, he awakes to find he was dreaming and is about to be executed. His body will be taken home and placed under the oak tree, suggesting some resigned sense of satisfaction that he will, after all, be going home, albeit in different circ*mstances. Death and home are thus sometimes linked, with home a euphemism for the former, as suggested in many spirituals, with heaven or an afterlife being considered “going home”. The reverse is the case in the haunting Bring Him Home of the musical Les Misérables. With Marius going off to the barricades and the danger involved, Jean Valjean prays for the young man’s safe return and that he might live. Home is connected here with life, safety and ongoing love. In a number of songs about home and absence there is a sense of home being a place where morality is gently enforced, presumably by women who keep men on the straight and narrow, in line with one of the women’s roles of colonial Australia, researched by Anne Summers. These songs imply that when men wander from home, their morals also go astray. Wild Rover bemoans Oh, I’ve been a wild rover for many a year, and I’ve spent all my money on whiskey and beer… There is the resolve in the chorus, however, that home will have a reforming influence. Gene Pitney’s Twenty-Four Hours from Tulsa poses the dangers of distance from a wife’s influence, while displaying opposition to the sentimental yearning of so many other songs: Dearest darlin’, I have to write to say that I won’t be home anymore ‘cause something happened to me while I was drivin’ home And I’m not the same anymore Class as well as gender can be a debated issue in meanings attached to home, as evident in several songs that take a more jaundiced view of home, seeing it as a place from which to escape. The Animals’ powerful We Gotta Get Outta This Place clearly suggests a life of drudgery in a home town or region. Protectively, the lyrics insist “Girl, there’s a better life for me and you” but it has to be elsewhere. This runs against the grain of other British songs addressing poverty or a working class existence as something that comes with its own blessings, all to do with an area identified as home. These traits may be loyalty, familiarity or a refusal to judge and involve identities of placement rather than of displacement in, for instance, Gerry and the Pacemakers’ Ferry Cross the Mersey: People around every corner, they seem to smile and say “We don’t care what your name is, boy. We’ll never send you away.” This bears out Blunt and Dowling’s claim that “people’s senses of themselves are related to and produced through lived and metaphorical experiences of home” (252). It also resonates with some of the region-based identity and solidarity issues explored a short time later by Paul Willis in his study of working class youth in Britain, which help to inform how a sense of home can operate to constrict consciousness, ideas and aspirations. Identity features strongly in other songs about home. Several years after Neil Young recorded his 1970 song Southern Man about racism in the south of the USA, the group Lynyrd Skynyrd, responded with Sweet Home Alabama. While the meaning of its lyrics are still debated, there is no debate about the way in which the song has been embraced, as I recently discovered first-hand in Tennessee. A banjo-and-fiddle band performing the song during a gig virtually brought down the house as the predominantly southern audience clapped, whopped and stamped its feet. The real meanings of home were found not in the lyrics but in the audience’s response. Wally Johnson and Bob Brown’s 1975 Home Among the Gum Trees is a more straightforward ode to home, with lyrics that prescribe a set of non-commodified values. It is about simplicity and the right to embrace a lifestyle that includes companionship, leisure and an enjoyment of and appreciation of nature, all threatened seriously in the three decades since the song’s writing. The second verse in which large shopping complexes – and implicitly the consumerism they encourage – are eschewed (“I’d trade it all tomorrow for a little bush retreat where the kookaburras call”), is a challenge to notions of progress and reflects social movements of the day, The Green Bans Movement, for instance, took a broader and more socially conscientious attitude towards home and community, putting forward alternative sets of values and insisting people should have a say in the social and aesthetic construction of their neighbourhoods as well as the impacts of their labour (Mundey). Ironically, the song has gone on to become the theme song for a TV show about home gardens. With a strong yet more vague notion of home, Peter Allen’s I Still Call Australia Home, was more prone to commodification and has been adopted as a promotional song for Qantas. Nominating only the desire to travel and the love of freedom as Australian values, both politically and socially innocuous within the song’s context, this catchy and uplifting song, when not being used as an advertisem*nt, paradoxically works for a “diaspora” of Australians who are not in exile but have mostly travelled for reasons of pleasure or professional or financial gain. Another paradox arises from the song Home on the Range, dating back to the 19th century at a time when the frontier was still a strong concept in the USA and people were simultaneously leaving homes and reminiscing about home (Mechem). Although it was written in Kansas, the lyrics – again vague and adaptable – were changed by other travellers so that versions such as Colorado Home and My Arizona Home soon abounded. In 1947 Kansas made Home on the Range its state song, despite there being very few buffalo left there, thus highlighting a disjuncture between the modern Kansas and “a home where the buffalo roam” as described in the song. These themes, paradoxes and oppositional understandings of home only scratch the surface of the wide range of claims that are made on home throughout popular music. It has been shown that home is a flexible concept, referring to homelands, regions, communities and private houses. While predominantly used to evoke positive feelings, mostly with traditional views of the relationships that lie within homes, songs also raise challenges to notions of domesticity, the rights of those inhabiting the private sphere and the demarcation between the private and public spheres. Songs about home reflect contexts and challenges of their respective eras and remind us that vigorous discussion takes place about and within homes. The challenges are changing. Where many women once felt restrictively tied to the home – and no doubt many continue to do so – many women and men are now struggling to rediscover spatial boundaries, with production and consumption increasingly impinging upon relationships that have so frequently given the term home its meaning. With evidence that we are working longer hours and that home life, in whatever form, is frequently suffering (Beder, Hochschild), the discussion should continue. In the words of Sam Cooke, Bring it on home to me! References Bacheland, Gaston. The Poetics of Space. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1994. Beder, Sharon. Selling the Work Ethic: From Puritan Pulpit to Corporate PR. London: Zed Books, 2000. Blunt, Alison, and Robyn Dowling. Home. London: Routledge, 2006. Cohen, Robin. Global Diasporas: An Introduction. London: UCL Press, 1997. Cooper, B. Lee. “Good Timin’: Searching for Meaning in Clock Songs.” Popular Music and Society 30.1 (Feb. 2007): 93-106. Dempsey, J.M. “McCartney at 60: A Body of Work Celebrating Home and Hearth.” Popular Music and Society 27.1 (Feb. 2004): 27-40. Eva, Phil. “Home Sweet Home? The Culture of ‘Exile’ in Mid-Victorian Popular Song.” Popular Music 16.2 (May 1997): 131-150. Hochschild, Arlie. The Time Bind: When Work Becomes Home and Home Becomes Work. New York: Metropolitan/Holt, 1997. Mallett, Sonia. “Understanding Home: A Critical Review of the Literature.” The Sociological Review 52.1 (2004): 62-89. Mechem, Kirke, “The Story of ‘Home on the Range’.” Reprint from the Kansas Historical Quarterly (Nov. 1949). Topeka, Kansas: Kansas State Historical Society. 28 May 2007 http://www.emporia.edu/cgps/tales/nov2003.html>. Mundey, Jack. Green Bans and Beyond. Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1981. Nelson-Burns, Lesley. Folk Music of England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and America. 29 May 2007 http://www.contemplator.com/ireland/tho*rin.html>. Summers, Anne. Damned whor*s and God’s Police: The Colonization of Women in Australia. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1975. Walter, Bronwen. Outsiders Inside: Whiteness, Place and Irish Women. London: Routledge, 2001. Waring, Marilyn. Counting for Nothing: What Men Value and What Women Are Worth. Wellington, NZ: Allen & Unwin, 1988. Willis, Paul. Learning to Labor: How Working Class Kids Get Working Class Jobs. New York: Columbia UP, 1977. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Varney, Wendy. "Homeward Bound or Housebound?: Themes of Home in Popular Music." M/C Journal 10.4 (2007). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0708/16-varney.php>. APA Style Varney, W. (Aug. 2007) "Homeward Bound or Housebound?: Themes of Home in Popular Music," M/C Journal, 10(4). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0708/16-varney.php>.

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Holloway, Donell Joy, Lelia Green, and Danielle Brady. "FireWatch: Creative Responses to Bushfire Catastrophes." M/C Journal 16, no.1 (March19, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.599.

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IntroductionBushfires have taken numerous lives and destroyed communities throughout Australia over many years. Catastrophic fire weather alerts have occurred during the Australian summer of 2012–13, and long-term forecasts predict increased bushfire events throughout several areas of Australia. This article highlights how organisational and individual responses to bushfire in Australia often entail creative responses—either improvised responses at the time of bushfire emergencies or innovative (organisational, strategic, or technological) changes which help protect the community from, or mitigate against, future bushfire catastrophes. These improvised or innovative responses include emergency communications systems, practices, and devices. This article reports on findings from a research project funded by the Australian Research Council titled Using Community Engagement and Enhanced Visual Information to Promote FireWatch Satellite Communications as a Support for Collaborative Decision-making. FireWatch is a Web-based public information product based on near real time satellite data produced by the West Australian (WA) Government entity, Landgate. The project researches ways in which remote and regional publics can be engaged and mobilised through the development of a more user-friendly FireWatch site to make fire information accessible and usable, allowing a community-focused response to risk.The significance of the research project is evident both in how it addresses the important and life-threatening challenge of bushfires; and also in how Australia’s increasingly hot, dry, long summers are adding to historically-established risks. This innovative project uses an iterative, participatory design process incorporating action-research practices. This will ensure that the new Firewatch interface is redesigned, tested, observed, and reflected upon multiple times—and will incorporate the collective creativity of users, designers, and researchers.The qualitative findings reported on in this article are based on 19 interviews with community members in the town of Kununurra in the remote Kimberley region of WA. The findings are positioned within a reconceptualised framework in which creativity is viewed as an essential component of successful emergency responses. This includes, we argue, two critical aspects of creativity: improvisation during a catastrophic event; and ongoing innovation to improve future responses to catastrophes—including communication practices and technologies. This shifts the discourse within the literature in relation to the effective management and community responses to the changing phenomenon of fire catastrophes. Findings from the first round of interviews, and results of enquiries into previous bushfires in Australia, are used to highlight how these elements of creativity often entail a collective creativity on the part of emergency responders or the community in general. An additional focus is on the importance of the critical use of communication during a bushfire event.ImprovisationThe notion of "improvisation" is often associated with artistic performance. Nonetheless, improvisation is also integral to making effectual responses during natural catastrophes. “Extreme events present unforeseen conditions and problems, requiring a need for adaptation, creativity, and improvisation while demanding efficient and rapid delivery of services under extreme conditions” (Harrald 257).Catastrophes present us with unexpected scenarios and require rapid, on the spot problem solving and “even if you plan for a bushfire it is not going to go to plan. When the wind changes direction there has to be a new plan” (Jeff. Personal Interview. 2012). Jazz musicians or improvisational actors “work to build their knowledge across a range of fields, and this knowledge provides the elements for each improvisational outcome” (Kendra and Wachendorf 2). Similarly, emergency responders’ knowledge and preparation can be drawn “upon in the ambiguous and dynamic conditions of a disaster where not every need has been anticipated or accounted for” (Kendra and Wachtendorf 2). Individuals and community organisations not associated with emergency services also improvise in a creative and intuitive manner in the way they respond to catastrophes (Webb and Chevreau). For example, during the 9/11 terrorism catastrophe in the USA an assorted group of boat owners rapidly self-organised to evacuate Lower Manhattan. On their return trips, they carried emergency personnel and supplies to the area (Kendra and Wachendorf 5). An interviewee in our study also recalls bush fire incidents where creative problem solving and intuitive decision-making are called for. “It’s like in a fire, you have to be thinking fast. You need to be semi self-sufficient until help arrives. But without doing anything stupid and creating a worse situation” (Kelly. Personal Interview. 2012). Kelly then describes the rapid community response she witnessed during a recent fire on the outskirts of Kununurra, WA.Everyone had to be accounted for, moving cars, getting the tractors out, protecting the bores because you need the water. It happens really fast and it is a matter of rustling everyone up with the machinery. (2012)In this sense, the strength of communities in responding to catastrophes or disasters “results largely from the abilities of [both] individuals and organisations to adapt and improvise under conditions of uncertainty” (Webb and Chevreau 67). These improvised responses frequently involve a collective creativity—where groups of neighbours or emergency workers act in response to the unforseen, often in a unified and self-organising manner. InnovationCatastrophes also stimulate change and innovation for the future. Disasters create a new environment that must be explored, assessed, and comprehended. Disasters change the physical and social landscape, and thereby require a period of exploration, learning, and the development of new approaches. (Kendra and Wachtendorf 6)These new approaches can include organisational change, new response strategies, and technologies and communication improvements. Celebrated inventor Benjamin Franklin, for instance, facilitated the formation of the first Volunteer Fire department in the 1850s as a response to previous urban fire catastrophes in the USA (Mumford 258). This organisational innovation continues to play an instrumental part in modern fire fighting practices. Indeed, people living in rural and remote areas of Australia are heavily reliant on volunteer groups, due to the sparse population and vast distances that need to be covered.As with most inventions and innovations, new endeavours aimed at improving responses to catastrophes do not occur in a vacuum. They “are not just accidents, nor the inscrutable products of sporadic genius, but have abundant and clear causes in prior scientific and technological development” (Gifillian 61). Likewise, the development of our user-friendly and publically available FireWatch site relies on the accumulation of preceding inventions and innovations. This includes the many years spent developing the existing FireWatch site, a site dense in information of significant value to scientists, foresters, land managers, and fire experts.CommunicationsOften overlooked in discussions regarding emergency communications is the microgeographical exchanges that occur in response to the threat of natural disasters. This is where neighbours fill the critical period before emergency service responders can appear on site. In this situation, it is often local knowledge that underpins improvised grassroots communication networks that inform and organise the neighbourhood. During a recent bushfire on peri-rural blocks on the outskirts of Kununurra, neighbours went into action before emergency services volunteers could respond.We phoned around and someone would phone and call in. Instead of 000 being rung ten times, make sure that one person rang it in. 40 channel [CB Radio] was handy – two-way communication, four wheelers – knocking on doors making sure everyone is out of the house, just in case. (Jane. Personal Interview. 2012) Similarly, individuals and community groups have been able to inform and assist each other on a larger scale via social network technologies (SNTs). This creative application of SNTs began after the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001 when individuals created wikis in order to find missing persons (Palen and Lui). Twitter has experienced considerable growth and was used freely during the 2009 Black Saturday fires in Australia. Studies of tweeting activity during these fires indicate that “tweets made during Black Saturday are laden with actionable factual information which contrasts with earlier claims that tweets are of no value made of mere random personal notes” (Sinnappan et al. n.p.).Traditionally, official alerts and warnings have been provided to the public via television and radio. However, several inquiries into the recent bushfires within Australia show concern “with the way in which fire agencies deliver information to community members during a bushfire...[and in order to] improve community safety from bushfire, systems need to be implemented that enable community members to communicate information to fire agencies, making use of local knowledge” (Elsworth et al. 8).Technological and social developments over the last decade mean the public no longer relies on a single source of official information (Sorensen and Sorensen). Therefore, SNTs such as Twitter and Facebook are being used by the media and emergency authorities to make information available to the public. These SNTs are dynamic, in that there can be a two-way flow of information between the public and emergency organisations. Nonetheless, there has been limited use of SNTs by emergency agencies to source information posted by in situ residents, in order to help in decision-making (Freeman). Organisational use of multiple communication channels and platforms to inform citizens about bushfire emergencies ensures a greater degree of coverage—in case of communication systems breakdowns or difficulties—as in the telephone alert system breakdown in Kelmscott-Roleystone, WA or a recent fire in Warrnambool, Victoria which took out the regional telephone exchange making telephone calls, mobiles, landlines, and the Internet non-operational (Johnson). The new FireWatch site will provide an additional information option for rural and remote Australians who, often rely on visual sightings and on word-of-mouth to be informed about fires in their region. “The neighbour came over and said - there is a fire, we’d better get our act together because it is going to hit us. No sooner than I turned around, I thought sh*t, here it comes” (Richard. Personal Interview. 2012). The FireWatch ProjectThe FireWatch project involves the redevelopment of an existing FireWatch website to extend the usability of the product from experts to ordinary users in order to facilitate community-based decision-making and action both before and during bushfire emergencies. To this purpose, the project has been broken down to two distinct, yet interdependent, strands. The community strand involves collaboration within a community (in this case the Kununurra community) in order to carry out a community-centred approach to further development of the site. The design strand involves the development of an intuitive and accessible Web presentation of complex information in clear, unambiguous ways to inform action in stressful circ*mstances. At this stage, a first round of 19 semi-structured interviews with stakeholders has been conducted in Kununurra to determine fire-related information-seeking behaviours, attitudes to mediated information services in the region, as well as user feedback on a prototype website developed in the design strand of the project. Stakeholders included emergency services personnel (payed and volunteer), shire representatives, tourism operators, small business operators (including tourism operators), a forest manager, a mango farmer, an Indigenous ranger team manager as well as general community members. Interviewees reported dissatisfaction with current information systems. They gave positive feedback about the website prototype. “It’s very much, very easy to follow” (David. Personal Interview. 2012). “It looks so much better than [the old site]. You couldn’t get in that close on [the other site]. It is fantastic” (Lance. Personal Interview. 2012). They also added thought-provoking contributions to the design of the website (to be discussed later).Residents of Kununurra who were interviewed for this research project found bushfire warning communications unsatisfactory, especially during a recent fire on the outskirts of town. People who called 000 had difficulties passing the information on, having to explain exactly where Kununurra was and the location of fires to operators not familiar with the area. When asked how the Kununurra community gets their fire information a Shire representative explained: That is not very good at the moment. The only other way we can think about it is perhaps more updates on things like Facebook, perhaps on a website, but with this current fire there really wasn’t a lot of information and a lot of people didn’t know what was going on. We [the shire] knew because we were talking to the [fire] brigades and to FESA [Fire and Emergency Services Authority] but most residents didn’t have any idea and it looks pretty bad. (Ginny. Personal Interview. 2012) All being well, the new user-friendly FireWatch site will add another platform through which fire information messages are transmitted. Community members will be offered continuously streamed bushfire location information, which is independent of any emergency services communication systems. In particular, rural and remote areas of Australia will have fire information at the ready.The participatory methodology used in the design of the new FireWatch website makes use of collaborative creativity, whereby users’ vision of the website and context are incorporated. This iterative process “creates an equal evolving participatory process between user and designer towards sharing values and knowledge and creating new domains of collective creativity” (Park 2012). The rich and sometimes contradictory suggestions made by interviewees in this project often reflected individual visions of the tasks and information required, and individual preferences regarding the delivery of this information. “I have been thinking about how could this really work for me? I can give you feedback on what has happened in the past but how could it work for me in the future?” (Keith. Personal Interview. 2012). Keith and other community members interviewed in Kununurra indicated a variety of extra functions on the site not expected by the product designers. Some of these unexpected functions were common to most interviewees such as the great importance placed on the inclusion of a satellite view option on the site map (example shown in Figure 1). Jeremy, a member of an Indigenous ranger unit in the Kununurra area, was very keen to incorporate the satellite view options on the site. He explained that some of the older rangers:can’t use GPSs and don’t know time zones or what zones to put in, so they’ll use a satellite-style view. We’ll have Google Earth up on one [screen], and also our [own] imagery up on another [screen] and go that way. Be scrolling in and see – we’ve got a huge fire scar for 2011 around here; another guy will be on another computer zoning in and say, I think it is here. It’s quite simplistic but it works. (Personal Interview. 2012) In the case above, where rangers are already switching between computer screens to incorporate a satellite view into their planning, the importance of a satellite view layer on the FireWatch website makes user context an essential part of the design process. Incorporating many layers on one screen, as recommended by participants also ensures a more elegant solution to an existing problem.Figure 1: Satellite view in the Kununurra area showing features such as gorges, rivers, escarpments and dry riverbedsThis research project will involve further consultation with participants (both online and offline) regarding bushfire safety communications in their region, as well as the further design of the site. The website will be available over multiple devices (for example desktops, smart phones, and hand held tablet devices) and will be launched late this year. Further work will also be carried out to determine if social media is appropriate for this community of users in order to build awareness and share information regarding the site.Conclusion Community members improvise and self-organise when communicating fire information and organising help for each other. This can happen at a microgeographical (neighbourhood) level or on a wider level via social networking sites. Organisations also develop innovative communication systems or devices as a response to the threat of bushfires. Communication innovations, such as the use of Twitter and Facebook by fire emergency services, have been appropriated and fine-tuned by these organisations. Other innovations such as the user-friendly Firewatch site rely on previous technological developments in satellite-delivered imagery—as well as community input regarding the design and use of the site.Our early research into community members’ fire-related information-seeking behaviours and attitudes to mediated information services in the region of Kununurra has found unexpectedly creative responses, which range from collective creativity on the part of emergency responders or the community in general during events to creative use of existing information and communication networks. We intend to utilise this creativity in re-purposing FireWatch alongside the creative work of the designers in the project.Although it is commonplace to think of graphic design and new technology as incorporating creativity, it is rarely acknowledged how frequently these innovations harness everyday perspectives from non-professionals. In the case of the FireWatch developments, the creativity of designers and technologists has been informed by the creative responses of members of the public who are best placed to understand the challenges posed by restricted information flows on the ground in times of crisis. In these situations, people respond not only with new ideas for the future but with innovative responses in the present as they communicate with each other to deal with the challenge of a fast-moving and unpredictable situation. Such improvisation, honed through close awareness of the contours and parameters of both community and communication, are one of the ways through which people help keep themselves and each other safe in the face of dramatic developments.ReferencesElsworth, G., and K. Stevens, J. Gilbert, H. Goodman, A Rhodes. "Evaluating the Community Safety Approach to Bushfires in Australia: Towards an Assessment of What Works and How." Biennial Conference of the Eupopean Evaluation Society, Lisbon, Oct. 2008. Freeman, Mark. "Fire, Wind and Water: Social Networks in Natural Disasters." Journal of Cases on Information Technology (JCIT) 13.2 (2011): 69–79.Gilfillan, S. Colum. The Sociology of Invention. Chicago: Follett Publishing, 1935.Harrald, John R. "Agility and Discipline: Critical Success Factors for Disaster Response." The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 604.1 (2006): 256–72.Johnson, Peter. "Australia Unprepared for Bushfire”. Australian Broadcasting Corporation 17 Dec. 2012. 3 Jan. 2013 ‹http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2012/12/17/3654075.htm›.Keelty, Mick J. "A Shared Responsibility: the Report of the Perth Hills Bushfires February 2011". Department of Premier and Cabinet, Government of Western Australia, Perth.Kendra, James, and Tricia Wachtendorf. "Improvisation, Creativity, and the Art of Emergency Management." NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Understanding and Responding to Terrorism: A Multi-Dimensional Approach. Washington, DC, 8-9 Sep. 2006.———. "Creativity in Emergency Response after the World Trade Centre Attack". Amud Conference of the International Emergency Management Society. University of Delaware. 14-17 May 2002. Mumford, Michael D. "Social Innovation: Ten Cases from Benjamin Franklin." Creativity Research Journal 14.2 (2002): 253–66.Palen, Leysia, and Sophia.B. Liu. "Citizen Communications in Crisis: Anticipating a Future of ICT-Supported Public Participation." Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. San Jose, 28 Apr. - 3 May 2007.Park, Ji Yong. "Design Process Excludes Users: The Co-Creation Activities between User and Designer." Digital Creativity 23.1 (2012): 79–92. Sinnappan, Suku, Cathy Farrell, and Elizabeth Stewart. "Priceless Tweets! A Study on Twitter Messages Posted During Crisis: Black Saturday." Proceedings of 21st Australasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS 2010). Brisbane, Australia, 1-3 Dec 2010.Sorensen, John H., and Barbara Vogt Sorensen. "Community Processes: Warning and Evacuation." Handbook of Disaster Research. Eds. Havidán Rodríguez, Enrico Louis Quarantelli, and Russell Rowe Dynes. New York: Springer, 2007. 183–99.Webb, Gary R., and Francois-Regis Chevreau. "Planning to Improvise: The Importance of Creativity and Flexibility in Crisis Response." International Journal of Emergency Management 3.1 (2006): 66–72.

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Guarini, Beaux Fen. "Beyond Braille on Toilet Doors: Museum Curators and Audiences with Vision Impairment." M/C Journal 18, no.4 (August7, 2015). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1002.

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The debate on the social role of museums trundles along in an age where complex associations between community, collections, and cultural norms are highly contested (Silverman 3–4; Sandell, Inequality 3–23). This article questions whether, in the case of community groups whose aspirations often go unrecognised (in this case people with either blindness or low vision), there is a need to discuss and debate institutionalised approaches that often reinforce social exclusion and impede cultural access. If “access is [indeed] an entry point to experience” (Papalia), then the privileging of visual encounters in museums is clearly a barrier for people who experience sight loss or low vision (Levent and Pursley). In contrast, a multisensory aesthetic to exhibition display respects the gamut of human sensory experience (Dudley 161–63; Drobnick 268–69; Feld 184; James 136; McGlone 41–60) as do discursive gateways including “lectures, symposia, workshops, educational programs, audio guides, and websites” (Cachia). Independent access to information extends beyond Braille on toilet doors.Underpinning this article is an ongoing qualitative case study undertaken by the author involving participant observation, workshops, and interviews with eight adults who experience vision impairment. The primary research site has been the National Museum of Australia. Reflecting on the role of curators as storytellers and the historical development of museums and their practitioners as agents for social development, the article explores the opportunities latent in museum collections as they relate to community members with vision impairment. The outcomes of this investigation offer insights into emerging issues as they relate to the International Council of Museums (ICOM) definitions of the museum program. Curators as Storytellers“The ways in which objects are selected, put together, and written or spoken about have political effects” (Eilean Hooper-Greenhill qtd. in Sandell, Inequality 8). Curators can therefore open or close doors to discrete communities of people. The traditional role of curators has been to collect, care for, research, and interpret collections (Desvallées and Mairesse 68): they are characterised as information specialists with a penchant for research (Belcher 78). While commonly possessing an intimate knowledge of their institution’s collection, their mode of knowledge production results from a culturally mediated process which ensures that resulting products, such as cultural significance assessments and provenance determinations (Russell and Winkworth), privilege the knowing systems of dominant social groups (Fleming 213). Such ways of seeing can obstruct the access prospects of underserved audiences.When it comes to exhibition display—arguably the most public of work by museums—curators conventionally collaborate within a constellation of other practitioners (Belcher 78–79). Curators liaise with museum directors, converse with conservators, negotiate with exhibition designers, consult with graphics designers, confer with marketing boffins, seek advice from security, chat with editors, and engage with external contractors. I question the extent that curators engage with community groups who may harbour aspirations to participate in the exhibition experience—a sticking point soon to be addressed. Despite the team based ethos of exhibition design, it is nonetheless the content knowledge of curators on public display. The art of curatorial interpretation sets out not to instruct audiences but, in part, to provoke a response with narratives designed to reveal meanings and relationships (Freeman Tilden qtd. in Alexander and Alexander 258). Recognised within the institution as experts (Sandell, Inclusion 53), curators have agency—they decide upon the stories told. In a recent television campaign by the National Museum of Australia, a voiceover announces: a storyteller holds incredible power to connect and to heal, because stories bring us together (emphasis added). (National Museum of Australia 2015)Storytelling in the space of the museum often shares the histories, perspectives, and experiences of people past as well as living cultures—and these stories are situated in space and time. If that physical space is not fit-for-purpose—that is, it does not accommodate an individual’s physical, intellectual, psychiatric, sensory, or neurological needs (Disability Discrimination Act 1992, Cwlth)—then the story reaches only long-established patrons. The museum’s opportunity to contribute to social development, and thus the curator’s as the primary storyteller, will have been missed. A Latin-American PerspectiveICOM’s commitment to social development could be interpreted merely as a pledge to make use of collections to benefit the public through scholarship, learning, and pleasure (ICOM 15). If this interpretation is accepted, however, then any museum’s contribution to social development is somewhat paltry. To accept such a limited and limiting role for museums is to overlook the historical efforts by advocates to change the very nature of museums. The ascendancy of the social potential of museums first blossomed during the late 1960s at a time where, globally, overlapping social movements espoused civil rights and the recognition of minority groups (Silverman 12; de Varine 3). Simultaneously but independently, neighbourhood museums arose in the United States, ecomuseums in France and Quebec, and the integral museum in Latin America, notably in Mexico (Hauenschild; Silverman 12–13). The Latin-American commitment to the ideals of the integral museum developed out of the 1972 round table of Santiago, Chile, sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Giménez-Cassina 25–26). The Latin-American signatories urged the local and regional museums of their respective countries to collaborate with their communities to resolve issues of social inequality (Round Table Santiago 13–21). The influence of Brazilian educator Paulo Freire should be acknowledged. In 1970, Freire ushered in the concept of conscientization, defined by Catherine Campbell and Sandra Jovchelovitch as:the process whereby critical thinking develops … [and results in a] … thinker [who] feels empowered to think and to act on the conditions that shape her living. (259–260)This model for empowerment lent inspiration to the ideals of the Santiago signatories in realising their sociopolitical goal of the integral museum (Assunção dos Santos 20). Reframing the museum as an institution in the service of society, the champions of the integral museum sought to redefine the thinking and practices of museums and their practitioners (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization 37–39). The signatories successfully lobbied ICOM to introduce an explicitly social purpose to the work of museums (Assunção dos Santos 6). In 1974, in the wake of the Santiago round table, ICOM modified their definition of a museum to “a permanent non-profit institution, open to the public, in the service of society and its development” (emphasis added) (Hauenschild). Museums had been transformed into “problem solvers” (Judite Primo qtd. in Giménez-Cassina 26). With that spirit in mind, museum practitioners, including curators, can develop opportunities for reciprocity with the many faces of the public (Guarini). Response to Social Development InitiativesStarting in the 1970s, the “second museum revolution” (van Mensch 6–7) saw the transition away from: traditional roles of museums [of] collecting, conservation, curatorship, research and communication … [and toward the] … potential role of museums in society, in education and cultural action. (van Mensch 6–7)Arguably, this potential remains a work in progress some 50 years later. Writing in the tradition of museums as agents of social development, Mariana Lamas states:when we talk about “in the service of society and its development”, it’s quite different. It is like the drunk uncle at the Christmas party that the family pretends is not there, because if they pretend long enough, he might pass out on the couch. (Lamas 47–48)That is not to say that museums have neglected to initiate services and programs that acknowledge the aspirations of people with disabilities (refer to Cachia and Krantz as examples). Without discounting such efforts, but with the refreshing analogy of the drunken uncle still fresh in memory, Lamas answers her own rhetorical question:how can traditional museums promote community development? At first the word “development” may seem too much for the museum to do, but there are several ways a museum can promote community development. (Lamas 52) Legitimising CommunitiesThe first way that museums can foster community or social development is to:help the community to over come [sic] a problem, coming up with different solutions, putting things into a new perspective; providing confidence to the community and legitimizing it. (Lamas 52)As a response, my doctoral investigation legitimises the right of people with vision impairment to participate in the social and cultural aspects of publicly funded museums. The Australian Government upheld this right in 2008 by ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (and Optional Protocol), which enshrines the right of people with disability to participate in the cultural life of the nation (United Nations).At least 840,700 people in Australia (a minimum of four per cent of the population) experiences either blindness or low vision (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2009). For every one person in the Australian community who is blind, nearly five other people experience low vision. The medical model of disability identifies the impairment as the key feature of a person and seeks out a corrective intervention. In contrast, the social model of disability strives to remove the attitudinal, social, and physical barriers enacted by people or institutions (Landman, Fishburn, and Tonkin 14). Therein lies the opportunity and challenge for museums—modifying layouts and practices that privilege the visual. Consequently, there is scope for museums to partner with people with vision impairment to identify their aspirations rather than respond as a problem to be fixed. Common fixes in the museums for people with disabilities include physical alterations such as ramps and, less often, special tours (Cachia). I posit that curators, as co-creators and major contributors to exhibitions, can be part of a far wider discussion. In the course of doctoral research, I accompanied adults with a wide array of sight impairments into exhibitions at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial, and the National Museum of Australia. Within the space of the exhibition, the most commonly identified barrier has been the omission of access opportunities to interpreted materials: that is, information about objects on display as well as the wider narratives driving exhibitions. Often, the participant has had to work backwards, from the object itself, to understand the wider topic of the exhibition. If aesthetics is “the way we communicate through the senses” (Thrift 291), then the vast majority of exhibits have been inaccessible from a sensory perspective. For people with low vision (that is, they retain some degree of functioning sight), objects’ labels have often been too small to be read or, at times, poorly contrasted or positioned. Objects have often been set too deep into display cabinets or too far behind safety barriers. If individuals must use personal magnifiers to read text or look in vain at objects, then that is an indicator that there are issues with exhibition design. For people who experience blindness (that is, they cannot see), neither the vast majority of exhibits nor their interpretations have been made accessible. There has been minimal access across all museums to accessioned objects, handling collections, or replicas to tease out exhibits and their stories. Object labels must be read by family or friends—a tiring experience. Without motivated peers, the stories told by curators are silenced by a dearth of alternative options.Rather than presume to know what works for people with disabilities, my research ethos respects the “nothing about us without us” (Charlton 2000; Werner 1997) maxim of disability advocates. To paraphrase Lamas, we have collaborated to come up with different solutions by putting things into new perspectives. In turn, “person-centred” practices based on rapport, warmth, and respect (Arigho 206–07) provide confidence to a diverse community of people by legitimising their right to participate in the museum space. Incentivising Communities Museums can also nurture social or community development by providing incentives to “the community to take action to improve its quality of life” (Lamas 52). It typically falls to (enthusiastic) public education and community outreach teams to engage underserved communities through targeted programs. This approach continues the trend of curators as advocates for the collection, and educators as advocates for the public (Kaitavouri xi). If the exhibition briefs normally written by curators (Belcher 83) reinforced the importance of access, then exhibition designers would be compelled to offer fit-for-purpose solutions. Better still, if curators (and other exhibition team members) regularly met with community based organisations (perhaps in the form of a disability reference group), then museums would be better positioned to accommodate a wider spectrum of community members. The National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries already encourages museums to collaborate with disability organisations (40). Such initiatives offer a way forward for improving a community’s sense of itself and its quality of life. The World Health Organization defines health as a “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. While I am not using quality of life indicators for my doctoral study, the value of facilitating social and cultural opportunities for my target audience is evident in participant statements. At the conclusion of one sensory based workshop, Mara, a female participant who experiences low vision in one eye and blindness in the other, stated:I think it was interesting in that we could talk together about what we were experiencing and that really is the social aspect of it. I mean if I was left to go to a whole lot of museums on my own, I probably wouldn’t. You know, I like going with kids or a friend visiting from interstate—that sort of thing. And so this group, in a way, replicates that experience in that you’ve got someone else to talk about your impressions with—much better than going on your own or doing this alone.Mara’s statement was in response to one of two workshops I held with the support of the Learning Services team at the National Museum of Australia in May 2015. Selected objects from the museum’s accessioned collection and handling collection were explored, as well as replicas in the form of 3D printed objects. For example, participants gazed upon and handled a tuckerbox, smelt and tasted macadamia nuts in wattle seed syrup, and listened to a genesis story about the more-ish nut recorded by the Butchulla people—the traditional owners of Fraser Island. We sat around a table while I, as the workshop mediator, sought to facilitate free-flowing discussions about their experiences and, in turn, mused on the capacity of objects to spark social connection and opportunities for cultural access. While the workshop provided the opportunity for reciprocal exchanges amongst participants as well as between participants and me, what was highly valued by most participants was the direct contact with members of the museum’s Learning Services team. I observed that participants welcomed the opportunity to talk with real museum workers. Their experience of museum practitioners, to date, had been largely confined to the welcome desk of respective institutions or through special events or tours where they were talked at. The opportunity to communicate directly with the museum allowed some participants to share their thoughts and feelings about the services that museums provide. I suggest that curators open themselves up to such exchanges on a more frequent basis—it may result in reciprocal benefits for all stakeholders. Fortifying IdentityA third way museums can contribute to social or community development is by:fortify[ing] the bonds between the members of the community and reaffirm their identities making them feel more secure about who they are; and give them a chance to tell their own version of their history to “outsiders” which empowers them. (Lamas 52)Identity informs us and others of who we are and where we belong in the world (Silverman 54). However, the process of identity marking and making can be fraught: “some communities are ours by choice … [and] … some are ours because of the ways that others see us” (Watson 4). Communities are formed by identifying who is in and who is out (Francois Dubet qtd. in Bessant and Watts 260). In other words, the construction of collective identity is reinforced through means of social inclusion and social exclusion. The participants of my study, as members or clients of the Royal Society for the Blind | Canberra Blind Society, clearly value participating in events with empathetic peers. People with vision impairment are not a hom*ogenous group, however. Reinforcing the cultural influences on the formation of identity, Fiona Candlin asserts that “to state the obvious but often ignored fact, blind people … [come] … from all social classes, all cultural, racial, religious and educational backgrounds” (101). Irrespective of whether blindness or low vision arises congenitally, adventitiously, or through unexpected illness, injury, or trauma, the end result is an assortment of individuals with differing perceptual characteristics who construct meaning in often divergent ways (De Coster and Loots 326–34). They also hold differing world views. Therefore, “participation [at the museum] is not an end in itself. It is a means for creating a better world” (Assunção dos Santos 9). According to the Australian Human Rights Commissioner, Professor Gillian Triggs, a better world is: a society for all, in which every individual has an active role to play. Such a society is based on fundamental values of equity, equality, social justice, and human rights and freedoms, as well as on the principles of tolerance and embracing diversity. (Triggs)Publicly funded museums can play a fundamental role in the cultural lives of societies. For example, the Powerhouse Museum (Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences) in Sydney partnered with Vision Australia to host an exhibition in 2010 titled Living in a Sensory World: it offered “visitors an understanding of the world of the blindness and low vision community and celebrates their achievements” (Powerhouse Museum). With similar intent, my doctoral research seeks to validate the world of my participants by inviting museums to appreciate their aspirations as a distinct but diverse community of people. ConclusionIn conclusion, the challenge for museum curators and other museum practitioners is balancing what Richard Sennett (qtd. in Bessant and Watts 265) identifies as opportunities for enhancing social cohesion and a sense of belonging while mitigating parochialism and community divisiveness. Therefore, curators, as the primary focus of this article, are indeed challenged when asked to contribute to serving the public through social development—a public which is anything but hom*ogenous. Mindful of cultural and social differences in an ever-changing world, museums are called to respect the cultural and natural heritage of the communities they serve and collaborate with (ICOM 10). It is a position I wholeheartedly support. This is not to say that museums or indeed curators are capable of solving the ills of society. However, inviting people who are frequently excluded from social and cultural events to multisensory encounters with museum collections acknowledges their cultural rights. I suggest that this would be a seismic shift from the current experiences of adults with blindness or low vision at most museums.ReferencesAlexander, Edward, and Mary Alexander. Museums in Motion: An Introduction to the History and Functions of Museums. 2nd ed. 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Podkalicka, Aneta. "To Brunswick and Beyond: A Geography of Creative and Social Participation for Marginalised Youth." M/C Journal 14, no.4 (August18, 2011). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.367.

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This article uses a case study of a Melbourne-based youth media project called Youthworx to explore the processes at stake in cultural engagement for marginalised young people. Drawing on ethnographic research conducted between 2008 and 2010, I identify some ways in which the city is implicated in promoting or preventing access to socially valued spaces of creativity and intended social mobility. The ethnographic material presented here has both empirical and theoretical value. It reveals the important relationships between the experience of place, creativity, and social life, demonstrating potentialities and limits of creativity-focused development interventions for marginalised youth. The articulation of these relationships and processes taking place within a particular city setting has theoretical implications. It opens up an opportunity to consider "suburbs" as enacted by specific forms of access, contingencies, and opportunities for a particular demographic, rather than treating "suburbs" as abstract, analytical constructs. Finally, my empirically grounded discussion draws attention to cultural and social consequences that inhabiting certain social worlds and acts of travelling "to and beyond" them have for young people. Youthworx is a community-based youth media initiative employing pathway-based semi-formal creative practices to re-engage young people who have a history of drug or alcohol abuse or juvenile justice, who have been long disconnected from mainstream education, or who are homeless. The focus on media production allows it to tap into, and in fact leverage, popular creativity, tacit knowledge, and familiar media-based activities that young people bring to bear on their media training and work in this context. Underpinned by social and creative industry policy, Youthworx brings together social service agency The Salvation Army (TSA), educational provider Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT), youth community media organisation SYN Media, and researchers at Institute for Social Research, Swinburne University. Its day-to-day operation is run by contractual, part-time media facilitators, social workers (as part of TSA’s in-kind support), as well as media industry experts who provide casual media training. Youthworx is characterised by the diversity of its young demographic. One can differentiate between at least two groups of participants: those who join Youthworx because of the social opportunities, and those who put more value on its skill-development, or vocational creative industries orientation. This social organisation is, however, far from static. Over the two years of research (2008-2010) we observed evolving ideas about the identity of the program, its key social functions, and how they can be best served. This had proceeded with the construction of what the Youthworx staff term "a community of safe belonging" to a more "serious" media work environment, exemplified by the establishment of a social enterprise (Youthworx Productions) in 2010 that offers paid traineeships to the most capable and determined young creators. To accommodate the diversity of literacy levels, needs, and aspirations of its young participants, the project offers a tailored media education program with a mix of diversionary, educational, and commercial objectives. One-on-one media training sessions, accredited courses in Creative Industries (Media), and industry training within Youthworx Productions are provided to help young people develop a range of skills transferable into a variety of personal, social and professional contexts. Its creative studio, where learning occurs, is located in a former jeans factory warehouse in the heart of an industrial area of Melbourne’s northern inner-city suburb of Brunswick. Young people are referred to Youthworx by a range of social agencies, and they travel to Brunswick from across Melbourne. Some participants are known to spend over three hours commuting from outer suburbs such as Frankston or even regional towns such as King Lake. Unlike community-based creative programs reliant on established community structures within local suburbs (for example, ICE in Western Sydney), Youthworx moved into Tinning Street in Brunswick because its industry partner—The Salvation Army—had existing youth service infrastructure there. The program, however, was not tapping into an existing media “community of practice” (Lane and Wenger); it had to forge its own culture of media participation. In the early days of the program, there were necessary material resources and professional expertise (teachers/social workers/a creative venue), but it took a long while, and a high level of dedication, passion, and practical optimism on the part of the project managers and teaching staff, for young people to genuinely engage in media training and production. Now, Youthworx’s creative space is a “practised place” in de Certeau’s sense. As “the street geometrically defined by urban planning is transformed into a space by walkers” (De Certeau 117), so is the Youthworx space produced by practices of media learning and making by professional creative practitioners and young amateur creators (Raffo; for ideas on institutionalised co-creative practice see Spurgeon et al.). The Brunswick location is where our extensive ethnographic research has taken place, including regular participant observation and qualitative interviews with staff and young participants. The ethnographers frequently travelled with young people to other locations within Melbourne, accompanying them on their trips to youth community radio station SYN Media in the CBD, where they produce a weekly radio show, as well as to film shoots and public social events around the city. As an access learning program for marginalised youth from around Melbourne, Youthworx provides an interesting example to explore how the concerns of material and cultural capital, geographic and cultural distance intersect and shape processes of creative participation and social inclusion. I draw on our ethnographic material to illustrate how these metonymic relationships play out in the ways young participants “travel distance” (Dewson et. al.) on the project and across the city, both figuratively and literally. The idea of “distance travelled” is adapted here from evaluation literature (for other relevant references see Dowmunt et al.; Hayes and Edwards; Holdsworth et al.), and builds on the argument made previously (Podkalicka and Staley 5), to encompass both the geographical mobility and cultural transformation that young people are supported to undergo as an intended outcome of their involvement in Youthworx. This paper also takes inspiration from ethnographic approaches that study a productive and transformative relationship between material culture, spatial geography and processes of identity formation (see Miller). What happens to Youthworx young participants as they travel in a trivial, and at first sight perhaps inconsequential, way between the suburbs they live in, the Youthworx Brunswick location and the city is both experientially real and meaningful. “Suburban space” is then a cultural site that simultaneously refers to concrete, literal places as well as “a state of mind”—that is, identification and connections that are generative of a sense of identity and belonging (Ferber et al.). Youthworx is an intermediary point on these young people’s travels, rather than the final destination (Podkalicka and Staley 5). It provides access to various forms of new spatial, social, and creative experiences and modes of expression. Creating opportunities for highly disenfranchised young people to access and develop new social and creative experiences is an important aspect of Youthworx’s developmental agenda, and is played out at both philosophical and practical levels. On the one hand, a strength-based approach to youth work assumes respect for young people’s potential and knowledges—unlike public discourses that deny them agency due to an assumed lack of life experience (e.g., Poletti). In addition to the material provision of "food and shelter" typical of traditional social work, attention is paid the higher levels of the Maslow hierarchy of human needs, with creativity, self-esteem, and social connectedness at the top of the scale (see also Podkalicka and Campbell; Podkalicka and Thomas). Former Manager of The Salvation Army’s Brunswick Youth Services (BYS)—one of Youthworx’s partners—Craig Campbell argues: Things like truth and beauty are a higher order of dreams for these kids. And by truth I don’t mean the simple lies that can be told to get them out of trouble [but] is there a greater truth to life than a grinding existence in the impoverished neighbourhood, is there something like beauty and aesthetics that wakes us up in the morning and calls a larger life out of us? Most of those kids only faintly dream of such a thing, and this dream is rapidly being extinguished under the weight of drugs and alcohol, abusive family systems, savage interaction with law and justice system, and education as a toxic environment and experience. (Campbell) Campbell's articulate reflection captures the way the Youthworx project has been conceived. It is also a pertinent example of the many reflections on experience and practice at Youthworx that were recorded in my fieldwork, which illustrate the way these kinds of social projects can be understood, interpreted and evaluated. The following personal narrative and contextual description introduce some of the important issues at stake. (The names and other personal details of young people have been changed.) Nineteen-year-old Dave is temporarily staying in an inner-city refuge. Normally, however, like most Youthworx participants, he lives in Broadmeadows, a far northern suburb of Melbourne. To get to Brunswick, where he does his accredited media course three days a week, he either catches a train or waits for a mini-bus to drive him there. The early-morning pick-up for about ten young people is organised by the program’s partner—The Salvation Army. At the Youthworx creative studio, located in the heart of Brunswick, right next to railway tracks, young people produce an array of media products: live and pre-recorded radio programs, digital storytelling, mini-documentaries, and original music. Once at Youthworx, they share the local neighbourhood with other artists who have adapted warehouses into art workshops, studios and galleries. The suburb of Brunswick is well-known for its multicultural profile, a combination of industrial and residential estates, high rates of tertiary students due to its proximity to universities, and its place in the recent history of urban gentrification. However, Youthworx participants don’t seek out or engage with the existing, physically proximate creative base, even within the same street. On a couple of occasions, the opposite has been the case: Youthworx students have been involved in acts of vandalism of local residents’ property, including nearby parked cars. Their connections to the Brunswick neighbourhood remain poor, often reflecting their low social capital as a result of unstable residential situations, isolation, and fraught relationships with family. From Brunswick, they often travel to the city on their own, wander around, sit on the steps of Flinders Street train station—an inner-city hub and popular meeting place for locals and tourists alike. Youthworx plays an important role in these young people’s lives, as an important access point to not only creative digital media-based experiences and skill development, but also to greater and basic geographical mobility and experiences within the city. As one of the students commented: They are giving us chances that we wouldn’t usually get. Every day you’re getting to a place, where it’s pretty damn easy to get into; that’s what’s good about it. There are so many places where you have to do so much to get there and half the time, some people don’t even have the bloody bus ticket to get a [job] interview. But [at Youthworx/BYS], they will pick you up and drive you around if you need it. They are friends. It is reportedly a common practice for many young people at Youthworx and BYS to catch a train or a tram (rather than bus) without paying for a ticket. However, to be caught dodging a fare a few times has legal consequences and young people often face court as a result. The program responds by offering its young participants tickets for public transport, ready for pick-up after afternoon activities, or, if possible, "driving them around"—as some young people told me. The program’s social workers revealed that girls are particularly afraid to travel on their own, especially when catching trains to the outer northern suburbs, for fear of being harassed or attacked. These supported travels are as practical and necessary as they are meaningful for young people’s identity formation, and as such are recognised and built into the project’s design, co-ordination and delivery. At the most basic level, The Salvation Army’s social workers pick young people up from the Broadmeadows area in the mornings. Youthworx creative practitioners assist young people to make trips to SYN Media in the city. For most participants, this is either the first or sporadic experience of travelling to the city, something they enjoy very much but are also somewhat daunted by. Additionally, as part of the curriculum, Youthworx staff make a point of taking young people to inner-city movie theatres or public media events. The following vignette from the fieldwork highlights another important connection between physical journey and creative expression. There is an excitement in Dave’s voice when he talks about his favourite pastime: hanging out around the city. “Why would you walk around the streets?” a curious female friend interjects. Dave replies: “No, it’s not the streets, man. It’s just Federation Square, everywhere … There is just all these young wannabe criminals and sh*t. People don’t know what goes on; and I want to do a doco on the city, a little doco of the people there, because I know a lot of it.” Dave’s interest in exploring the city may be interpreted as a rather common, mundane routine shared by mildly adventurous adolescents of all walks. And yet, there is much more at stake in his account, and for Youthworx young participants more generally. As mentioned before, for many of these young people, it is the first opportunity to travel to the city. This experience then is crucial in a sense of self-exploration and self-discovery. As they overcome their fear of venturing out into the city on their own, they also learn that they have knowledge which others might lack. This moment of realisation is significant and empowering, and they want to communicate this knowledge to others. Youthworx assists them in learning how to translate this knowledge in a creative and constructive way, through an expression that weaves between the free individual and the social voice constructed to enable a dialogue or understanding (Podkalicka; Podkalicka and Campbell; Podkalicka and Thomas; also Soep and Chavez). For an effective communication to occur, a crafted social voice requires skills and a critical awareness of oneself and an audience, which is very different from the modes of expression that these young people might have accessed previously. Youthworx's young participants draw heavily on their life experiences, geographical locations, the suburbs they come from, and places they visit in the city: their cultural productions often reference their homes, music clubs and hang-out venues, inner city streets, Federation Square, and Youthworx’s immediate physical surroundings, with graffiti-covered narrow alleys and railway tracks. The frequent depiction of Youthworx in young people’s creative outputs is often a token of appreciation of the creative, educational and social opportunities it has offered them. Social and professional connections they make there are found to be very valuable. The existing creative industries literature emphasises the importance of social networks to existing communities of interest and practice for human capacity building. Value is argued to lie not only in specific content produced, but in participatory processes that establish a link between personal growth, individual skills and social and professional networks (Hearn and Bridgestock). In a similar vein, Carlo Raffo uses Granovetter’s concept of “weak ties” to suggest that access to “social relations that go beyond the immediate locality and hence their immediate experiences” can provide marginalised young people with “pathways for authentic and informal learning that go beyond the structuring influences of class, gender and ethnicity and into new and emerging economic experiences” (Raffo 11). But higher levels of confidence or social skills are required to make the most of vocational or professional opportunities beyond the supportive context of Youthworx. Connections between Youthworx participants and other creative practitioners within the creative locality of Brunswick have been absent thus far. Transitions into mainstream education and employment have also proven challenging for this group of heavily marginalised youth. As we found during our ongoing fieldwork, even the most talented students find it hard to get into mainstream education courses, or to get or keep jobs. The project serves as a social basis for young people to develop self-agency and determination so they can start engaging with new opportunities and social networks outside the program (Raffo 15). Indeed, the creative practitioners at Youthworx are key facilitators of connections between young people and the external world. They act as positive role models socially, and illustrate what is possible professionally in terms of media excellence and employment (see also Raffo). There are indications that this very supportive, gradual process of social learning is starting to bear fruit for individual students and the Youthworx community as a whole as they grow more confident with themselves, in interactions with others, and the media work they do. Media projects such as Youthworx are examples of what Leadbeater and Wong call “disruptive innovation,” as they provide new ways of learning for those alienated by formal education. The use of digital hands-on media production makes educational processes relevant and engaging for young people. However, as I demonstrate in this paper, there are tangible, material barriers to releasing creativity, or enhancing self-discovery and sociality. There are, as Leadbeater and Wong observe, persistent links between cultural environment, socio-economic status, corresponding attitudes to learning and educational success in the developed world. In the UK, for example, only small percent of those from the lowest socio-economic background go to university (Leadbeater and Wong 10). Youthworx provides an opportunity and motivation for young people to break a cycle of individual self-destructive behaviour (e.g. getting locked up every 6 months), intergenerational reliance on welfare, or entrenched negative attitudes to learning. At the basic level, it encourages and often insists that young people get up in the morning, with social workers often reporting to have to “knock at people’s houses and get them ready.” The involvement in Youthworx is often an important reason to start delineating between day and night, week and weekend. A couple of students commented: I slept a lot. Yeah, I was always sleeping during the day and out at night; I could have still been doing nothing with my life [were it not for Youthworx]. Now people ask if I want to go out during the week, and I just can’t be bothered. I just want to sleep and then go to [Youthworx] and then weekends are when you go out. It also offers a concrete means to begin exploring the city beyond the constraints of their local suburbs. This literal, geographical mobility is interlocked with potential for a changed perception of opportunities, individual transformation and, consequently, social mobility. Dave, as we have seen, is attracted to the idea of exploring the city but also has creative aspirations, and contemplates professional prospects in the creative industries. It is important to note that the participants are resilient in their negotiation between the suburban, Youthworx and inner city worlds they can inhabit. Accessing learning, despite previous negative schooling experiences, is for many of them very important, and reaffirming of life they aspire to. An opportunity to pursue dreams, creative forms of expression, social networks and education is a vital part of human existence. These aspects of social inclusion are recognised in the current articulation of social policy reconceptualised beyond material, economic equality. Creative industry policy, on the other hand, is concerned with fostering creative outputs and skills to generate engagement and employment opportunities in the knowledge-based economies for wide sections of the population. The value is located in human capacity building, involving basic social as well as vocational skills, and links to social networks. The Youthworx project merges these two policy frameworks of the social and creative to test in practice new collaborative approaches to youth development. The spatial and cultural practices of young people described here serve a basis for proposing a theoretical framework that can help understand the term "suburb" in an intrinsically relational, grounded way. The relationships at stake in cultural and social participation for marginalised young people lead me to suggest that the concept of ‘suburb’ takes on two tightly interwoven meanings. The first refers symbolically to a particular locale for popular creativity (Burgess) or even marginal creativity by a group of young people living at the periphery of the social system. The second meaning refers to the interlocked forms of material and cultural capital (and distance), as theorised in Bourdieu’s work (e.g., Bourdieu). It includes physical, spatial conditions and relations, as well as cultural resources and possibilities made available to young participants by the project (e.g., the instituted, supported travel across the city, or the employment of creative practitioners), and interlinked with everyday dispositions, practices, and status of young people (e.g., taste). This empirically-grounded discussion allows to theorise ‘suburbs’ as perceived and socially enacted by concrete, relational forms of access, contingencies, and opportunities for a particular demographic, rather than analytically pre-conceived, designated spaces within an urban system. The ethnographic material reveals that cultural participation for marginalised youth requires an integrated approach, with a parallel focus on material and creative opportunities made available within creative sites such as Youthworx or even the Brunswick creative area. The important material constraints exemplified in this paper concern socio-economic background, cultural disadvantage and geographical isolation and point to the limits of the creative industries-based interventions to address social inclusion if carried out in isolation. They tap into the very basis of risks for this specific demographic of marginalised youth or "youth at risk." The paper suggests that the productive emphasis on the role of media and communication for (youth) development needs to be contextualised and considered along with the actual realities of everyday existence that often limit young people’s educational and vocational prospects (see Bentley et al.; Leadbeater and Wong). On the other hand, an exclusive focus on material support risks cancelling out the possibilities for positive life transitions, such as those triggered by constructive, non-reductionist engagement with “beauty, aesthetics” (Campbell) and creativity. By exploring how participation in Youthworx engenders both the physical mobility between suburbs and the city, and identity transformation, we are able to gain insights into the nature of social exclusion, its meanings for the youth involved and the project managers and staff. Thinking about Youthworx not just as a hub of creative production but as a cultural site—“a space within a practiced place of identity” (De Certeau 117) in the suburb of Brunswick—opens up a discussion that combines the policy language of opportunity and necessity with concrete creative and material possibilities. Social inclusion objectives aimed at positive youth transitions need to be considered in the light of the connection—or disconnection—between the Youthworx Brunswick site itself, young participants’ suburbs, and, by extension, the trajectory between the inner city and other spaces that young people travel through and inhabit. Acknowledgment I would like to thank all the young participants, staff and industry partners involved in the Youthworx project. I also acknowledge the comments of anonymous peer reviewer which helped to strengthen the argument by foregrounding the value of the empirical material. The paper draws on the larger project funded by the Centre of Excellence in Creative Industries and Innovation. Youthworx research team includes: Prof Denise Meredyth (CI); Prof Julian Thomas (CI); Ass/Prof David MacKenzie (CI); Ass/Prof Ellie Rennie; Chris Wilson (PhD candidate), and Jon Staley (Youthworx Manager and PhD candidate). References Bentley, Tom, and Kate Oakley. “The Real Deal: What Young People Think about Government, Politics and Social Exclusion.” Demos. 12 Jan. 2011 ‹http://www.demos.co.uk/files/theRealdeal.pdf›. Bourdieu, Pierre. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Cambridge: Harvard U P, 1987. Burgess, Jean. “Hearing Ordinary Voices: Cultural Studies, Vernacular Creativity and Digital Storytelling.” Continuum 20.2 (2006): 201–14. Campbell, Craig. Personal Interview. Melbourne, 2009. De Certeau, Michel. The Practice of Everyday Life. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1984. Dewson, Sara, Judith Eccles, Nii Djan Tackey and Annabel Jackson. “Guide to Measuring Soft Outcomes and Distance Travelled.” The Institute for Employment Studies. 12 Jan. 2011‹http:// www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/distance.pdf›. Dowmunt, Tom, Mark Dunford, and N. van Hemert. Inclusion through Media. London: Open Mute, 2007. Ferber, Sarah, Chris Healy, and Chris McAuliffe. Beasts of Suburbia: Reinterpreting Cultures in Australian Suburbs. Melbourne: Melbourne UP, 1994. Hayes, Alan, Matthew Gray, and Ben Edwards. “Social Inclusion: Origins, Concepts and Key Themes.” Australian Institute of Family Studies, prepared for the Social Inclusion Unit, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 2008.12 Jan. 2011 ‹http://www.socialinclusion.gov.au/Documents/AIFS_SI_concepts_report_20April09.pdf›. Hearn, Gregory, and Ruth Bridgstock. “Education for the Creative Economy: Innovation, Transdisciplinarity, and Networks. Education in the Creative Economy: Knowledge and Learning in the Age of Innovation. Ed. Daniel Araya and Michael Peters. New York: Peter Lang, 2010. 93–116. Holdsworth, Roger, Murray Lake, Kathleen Stacey, and John Safford. “Doing Positive Things: You Have to Go Out and Do It: Outcomes for Participants in Youth Development Programs.” Australian Youth Research Centre. 12 Jan. 2011 ‹http://www.dest.gov.au/NR/rdonlyres/5385FE14-A74C-4B24-98EA-D31EEA8447B2/21803/doing_positive_things1.pdf›. Lave, Jean, and Etienne Wenger. Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1991. Leadbeater, Charles, and Annika Wong. “Learning from the Extremes.” CISCO. 12 Jan. 2011 ‹http://www.socialinclusion.gov.au/Documents/AIFS_SI_concepts_report_20April09.pdf›. Miller, Daniel. Stuff. Cambridge: Polity, 2010. Podkalicka, Aneta. “Young Listening: An Ethnography of Youthworx Media's Radio Project." Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies 23.4 (2009): 561–72. ———, and Jon Staley. “Youthworx Media: Creative Media Engagement for ‘at Risk’ Young People.” 3CM 5 (2009). ———, and Julian Thomas. “The Skilled Social Voice: An Experiment in Creative Economy and Communication Rights.’’ International Communication Gazette 72.4–5 (2010): 395–406. ———, and Craig Campbell. “Understanding Digital Storytelling: Beyond the Politics of Voice in Youth Participation Programs.” seminar.net: Media Technology and Lifelong Learning 6.2 (2010). ‹http://www.seminar.net/index.php/home/75-current-issue/150-understanding-digital-storytelling-individual-voice-and-community-building-in-youth-media-programs›. Poletti, Anna. Intimate Ephemera: Reading Young Lives in Australian Zine Culture. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2008. Raffo, Carlo. "Mentoring Disenfranchised Young People: An Action Research Project on the Development of 'Weak Ties' and Social Capital Enhancement." Education and Industry in Partnership 6.3 (2000): 22–42. Soep, Elizabeth, and Vivian Chavez. Drop That Knowledge: Youth Radio Stories. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010. Spurgeon, Christina, Jean Burgess, Helen Klaebe, Kelly McWilliam, Jo Tacchi, and Mimi Tsai. “Co-Creative Media: Theorising Digital Storytelling as a Platform for Researching and Developing Participatory Culture.” 2009 ANZC Conference Proceedings. 2009. 16 Nov. 2010 ‹http://eprints.qut.edu.au/25811/2/25811.pdf›.

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Haupt, Adam. "Queering Hip-Hop, Queering the City: Dope Saint Jude’s Transformative Politics." M/C Journal 19, no.4 (August31, 2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1125.

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This paper argues that artist Dope Saint Jude is transforming South African hip-hop by queering a genre that has predominantly been male and heteronormative. Specifically, I analyse the opening skit of her music video “Keep in Touch” in order to unpack the ways which she revives Gayle, a gay language that adopted double-coded forms of speech during the apartheid era—a context in which hom*osexuals were criminalised. The use of Gayle and spaces close to the city centre of Cape Town (such as Salt River and Woodstock) speaks to the city as it was before it was transformed by the decline of industries due to the country’s adoption of neoliberal economics and, more recently, by the gentrification of these spaces. Dope Saint Jude therefore reclaims these city spaces through her use of gay modes of speech that have a long history in Cape Town and by positioning her work as hip-hop, which has been popular in the city for well over two decades. Her inclusion of transgender MC and DJ Angel Ho pushes the boundaries of hegemonic and binary conceptions of gender identity even further. In essence, Dope Saint Jude is transforming local hip-hop in a context that is shaped significantly by US cultural imperialism. The artist is also transforming our perspective of spaces that have been altered by neoliberal economics.Setting the SceneDope Saint Jude (DSJ) is a queer MC from Elsies River, a working class township located on Cape Town's Cape Flats in South Africa. Elsies River was defined as a “coloured” neighbourhood under the apartheid state's Group Areas Act, which segregated South Africans racially. With the aid of the Population Registration Act, citizens were classified, not merely along the lines of white, Asian, or black—black subjects were also divided into further categories. The apartheid state also distinguished between black and “coloured” subjects. Michael MacDonald contends that segregation “ordained blacks to be inferior to whites; apartheid cast them to be indelibly different” (11). Apartheid declared “African claims in South Africa to be inferior to white claims” and effectively claimed that black subjects “belonged elsewhere, in societies of their own, because their race was different” (ibid). The term “coloured” defined people as “mixed race” to separate communities that might otherwise have identified as black in the broad and inclusive sense (Erasmus 16). Racial categorisation was used to create a racial hierarchy with white subjects at the top of that hierarchy and those classified as black receiving the least resources and benefits. This frustrated attempts to establish broad alliances of black struggles against apartheid. It is in this sense that race is socially and politically constructed and continues to have currency, despite the fact that biologically essentialist understandings of race have been discredited (Yudell 13–14). Thanks to apartheid town planning and resource allocation, many townships on the Cape Flats were poverty-stricken and plagued by gang violence (Salo 363). This continues to be the case because post-apartheid South Africa's embrace of neoliberal economics failed to address racialised class inequalities significantly (Haupt, Static 6–8). This is the '90s context in which socially conscious hip-hop crews, such as Prophets of da City or Black Noise, came together. They drew inspiration from Black Consciousness philosophy via their exposure to US hip-hop crews such as Public Enemy in order to challenge apartheid policies, including their racial interpellation as “coloured” as distinct from the more inclusive category, black (Haupt, “Black Thing” 178). Prophets of da City—whose co-founding member, Shaheen Ariefdien, also lived in Elsies River—was the first South African hip-hop outfit to record an album. Whilst much of their work was performed in English, they quickly transformed the genre by rapping in non-standard varieties of Afrikaans and by including MCs who rap in African languages (ibid). They therefore succeeded in addressing key issues related to race, language, and class disparities in relation to South Africa's transition to democracy (Haupt, “Black Thing”; Haupt, Stealing Empire). However, as is the case with mainstream US hip-hop, specifically gangsta rap (Clay 149), South African hip-hop has been largely dominated by heterosexual men. This includes the more commercial hip-hop scene, which is largely perceived to be located in Johannesburg, where male MCs like AKA and Cassper Nyovest became celebrities. However, certain female MCs have claimed the genre, notably EJ von Lyrik and Burni Aman who are formerly of Godessa, the first female hip-hop crew to record and perform locally and internationally (Haupt, Stealing Empire 166; Haupt, “Can a Woman in Hip-Hop”). DSJ therefore presents the exception to a largely heteronormative and male-dominated South African music industry and hip-hop scene as she transforms it with her queer politics. While queer hip-hop is not new in the US (Pabón and Smalls), this is new territory for South Africa. Writing about the US MC Jean Grae in the context of a “male-dominated music industry and genre,” Shanté Paradigm Smalls contends,Heteronormativity blocks the materiality of the experiences of Black people. Yet, many Black people strive for a heteronormative effect if not “reality”. In hip hop, there is a particular emphasis on maintaining the rigidity of categories, even if those categories fail [sic]. (87) DSJ challenges these rigid categories. Keep in TouchDSJ's most visible entry onto the media landscape to date has been her appearance in an H&M recycling campaign with British Sri Lankan artist MIA (H&M), some fashion shoots, her new EP—Reimagine (Dope Saint Jude)—and recent Finnish, US and French tours as well as her YouTube channel, which features her music videos. As the characters’ theatrical costumes suggest, “Keep in Touch” is possibly the most camp and playful music video she has produced. It commences somewhat comically with Dope Saint Jude walking down Salt River main road to a public telephone, where she and a young woman in pig tails exchange dirty looks. Salt River is located at the foot of Devil's Peak not far from Cape Town's CBD. Many factories were located there, but the area is also surrounded by low-income housing, which was designated a “coloured” area under apartheid. After apartheid, neighbourhoods such as Salt River, Woodstock, and the Bo-Kaap became increasingly gentrified and, instead of becoming more inclusive, many parts of Cape Town continued to be influenced by policies that enable racialised inequalities. Dope Saint Jude calls Angel Ho: DSJ: Awêh, Angie! Yoh, you must check this kak sturvy girl here by the pay phone. [Turns to the girl, who walks away as she bursts a chewing gum bubble.] Ja, you better keep in touch. Anyway, listen here, what are you wys?Angel Ho: Ah, just at the salon getting my hair did. What's good? DSJ: Wanna catch on kak today?Angel Ho: Yes, honey. But, first, let me Gayle you this. By the jol by the art gallery, this Wendy, nuh. This Wendy tapped me on the shoulder and wys me, “This is a place of decorum.”DSJ: What did she wys?Angel Ho: De-corum. She basically told me this is not your house. DSJ: I know you told that girl to keep in touch!Angel Ho: Yes, Mama! I'm Paula, I told that bitch, “Keep in touch!” [Points index finger in the air.](Saint Jude, Dope, “Keep in Touch”)Angel Ho's name is a play on the male name Angelo and refers to the trope of the ho (whor*) in gangsta rap lyrics and in music videos that present objectified women as secondary to male, heterosexual narratives (Sharpley-Whiting 23; Collins 27). The queering of Angelo, along with Angel Ho’s non-binary styling in terms of hair, make-up, and attire, appropriates a heterosexist, sexualised stereotype of women in order to create room for a gender identity that operates beyond heteronormative male-female binaries. Angel Ho’s location in a hair salon also speaks to stereotypical associations of salons with women and gay subjects. In a discussion of gender stereotypes about hair salons, Kristen Barber argues that beauty work has traditionally been “associated with women and with gay men” and that “the body beautiful has been tightly linked to the concept of femininity” (455–56). During the telephonic exchange, Angel Ho and Dope Saint Jude code-switch between standard and non-standard varieties of English and Afrikaans, as the opening appellation, “Awêh,” suggests. In this context, the term is a friendly greeting, which intimates solidarity. “Sturvy” means pretentious, whilst “kak” means sh*t, but here it is used to qualify “sturvy” and means that the girl at the pay phone is very pretentious or “full of airs.” To be “wys” means to be wise, but it can also mean that you are showing someone something or educating them. The meanings of these terms shift, depending on the context. The language practices in this skit are in line with the work of earlier hip-hop crews, such as Prophets of da City and Brasse vannie Kaap, to validate black, multilingual forms of speech and expression that challenge the linguistic imperialism of standard English and Afrikaans in South Africa, which has eleven official languages (Haupt, “Black Thing”; Haupt, Stealing Empire; Williams). Henry Louis Gates’s research on African American speech varieties and literary practices emerging from the repressive context of slavery is essential to understanding hip-hop’s language politics. Hip-hop artists' multilingual wordplay creates parallel discursive universes that operate both on the syntagmatic axis of meaning-making and the paradigmatic axis (Gates 49; Haupt, “Stealing Empire” 76–77). Historically, these discursive universes were those of the slave masters and the slaves, respectively. While white hegemonic meanings are produced on the syntagmatic axis (which is ordered and linear), black modes of speech as seen in hip-hop word play operate on the paradigmatic axis, which is connotative and non-linear (ibid). Distinguishing between Signifyin(g) / Signification (upper case, meaning black expression) and signification (lower case, meaning white dominant expression), he argues that “the signifier ‘Signification’ has remained identical in spelling to its white counterpart to demonstrate [. . .] that a simultaneous, but negated, parallel discursive (ontological, political) universe exists within the larger white discursive universe” (Gates 49). The meanings of terms and expressions can change, depending on the context and manner in which they are used. It is therefore the shared experiences of speech communities (such as slavery or racist/sexist oppression) that determine the negotiated meanings of certain forms of expression. Gayle as a Parallel Discursive UniverseDSJ and Angel Ho's performance of Gayle takes these linguistic practices further. Viewers are offered points of entry into Gayle via the music video’s subtitles. We learn that Wendy is code for a white person and that to keep in touch means exactly the opposite. Saint Jude explains that Gayle is a very fun queer language that was used to kind of mask what people were saying [. . .] It hides meanings and it makes use of women's names [. . . .] But the thing about Gayle is it's constantly changing [. . .] So everywhere you go, you kind of have to pick it up according to the context that you're in. (Ovens, Saint Jude and Haupt)According to Kathryn Luyt, “Gayle originated as Moffietaal [gay language] in the coloured gay drag culture of the Western Cape as a form of slang amongst Afrikaans-speakers which over time, grew into a stylect used by gay English and Afrikaans-speakers across South Africa” (Luyt 8; Cage 4). Given that the apartheid state criminalised hom*osexuals, Gayle was coded to evade detection and to seek out other members of this speech community (Luyt 8). Luyt qualifies the term “language” by arguing, “The term ‘language’ here, is used not as a constructed language with its own grammar, syntax, morphology and phonology, but in the same way as linguists would discuss women’s language, as a way of speaking, a kind of sociolect” (Luyt 8; Cage 1). However, the double-coded nature of Gayle allows one to think of it as creating a parallel discursive universe as Gates describes it (49). Whereas African American and Cape Flats discursive practices function parallel to white, hegemonic discourses, gay modes of speech run parallel to heteronormative communication. Exclusion and MicroaggressionsThe skit brings both discursive practices into play by creating room for one to consider that DSJ queers a male-dominated genre that is shaped by US cultural imperialism (Haupt, Stealing Empire 166) as a way of speaking back to intersectional forms of marginalisation (Crenshaw 1244), which are created by “white supremacist capitalist patriarchy” (hooks 116). This is significant in South Africa where “curative rape” of lesbians and other forms of hom*ophobic violence are prominent (cf. Gqola; Hames; Msibi). Angel Ho's anecdote conveys a sense of the extent to which black individuals are subject to scrutiny. Ho's interpretation of the claim that the gallery “is a place of decorum” is correct: it is not Ho's house. Black queer subjects are not meant to feel at home or feel a sense of ownership. This functions as a racial microaggression: “subtle insults (verbal, nonverbal, and/or visual) directed toward people of color, often automatically or unconsciously” (Solorzano, Ceja, and Yosso 60). This speaks to DSJ's use of Salt River, Woodstock, and Bo-Kaap for the music video, which features black queer bodies in performance—all of these spaces are being gentrified, effectively pushing working class people of colour out of the city (cf. Didier, Morange, and Peyroux; Lemanski). Gustav Visser explains that gentrification has come to mean a unit-by-unit acquisition of housing which replaces low-income residents with high-income residents, and which occurs independent of the structural condition, architecture, tenure or original cost level of the housing (although it is usually renovated for or by the new occupiers). (81–82) In South Africa this inequity plays out along racial lines because its neoliberal economic policies created a small black elite without improving the lives of the black working class. Instead, the “new African bourgeoisie, because it shares racial identities with the bulk of the poor and class interests with white economic elites, is in position to mediate the reinforcing cleavages between rich whites and poor blacks without having to make more radical changes” (MacDonald 158). In a news article about a working class Salt River family of colour’s battle against an eviction, Christine Hogg explains, “Gentrification often means the poor are displaced as the rich move in or buildings are upgraded by new businesses. In Woodstock and Salt River both are happening at a pace.” Angel Ho’s anecdote, as told from a Woodstock hair salon, conveys a sense of what Woodstock’s transformation from a coloured, working class Group Area to an upmarket, trendy, and arty space would mean for people of colour, including black, queer subjects. One could argue that this reading of the video is undermined by DSJ’s work with global brand H&M. Was she was snared by neoliberal economics? Perhaps, but one response is that the seeds of any subculture’s commercial co-option lie in the fact it speaks through commodities (for example clothing, make-up, CDs, vinyl, or iTunes / mp3 downloads (Hebdige 95; Haupt, Stealing Empire 144–45). Subcultures have a window period in which to challenge hegemonic ideologies before they are delegitimated or commercially co-opted. Hardt and Negri contend that the means that extend the reach of corporate globalisation could be used to challenge it from within it (44–46; Haupt, Stealing Empire 26). DSJ utilises her H&M work, social media, the hip-hop genre, and international networks to exploit that window period to help mainstream black queer identity politics.ConclusionDSJ speaks back to processes of exclusion from the city, which was transformed by apartheid and, more recently, gentrification, by claiming it as a creative and playful space for queer subjects of colour. She uses Gayle to lay claim to the city as it has a long history in Cape Town. In fact, she says that she is not reviving Gayle, but is simply “putting it on a bigger platform” (Ovens, Saint Jude, and Haupt). The use of subtitles in the video suggests that she wants to mainstream queer identity politics. Saint Jude also transforms hip-hop heteronormativity by queering the genre and by locating her work within the history of Cape hip-hop’s multilingual wordplay. ReferencesBarber, Kristin. “The Well-Coiffed Man: Class, Race, and Heterosexual Masculinity in the Hair Salon.” Gender and Society 22.4 (2008): 455–76.Cage, Ken. “An Investigation into the Form and Function of Language Used by Gay Men in South Africa.” Rand Afrikaans University: MA thesis, 1999.Clay, Andreana. “‘I Used to Be Scared of the Dick’: Queer Women of Color and Hip-Hop Masculinity.” Home Girls Make Some Noise: Hip Hop Feminism Anthology. Ed. Gwendolyn D. Pough, Elain Richardson, Aisha Durham, and Rachel Raimist. California: Sojourns, 2007.Collins, Patricia Hill. Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism. New York: Routledge, 2005. Crenshaw, Kimberle. “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color”. Stanford Law Review 43.6 (1991): 1241–299.Didier, Sophie, Marianne Morange, and Elisabeth Peyroux. “The Adaptative Nature of Neoliberalism at the Local Scale: Fifteen Years of City Improvement Districts in Cape Town and Johannesburg.” Antipode 45.1 (2012): 121–39.Erasmus, Zimitri. “Introduction.” Coloured by History, Shaped by Place. Ed. Zimitri Erasmus. Cape Town: Kwela Books & SA History Online, 2001. Gates, Henry Louis. The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of Afro-American Literary Criticism. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1988.Gqola, Pumla Dineo. Rape: A South African Nightmare. Johannesburg: Jacana, 2015.Hames, Mary. “Violence against Black Lesbians: Minding Our Language.” Agenda 25.4 (2011): 87–91.Hardt, Michael, and Antonio Negri. Empire. London: Harvard UP, 2000.Haupt, Adam. “Can a Woman in Hip Hop Speak on Her Own Terms?” Africa Is a Country. 23 Mar. 2015. <http://africasacountry.com/2015/03/the-double-consciousness-of-burni-aman-can-a-woman-in-hip-hop-speak-on-her-own-terms/>.Haupt, Adam. Static: Race & Representation in Post-Apartheid Music, Media & Film. Cape Town: HSRC Press, 2012. Haupt, Adam. Stealing Empire: P2P, Intellectual Property and Hip-Hop Subversion. Cape Town: HSRC Press, 2008. Haupt, Adam. “Black Thing: Hip-Hop Nationalism, ‘Race’ and Gender in Prophets of da City and Brasse vannie Kaap.” Coloured by History, Shaped by Place. Ed. Zimitri Erasmus. Cape Town: Kwela Books & SA History Online, 2001. Hebdige, Dick. Subculture: The Meaning of Style. London: Routledge, 1979.Hogg, Christine. “In Salt River Gentrification Often Means Eviction: Family Set to Lose Their Home of 11 Years.” Ground Up. 15 June 2016. <http://www.groundup.org.za/article/salt-river-gentrification-often-means-eviction/>.hooks, bell. Outlaw: Culture: Resisting Representations. New York: Routledge, 1994.Lemanski, Charlotte. “Hybrid Gentrification in South Africa: Theorising across Southern and Northern Cities.” Urban Studies 51.14 (2014): 2943–60.Luyt, Kathryn. “Gay Language in Cape Town: A Study of Gayle – Attitudes, History and Usage.” University of Cape Town: MA thesis, 2014.MacDonald, Michael. Why Race Matters in South Africa. University of Kwazulu-Natal Press: Scottsville, 2006.Msibi, Thabo. “Not Crossing the Line: Masculinities and hom*ophobic Violence in South Africa”. Agenda. 23.80 (2009): 50–54.Pabón, Jessica N., and Shanté Paradigm Smalls. “Critical Intimacies: Hip Hop as Queer Feminist Pedagogy.” Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory (2014): 1–7.Salo, Elaine. “Negotiating Gender and Personhood in the New South Africa: Adolescent Women and Gangsters in Manenberg Township on the Cape Flats.” Journal of European Cultural Studies 6.3 (2003): 345–65.Solórzano, Daniel, Miguel Ceja, and Tara Yosso. “Critical Race Theory, Racial Microaggressions, and Campus Racial Climate: The Experiences of African American College Students.” Journal of Negro Education 69.1/2 (2000): 60–73.Sharpley-Whiting, T. Denean. Pimps Up, Ho’s Down: Hip Hop’s Hold on Young Black Women. New York: New York UP, 2007.Smalls, Shanté Paradigm. “‘The Rain Comes Down’: Jean Grae and Hip Hop Heteronormativity.” American Behavioral Scientist 55.1 (2011): 86–95.Visser, Gustav. “Gentrification: Prospects for Urban South African Society?” Acta Academica Supplementum 1 (2003): 79–104.Williams, Quentin E. “Youth Multilingualism in South Africa’s Hip-Hop Culture: a Metapragmatic Analysis.” Sociolinguistic Studies 10.1 (2016): 109–33.Yudell, Michael. “A Short History of the Race Concept.” Race and the Genetic Revolution: Science, Myth, and Culture. Ed. Sheldon Krimsky and Kathleen Sloan. New York: Columbia UP, 2011.InterviewsOvens, Neil, Dope Saint Jude, and Adam Haupt. One FM Radio interview. Cape Town. 21 Apr. 2016.VideosSaint Jude, Dope. “Keep in Touch.” YouTube. 23 Feb. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2ux9R839lE>. H&M. “H&M World Recycle Week Featuring M.I.A.” YouTube. 11 Apr. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7MskKkn2Jg>. MusicSaint Jude, Dope. Reimagine. 15 June 2016. <https://dopesaintjude.bandcamp.com/album/reimagine>.

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Haliliuc, Alina. "Walking into Democratic Citizenship: Anti-Corruption Protests in Romania’s Capital." M/C Journal 21, no.4 (October15, 2018). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1448.

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IntroductionFor over five years, Romanians have been using their bodies in public spaces to challenge politicians’ disregard for the average citizen. In a region low in standards of civic engagement, such as voter turnout and petition signing, Romanian people’s “citizenship of the streets” has stopped environmentally destructive mining in 2013, ousted a corrupt cabinet in 2015, and blocked legislation legalising abuse of public office in 2017 (Solnit 214). This article explores the democratic affordances of collective resistive walking, by focusing on Romania’s capital, Bucharest. I illustrate how walking in protest of political corruption cultivates a democratic public and reconfigures city spaces as spaces of democratic engagement, in the context of increased illiberalism in the region. I examine two sites of protest: the Parliament Palace and Victoriei Square. The former is a construction emblematic of communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu and symbol of an authoritarian regime, whose surrounding area protestors reclaim as a civic space. The latter—a central part of the city bustling with the life of cafes, museums, bike lanes, and nearby parks—hosts the Government and has become an iconic site for pro-democratic movements. Spaces of Democracy: The Performativity of Public Assemblies Democracies are active achievements, dependent not only on the solidity of institutions —e.g., a free press and a constitution—but on people’s ability and desire to communicate about issues of concern and to occupy public space. Communicative approaches to democratic theory, formulated as inquiries into the public sphere and the plurality and evolution of publics, often return to establish the significance of public spaces and of bodies in the maintenance of our “rhetorical democracies” (Hauser). Speech and assembly, voice and space are sides of the same coin. In John Dewey’s work, communication is the main “loyalty” of democracy: the heart and final guarantee of democracy is in free gatherings of neighbors on the street corner to discuss back and forth what is read in the uncensored news of the day, and in gatherings of friends in the living rooms of houses and apartments to converse freely with one another. (Dewey qtd. in Asen 197, emphasis added) Dewey asserts the centrality of communication in the same breath that he affirms the spatial infrastructure supporting it.Historically, Richard Sennett explains, Athenian democracy has been organised around two “spaces of democracy” where people assembled: the agora or town square and the theatre or Pnyx. While the theatre has endured as the symbol of democratic communication, with its ideal of concentrated attention on the argument of one speaker, Sennett illuminates the square as an equally important space, one without which deliberation in the Pnyx would be impossible. In the agora, citizens cultivate an ability to see, expect, and think through difference. In its open architecture and inclusiveness, Sennett explains, the agora affords the walker and dweller a public space to experience, in a quick, fragmentary, and embodied way, the differences and divergences in fellow citizens. Through visual scrutiny and embodied exposure, the square thus cultivates “an outlook favorable to discussion of differing views and conflicting interests”, useful for deliberation in the Pnyx, and the capacity to recognise strangers as part of the imagined democratic community (19). Also stressing the importance of spaces for assembly, Jürgen Habermas’s historical theorisation of the bourgeois public sphere moves the functions of the agora to the modern “third places” (Oldenburg) of the civic society emerging in late seventeenth and eighteenth-century Europe: coffee houses, salons, and clubs. While Habermas’ conceptualization of a unified bourgeois public has been criticised for its class and gender exclusivism, and for its normative model of deliberation and consensus, such criticism has also opened paths of inquiry into the rhetorical pluralism of publics and into the democratic affordances of embodied performativity. Thus, unlike Habermas’s assumption of a single bourgeois public, work on twentieth and twenty-first century publics has attended to their wide variety in post-modern societies (e.g., Bruce; Butler; Delicath and DeLuca; Fraser; Harold and DeLuca; Hauser; Lewis; Mckinnon et al.; Pezzullo; Rai; Tabako). In contrast to the Habermasian close attention to verbal argumentation, such criticism prioritizes the embodied (performative, aesthetic, and material) ways in which publics manifest their attention to common issues. From suffragists to environmentalists and, most recently, anti-precarity movements across the globe, publics assemble and move through shared space, seeking to break hegemonies of media representation by creating media events of their own. In the process, Judith Butler explains, such embodied assemblies accomplish much more. They disrupt prevalent logics and dominant feelings of disposability, precarity, and anxiety, at the same time that they (re)constitute subjects and increasingly privatised spaces into citizens and public places of democracy, respectively. Butler proposes that to best understand recent protests we need to read collective assembly in the current political moment of “accelerating precarity” and responsibilisation (10). Globally, increasingly larger populations are exposed to economic insecurity and precarity through government withdrawal from labor protections and the diminishment of social services, to the profit of increasingly monopolistic business. A logic of self-investment and personal responsibility accompanies such structural changes, as people understand themselves as individual market actors in competition with other market actors rather than as citizens and community members (Brown). In this context, public assembly would enact an alternative, insisting on interdependency. Bodies, in such assemblies, signify both symbolically (their will to speak against power) and indexically. As Butler describes, “it is this body, and these bodies, that require employment, shelter, health care, and food, as well as a sense of a future that is not the future of unpayable debt” (10). Butler describes the function of these protests more fully:[P]lural enactments […] make manifest the understanding that a situation is shared, contesting the individualizing morality that makes a moral norm of economic self-sufficiency precisely […] when self-sufficiency is becoming increasingly unrealizable. Showing up, standing, breathing, moving, standing still, speech, and silence are all aspects of a sudden assembly, an unforeseen form of political performativity that puts livable life at the forefront of politics […] [T]he bodies assembled ‘say’ we are not disposable, even if they stand silently. (18)Though Romania is not included in her account of contemporary protest movements, Butler’s theoretical account aptly describes both the structural and ideological conditions, and the performativity of Romanian protestors. In Romania, citizens have started to assemble in the streets against austerity measures (2012), environmental destruction (2013), fatal infrastructures (2015) and against the government’s corruption and attempts to undermine the Judiciary (from February 2017 onward). While, as scholars have argued (Olteanu and Beyerle; Gubernat and Rammelt), political corruption has gradually crystallised into the dominant and enduring framework for the assembled publics, post-communist corruption has been part and parcel of the neoliberalisation of Central and Eastern-European societies after the fall of communism. In the region, Leslie Holmes explains, former communist elites or the nomenklatura, have remained the majority political class after 1989. With political power and under the shelter of political immunity, nomenklatura politicians “were able to take ethically questionable advantage in various ways […] of the sell-off of previously state-owned enterprises” (Holmes 12). The process through which the established political class became owners of a previously state-owned economy is known as “nomenklatura privatization”, a common form of political corruption in the region, Holmes explains (12). Such practices were common knowledge among a cynical population through most of the 1990s and the 2000s. They were not broadly challenged in an ideological milieu attached, as Mihaela Miroiu, Isabela Preoteasa, and Jerzy Szacki argued, to extreme forms of liberalism and neoliberalism, ideologies perceived by people just coming out of communism as anti-ideology. Almost three decades since the fall of communism, in the face of unyielding levels of poverty (Zaharia; Marin), the decaying state of healthcare and education (Bilefsky; “Education”), and migration rates second only to war-torn Syria (Deletant), Romanian protestors have come to attribute the diminution of life in post-communism to the political corruption of the established political class (“Romania Corruption Report”; “Corruption Perceptions”). Following systematic attempts by the nomenklatura-heavy governing coalition to undermine the judiciary and institutionalise de facto corruption of public officials (Deletant), protestors have been returning to public spaces on a weekly basis, de-normalising the political cynicism and isolation serving the established political class. Mothers Walking: Resignifying Communist Spaces, Imagining the New DemosOn 11 July 2018, a protest of mothers was streamed live by Corruption Kills (Corupția ucide), a Facebook group started by activist Florin Bădiță after a deadly nightclub fire attributed to the corruption of public servants, in 2015 (Commander). Organized protests at the time pressured the Social-Democratic cabinet into resignation. Corruption Kills has remained a key activist platform, organising assemblies, streaming live from demonstrations, and sharing personal acts of dissent, thus extending the life of embodied assemblies. In the mothers’ protest video, women carrying babies in body-wraps and strollers walk across the intersection leading to the Parliament Palace, while police direct traffic and ensure their safety (“Civil Disobedience”). This was an unusual scene for many reasons. Walkers met at the entrance to the Parliament Palace, an area most emblematic of the former regime. Built by Communist dictator, Nicolae Ceaușescu and inspired by Kim Il-sung’s North Korean architecture, the current Parliament building and its surrounding plaza remain, in the words of Renata Salecl, “one of the most traumatic remnants of the communist regime” (90). The construction is the second largest administrative building in the world, after the Pentagon, a size matching the ambitions of the dictator. It bears witness to the personal and cultural sacrifices the construction and its surrounded plaza required: the displacement of some 40,000 people from old neighbourhood Uranus, the death of reportedly thousands of workers, and the flattening of churches, monasteries, hospitals, schools (Parliament Palace). This arbitrary construction carved out of the old city remains a symbol of an authoritarian relation with the nation. As Salecl puts it, Ceaușescu’s project tried to realise the utopia of a new communist “centre” and created an artificial space as removed from the rest of the city as the leader himself was from the needs of his people. Twenty-nine years after the fall of communism, the plaza of the Parliament Palace remains as suspended from the life of the city as it was during the 1980s. The trees lining the boulevard have grown slightly and bike lanes are painted over decaying stones. Still, only few people walk by the neo-classical apartment buildings now discoloured and stained by weather and time. Salecl remarks on the panoptic experience of the Parliament Palace: “observed from the avenue, [the palace] appears to have no entrance; there are only numerous windows, which give the impression of an omnipresent gaze” (95). The building embodies, for Salecl, the logic of surveillance of the communist regime, which “created the impression of omnipresence” through a secret police that rallied members among regular citizens and inspired fear by striking randomly (95).Against this geography steeped in collective memories of fear and exposure to the gaze of the state, women turn their children’s bodies and their own into performances of resistance that draw on the rhetorical force of communist gender politics. Both motherhood and childhood were heavily regulated roles under Ceaușescu’s nationalist-socialist politics of forced birth, despite the official idealisation of both. Producing children for the nationalist-communist state was women’s mandated expression of citizenship. Declaring the foetus “the socialist property of the whole society”, in 1966 Ceaușescu criminalised abortion for women of reproductive ages who had fewer than four children, and, starting 1985, less than five children (Ceaușescu qtd. in Verdery). What followed was “a national tragedy”: illegal abortions became the leading cause of death for fertile women, children were abandoned into inhumane conditions in the infamous orphanages, and mothers experienced the everyday drama of caring for families in an economy of shortages (Kligman 364). The communist politicisation of natality during communist Romania exemplifies one of the worst manifestations of the political as biopolitical. The current maternal bodies and children’s bodies circulating in the communist-iconic plaza articulate past and present for Romanians, redeploying a traumatic collective memory to challenge increasingly authoritarian ambitions of the governing Social Democratic Party. The images of caring mothers walking in protest with their babies furthers the claims that anti-corruption publics have made in other venues: that the government, in their indifference and corruption, is driving millions of people, usually young, out of the country, in a braindrain of unprecedented proportions (Ursu; Deletant; #vavedemdinSibiu). In their determination to walk during the gruelling temperatures of mid-July, in their youth and their babies’ youth, the mothers’ walk performs the contrast between their generation of engaged, persistent, and caring citizens and the docile abused subject of a past indexed by the Ceaușescu-era architecture. In addition to performing a new caring imagined community (Anderson), women’s silent, resolute walk on the crosswalk turns a lifeless geography, heavy with the architectural traces of authoritarian history, into a public space that holds democratic protest. By inhabiting the cultural role of mothers, protestors disarmed state authorities: instead of the militarised gendarmerie usually policing protestors the Victoriei Square, only traffic police were called for the mothers’ protest. The police choreographed cars and people, as protestors walked across the intersection leading to the Parliament. Drivers, usually aggressive and insouciant, now moved in concert with the protestors. The mothers’ walk, immediately modeled by people in other cities (Cluj-Napoca), reconfigured a car-dominated geography and an unreliable, driver-friendly police, into a civic space that is struggling to facilitate the citizens’ peaceful disobedience. The walkers’ assembly thus begins to constitute the civic character of the plaza, collecting “the space itself […] the pavement and […] the architecture [to produce] the public character of that material environment” (Butler 71). It demonstrates the possibility of a new imagined community of caring and persistent citizens, one significantly different from the cynical, disconnected, and survivalist subjects that the nomenklatura politicians, nested in the Panoptic Parliament nearby, would prefer.Persisting in the Victoriei Square In addition to strenuous physical walking to reclaim city spaces, such as the mothers’ walking, the anti-corruption public also practices walking and gathering in less taxing environments. The Victoriei Square is such a place, a central plaza that connects major boulevards with large sidewalks, functional bike lanes, and old trees. The square is the architectural meeting point of old and new, where communist apartments meet late nineteenth and early twentieth century architecture, in a privileged neighbourhood of villas, museums, and foreign consulates. One of these 1930s constructions is the Government building, hosting the Prime Minister’s cabinet. Demonstrators gathered here during the major protests of 2015 and 2017, and have walked, stood, and wandered in the square almost weekly since (“Past Events”). On 24 June 2018, I arrive in the Victoriei Square to participate in the protest announced on social media by Corruption Kills. There is room to move, to pause, and rest. In some pockets, people assemble to pay attention to impromptu speakers who come onto a small platform to share their ideas. Occasionally someone starts chanting “We See You!” and “Down with Corruption!” and almost everyone joins the chant. A few young people circulate petitions. But there is little exultation in the group as a whole, shared mostly among those taking up the stage or waving flags. Throughout the square, groups of familiars stop to chat. Couples and families walk their bikes, strolling slowly through the crowds, seemingly heading to or coming from the nearby park on a summer evening. Small kids play together, drawing with chalk on the pavement, or greeting dogs while parents greet each other. Older children race one another, picking up on the sense of freedom and de-centred but still purposeful engagement. The openness of the space allows one to meander and observe all these groups, performing the function of the Ancient agora: making visible the strangers who are part of the polis. The overwhelming feeling is one of solidarity. This comes partly from the possibilities of collective agency and the feeling of comfortably taking up space and having your embodiment respected, otherwise hard to come by in other spaces of the city. Everyday walking in the streets of Romanian cities is usually an exercise in hypervigilant physical prowess and self-preserving numbness. You keep your eyes on the ground to not stumble on broken pavement. You watch ahead for unmarked construction work. You live with other people’s sweat on the hot buses. You hop among cars parked on sidewalks and listen keenly for when others may zoom by. In one of the last post-socialist states to join the European Union, living with generalised poverty means walking in cities where your senses must be dulled to manage the heat, the dust, the smells, and the waiting, irresponsive to beauty and to amiable sociality. The euphemistic vocabulary of neoliberalism may describe everyday walking through individualistic terms such as “grit” or “resilience.” And while people are called to effort, creativity, and endurance not needed in more functional states, what one experiences is the gradual diminution of one’s lives under a political regime where illiberalism keeps a citizen-serving democracy at bay. By contrast, the Victoriei Square holds bodies whose comfort in each other’s presence allow us to imagine a political community where survivalism, or what Lauren Berlant calls “lateral agency”, are no longer the norm. In “showing up, standing, breathing, moving, standing still […] an unforeseen form of political performativity that puts livable life at the forefront of politics” is enacted (Butler 18). In arriving to Victoriei Square repeatedly, Romanians demonstrate that there is room to breathe more easily, to engage with civility, and to trust the strangers in their country. They assert that they are not disposable, even if a neoliberal corrupt post-communist regime would have them otherwise.ConclusionBecoming a public, as Michael Warner proposes, is an ongoing process of attention to an issue, through the circulation of discourse and self-organisation with strangers. For the anti-corruption public of Romania’s past years, such ongoing work is accompanied by persistent, civil, embodied collective assembly, in an articulation of claims, bodies, and spaces that promotes a material agency that reconfigures the city and the imagined Romanian community into a more democratic one. The Romanian citizenship of the streets is particularly significant in the current geopolitical and ideological moment. In the region, increasing authoritarianism meets the alienating logics of neoliberalism, both trying to reduce citizens to disposable, self-reliant, and disconnected market actors. Populist autocrats—Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey, the Peace and Justice Party in Poland, and recently E.U.-penalized Victor Orban, in Hungary—are dismantling the system of checks and balances, and posing threats to a European Union already challenged by refugee debates and Donald Trump’s unreliable alliance against authoritarianism. In such a moment, the Romanian anti-corruption public performs within the geographies of their city solidarity and commitment to democracy, demonstrating an alternative to the submissive and disconnected subjects preferred by authoritarianism and neoliberalism.Author's NoteIn addition to the anonymous reviewers, the author would like to thank Mary Tuominen and Jesse Schlotterbeck for their helpful comments on this essay.ReferencesAnderson, Benedict R. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso, 2016.Asen, Robert. “A Discourse Theory of Citizenship.” Quarterly Journal of Speech 90.2 (2004): 189-211. 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Budapest: Central European UP. Tabako, Tomasz. “Irony as a Pro-Democracy Trope: Europe’s Last Comic Revolution.” Controversia 5.2 (2007): 23-53. Ursu, Ramona. Va Vedem (We See You). Bucharest: Humanitas, 2018.“#vavedemdinSibiu. Aproape 700 de sibieni, cu bagajele în fața sediului PSD.” Turnul Sfatului, 17 Dec. 2017. 10 Sep. 2018 <http://www.turnulsfatului.ro/2017/12/17/foto-protestele-vavedemdinsibiu-aproape-700-de-sibieni-cu-bagajele-fata-sediului-psd/>.Verdery, Katherine. “From Parent-State to Family Patriarchs: Gender and Nation in Contemporary Eastern Europe.” East European Politics and Societies 8.2 (1994): 225–255. Warner, Michael. “Publics and Counterpublics (Abbreviated Version).” Quarterly Journal of Speech, 88.4 (2002): 413–25. Zaharia, Diana. “Poverty in Statistics.” Profit.ro. 8 Aug. 2016. 1 Sep. 2018 <https://www.profit.ro/stiri/economie/saracia-din-statistici-aproape-jumatate-dintre-salariatii-romani-raman-cu-cel-mult-1-000-lei-in-mana-dupa-taxare-15540558>.

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Haller, Beth. "Switched at Birth: A Game Changer for All Audiences." M/C Journal 20, no.3 (June21, 2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1266.

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The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) Family Network show Switched at Birth tells two stories—one which follows the unique plot of the show, and one about the new openness of television executives toward integrating more people with a variety of visible and invisible physical embodiments, such as hearing loss, into television content. It first aired in 2011 and in 2017 aired its fifth and final season.The show focuses on two teen girls in Kansas City who find out they were switched due to a hospital error on the day of their birth and who grew up with parents who were not biologically related to them. One, Bay Kennish (Vanessa Marano), lives with her wealthy parents—a stay-at-home mom Kathryn (Lea Thompson) and a former professional baseball player, now businessman, father John (D.W. Moffett). She has an older brother Toby (Lucas Grabeel) who is into music. In her high school science class, Bay learns about blood types and discovers her parents’ blood types could not have produced her. The family has professional genetic tests done and discovers the switch (ABC Family, “This Is Not a Pipe”).In the pilot episode, Bay’s parents find out that deaf teen, Daphne Vasquez (Katie Leclerc), is actually their daughter. She lives in a working class Hispanic neighbourhood with her hairdresser single mother Regina (Constance Marie) and grandmother Adrianna (Ivonne Coll), both of whom are of Puerto Rican ancestry. Daphne is deaf due to a case of meningitis when she was three, which the rich Kennishes feel happened because of inadequate healthcare provided by working class Regina. Daphne attends an all-deaf school, Carlton.The man who was thought to be her biological father, Angelo Sorrento (Gilles Marini), doesn’t appear in the show until episode 10 but becomes a series regular in season 2. It becomes apparent that Daphne believes her father left because of her deafness; however, as the first season progresses, the real reasons begin to emerge. From the pilot onwards, the show dives into clashes of language, culture, ethnicity, class, and even physical appearance—in one scene in the pilot, the waspy Kennishes ask Regina if she is “Mexican.” As later episodes reveal, many of these physical appearance issues are revealed to have fractured the Vasquez family early on—Daphne is a freckled, strawberry blonde, and her father (who is French and Italian) suspected infidelity.The two families merge when the Kennishes ask Daphne and her mother to move into their guest house in order get to know their daughter better. That forces the Kennishes into the world of deafness, and throughout the show this hearing family therefore becomes a surrogate for a hearing audience’s immersion into Deaf culture.Cultural Inclusivity: The Way ForwardShow creator Lizzy Weiss explained that it was actually the ABC Family network that “suggested making one of the kids disabled” (Academy of Television Arts & Sciences). Weiss was familiar with American Sign Language (ASL) because she had a “classical theatre of the Deaf” course in college. She said, “I had in the back of my head a little bit of background at least about how beautiful the language was. So I said, ‘What if one of the girls is deaf?’” The network thought it was wonderful idea, so she began researching the Deaf community, including spending time at a deaf high school in Los Angeles called Marlton, on which she modelled the Switched at Birth school, Carlton. Weiss (Academy of Television Arts & Sciences) says of the school visit experience:I learned so much that day and spoke to dozens of deaf teenagers about their lives and their experiences. And so, this is, of course, in the middle of writing the pilot, and I said to the network, you know, deaf kids wouldn’t voice orally. We would have to have those scenes only in ASL, and no sound and they said, ‘Great. Let’s do it.’ And frankly, we just kind of grew and grew from there.To accommodate the narrative structure of a television drama, Weiss said it became clear from the beginning that the show would need to use SimCom (simultaneous communication or sign supported speech) for the hearing or deaf characters who were signing so they could speak and sign at the same time. She knew this wasn’t the norm for two actual people communicating in ASL, but the production team worried about having a show that was heavily captioned as this might distance its key—overwhelmingly hearing—teen audience who would have to pay attention to the screen during captioned scenes. However, this did not appear to be the case—instead, viewers were drawn to the show because of its unique sign language-influenced television narrative structure. The show became popular very quickly and, with 3.3 million viewers, became the highest-rated premiere ever on the ABC Family network (Barney).Switched at Birth also received much praise from the media for allowing its deaf actors to communicate using sign language. The Huffington Post television critic Maureen Ryan said, “Allowing deaf characters to talk to each other directly—without a hearing person or a translator present—is a savvy strategy that allows the show to dig deeper into deaf culture and also to treat deaf characters as it would anyone else”. Importantly, it allowed the show to be unique in a way that was found nowhere else on television. “It’s practically avant-garde for television, despite the conventional teen-soap look of the show,” said Ryan.Usually a show’s success is garnered by audience numbers and media critique—by this measure Switched at Birth was a hit. However, programs that portray a disability—in any form—are often the target of criticism, particularly from the communities they attempting to represent. It should be noted that, while actress Katie Leclerc, who plays Daphne, has a condition, Meniere’s disease, which causes hearing loss and vertigo on an intermittent basis, she does not identify as a deaf actress and must use a deaf accent to portray Daphne. However, she is ASL fluent, learning it in high school (Orangejack). This meant her qualifications met the original casting call which said “actress must be deaf or hard of hearing and must speak English well, American Sign Language preferred” (Paz, 2010) Leclerc likens her role to that of any actor to who has to affect body and vocal changes for a role—she gives the example of Hugh Laurie in House, who is British with no limp, but was an American who uses a cane in that show (Bibel).As such, initially, some in the Deaf community complained about her casting though an online petition with 140 signatures (Nielson). Yet many in the Deaf community softened any criticism of the show when they saw the production’s ongoing attention to Deaf cultural details (Grushkin). Finally, any lingering criticisms from the Deaf community were quieted by the many deaf actors hired for the show who perform using ASL. This includes Sean Berdy, who plays Daphne’s best friend Emmett, his onscreen mother, played by actress Marlee Matlin, and Anthony Natale who plays his father; their characters both sign and vocalize in the show. The Emmett character only communicates in ASL and does not vocalise until he falls in love with the hearing character Bay—even then he rarely uses his voice.This seemingly all-round “acceptance” of the show gave the production team more freedom to be innovative—by season 3 the audience was deemed to be so comfortable with captions that the shows began to feature less SimCom and more all-captioned scenes. This lead to the full episode in ASL, a first on American mainstream television.For an Hour, Welcome to Our WorldSwitched at Birth writer Chad Fiveash explained that when the production team came up with the idea for a captioned all-ASL episode, they “didn’t want to do the ASL episode as a gimmick. It needed to be thematically resonant”. As a result, they decided to link the episode to the most significant event in American Deaf history, an event that solidified its status as a cultural community—the 1988 Deaf President Now (DPN) protest at Gallaudet University in Washington. This protest inspired the March 2013 episode for Switched at Birth and aired 25 years to the week that the actual DPN protest happened. This episode makes it clear the show is trying to completely embrace Deaf culture and wants its audience to better understand Deaf identity.DPN was a pivotal moment for Deaf people—it truly solidified members of a global Deaf community who felt more empowered to fight for their rights. Students demanded that Gallaudet—as the premier university for deaf and hard-of-hearing students—no longer have a hearing person as its president. The Gallaudet board of trustees, the majority of whom were hearing, tried to force students and faculty to accept a hearing president; their attitude was that they knew what was best for the deaf persons there. For eight days, deaf people across America and the world rallied around the student protestors, refusing to give in until a deaf president was appointed. Their success came in the form of I. King Jordan, a deaf man who had served as dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at the time of the protest.The event was covered by media around the world, giving the American Deaf community international attention. Indeed, Gallaudet University says the DPN protest symbolized more than just the hiring of a Deaf president; it brought Deaf issues before the public and “raised the nation’s consciousness of the rights and abilities of deaf and hard of hearing people” (Gallaudet University).The activities of the students and their supporters showed dramatically that in the 1980s deaf people could be galvanized to unite around a common issue, particularly one of great symbolic meaning, such as the Gallaudet presidency. Gallaudet University represents the pinnacle of education for deaf people, not only in the United States but throughout the world. The assumption of its presidency by a person himself deaf announced to the world that deaf Americans were now a mature minority (Van Cleve and Crouch, 172).Deaf people were throwing off the oppression of the hearing world by demanding that their university have someone from their community at its helm. Jankowski (Deaf Empowerment; A Metaphorical Analysis of Conflict) studied the Gallaudet protest within the framework of a metaphor. She found a recurring theme during the DPN protest to be Gallaudet as “plantation”—which metaphorically refers to deaf persons as slaves trying to break free from the grip of the dominant mastery of the hearing world—and she parallels the civil rights movement of African Americans in the 1960s. As an example, Gallaudet was referred to as the “Selma of the Deaf” during the protest, and protest signs used the language of Martin Luther King such as “we still have a dream.” For deaf Americans, the presidency of Gallaudet became a symbol of hope for the future. As Jankowski attests:deaf people perceived themselves as possessing the ability to manage their own kind, pointing to black-managed organization, women-managed organizations, etc., struggling for that same right. They argued that it was a fight for their basic human rights, a struggle to free themselves, to release the hold their ‘masters’ held on them. (“A Metaphorical Analysis”)The creators of the Switched at Birth episode wanted to ensure of these emotions, as well as historical and cultural references, were prevalent in the modern-day, all-ASL episode, titled Uprising. That show therefore wanted to represent both the 1988 DPN protest as well as a current issue in the US—the closing of deaf schools (Anderson). The storyline focuses on the deaf students at the fictitious Carlton School for the Deaf seizing one of the school buildings to stage a protest because the school board has decided to shut down the school and mainstream the deaf students into hearing schools. When the deaf students try to come up with a list of demands, conflicts arise about what the demands should be and whether a pilot program—allowing hearing kids who sign to attend the deaf school—should remain.This show accomplished multiple things with its reach into Deaf history and identity, but it also did something technologically unique for the modern world—it made people pay attention. Because captioning translated the sign language for viewers, Lizzy Weiss, the creator of the series, said, “Every single viewer—deaf or hearing—was forced to put away their phones and iPads and anything else distracting … and focus … you had to read … you couldn’t do anything else. And that made you get into it more. It drew you in” (Stelter). The point, Weiss said, “was about revealing something new to the viewer—what does it feel like to be an outsider? What does it feel like to have to read and focus for an entire episode, like deaf viewers do all the time?” (Stelter). As one deaf reviewer of the Uprising episode said, “For an hour, welcome to our world! A world that’s inconvenient, but one most of us wouldn’t leave if offered a magic pill” (DR_Staff).This episode, more than any other, afforded hearing television viewers an experience perhaps similar to deaf viewers. The New York Times reported that “Deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers commented by the thousands after the show, with many saying in effect, “Yes! That’s what it feels like” (Stelter).Continued ResonancesWhat is also unique about the episode is that in teaching the hearing viewers more about the Deaf community, it also reinforced Deaf community pride and even taught young deaf people a bit of their own history. The Deaf community and Gallaudet were very pleased with their history showing up on a television show—the university produced a 30-second commercial which aired within the episode, and held viewing parties. Gallaudet also forwarded the 35 pages of Facebook comments they’d received about the episode to ABC Family and Gallaudet President T. Alan Hurwitz said of the episode (Yahr), “Over the past 25 years, [DPN] has symbolised self-determination and empowerment for deaf and hard of hearing people around the world”. The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) also lauded the episode, describing it as “phenomenal and groundbreaking, saying the situation is very real to us” (Stelter)—NAD had been vocally against budget cuts and closings of US deaf schools.Deaf individuals all over the Internet and social media also spoke out about the episode, with overwhelmingly favourable opinions. Deaf blogger Amy Cohen Efron, who participated in 1988′s DPN movement, said that DPN was “a turning point of my life, forcing me to re-examine my own personal identity, and develop self-determinism as a Deaf person” and led to her becoming an activist.When she watched the Uprising episode, she said the symbolic and historical representations in the show resonated with her. In the episode, a huge sign is unfurled on the side of the Carlton School for the Deaf with a girl with a fist in the air under the slogan “Take Back Carlton.” During the DPN protest, the deaf student protesters unfurled a sign that said “Deaf President Now” with the US Capitol in the background; this image has become an iconic symbol of modern Deaf culture. Efron says the image in the television episode was much more militant than the actual DPN sign. However, it could be argued that society now sees the Deaf community as much more militant because of the DPN protest, and that the imagery in the Uprising episode played into that connection. Efron also acknowledged the episode’s strong nod to the Gallaudet student protestors who defied the hearing community’s expectations by practising civil disobedience. As Efron explained, “Society expected that the Deaf people are submissive and accept to whatever decision done by the majority without any of our input and/or participation in the process.”She also argues that the episode educated more than just the hearing community. In addition to DPN, Uprising was filled with other references to Deaf history. For example a glass door to the room at Carlton was covered with posters about people like Helen Keller and Jean-Ferdinand Berthier, a deaf educator in 19th century France who promoted the concept of deaf identity and culture—Efron says most people in the Deaf community have never heard of him. She also claims that the younger Deaf community may also not be aware of the 1988 DPN protest—“It was not in high school textbooks available for students. Many deaf and hard of hearing students are mainstreamed and they have not the slightest idea about the DPN movement, even about the Deaf Community’s ongoing fight against discrimination, prejudice and oppression, along with our victories”.Long before the Uprising episode aired, the Deaf community had been watching Switched at Birth carefully to make sure Deaf culture was accurately represented. Throughout season 3 David Martin created weekly videos in sign language that were an ASL/Deaf cultural analysis of Switched at Birth. He highlighted content he liked and signs that were incorrect, a kind of a Deaf culture/ASL fact checker. From the Uprising episode, he said he thought this quote from Marlee Matlin’s character said it all, “Until hearing people walk a day in our shoes they will never understand” (Martin). That succinctly states what the all-ASL episode was trying to capture—creating an awareness of Deaf people’s cultural experience and their oppression in hearing society.Even a deaf person who was an early critic of Switched at Birth because of the hiring of Katie Leclerc and the use of SimCom admitted he was impressed with the all-ASL episode (Grushkin):all too often, we see media accounts of Deaf people which play into our society’s perceptions of Deaf people: as helpless, handicapped individuals who are in need of fixes such as cochlear implants in order to “restore” us to society. Almost never do we see accounts of Deaf people as healthy, capable individuals who live ordinary, successful lives without necessarily conforming to the Hearing ‘script’ for how we should be. And important issues such as language rights or school closings are too often virtually ignored by the general media.In addition to the episode being widely discussed within the Deaf community, the mainstream news media also covered Uprising intensely, seeing it as a meaningful cultural moment, not just for the Deaf community but for popular culture in general. Lacob wrote that he realises that hearing viewers probably won’t understand what it means to be a deaf person in modern America, but he believes that the episodeposits that there are moments of understanding, commonalities, and potential bridge-building between these two communities. And the desire for understanding is the first step toward a more inclusive and broad-minded future.He continues:the significance of this moment can’t be undervalued, nor can the show’s rich embrace of deaf history, manifested here in the form of Gallaudet and the historical figures whose photographs and stories are papered on the windows of Carlton during the student protest. What we’re seeing on screen—within the confines of a teen drama, no less—is an engaged exploration of a culture and a civil rights movement brought to life with all of the color and passion it deserves. It may be 25 years since Gallaudet, but the dreams of those protesters haven’t faded. And they—and the ideals of identity and equality that they express—are most definitely being heard.Lacob’s analysis was praised by several Deaf people—by a Deaf graduate student who teaches a Disability in Popular Culture course and by a Gallaudet student who said, “From someone who is deaf, and not ashamed of it either, let me say right here and now: that was the most eloquent piece of writing by someone hearing I have ever seen” (Emma72). The power of the Uprising episode illustrated a political space where “groups actively fuse and blend their culture with the mainstream culture” (Foley 119, as cited in Chang 3). Switched at Birth—specifically the Uprising episode—has indeed fused Deaf culture and ASL into a place in mainstream television culture.ReferencesABC Family. “Switched at Birth Deaf Actor Search.” Facebook (2010). <https://www.facebook.com/SwitchedSearch>.———. “This Is Not a Pipe.” Switched at Birth. Pilot episode. 6 June 2011. <http://freeform.go.com/shows/switched-at-birth>.———. “Not Hearing Loss, Deaf Gain.” Switched at Birth. YouTube video, 11 Feb. 2013. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5W604uSkrk>.Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. “Talking Diversity: ABC Family’s Switched at Birth.” Emmys.com (Feb. 2012). <http://www.emmys.com/content/webcast-talking-diversity-abc-familys-switched-birth>.Anderson, G. “‘Switched at Birth’ Celebrates 25th Anniversary of ‘Deaf President Now’.” Pop-topia (5 Mar. 2013). <http://www.pop-topia.com/switched-at-birth-celebrates-25th-anniversary-of-deaf-president-now/>.Barney, C. “’Switched at Birth’ Another Winner for ABC Family.” Contra Costa News (29 June 2011). <http://www.mercurynews.com/tv/ci_18369762>.Bibel, S. “‘Switched at Birth’s Katie LeClerc Is Proud to Represent the Deaf Community.” Xfinity TV blog (20 June 2011). <http://xfinity.comcast.net/blogs/tv/2011/06/20/switched-at-births-katie-leclerc-is-proud-to-represent-the-deaf-community/>.Chang, H. “Re-Examining the Rhetoric of the ‘Cultural Border’.” Essay presented at the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, Dec. 1988.DR_Staff. “Switched at Birth: How #TakeBackCarlton Made History.” deafReview (6 Mar. 2013). <http://deafreview.com/deafreview-news/switched-at-birth-how-takebackcarlton-made-history/>.Efron, Amy Cohen. “Switched At Birth: Uprising – Deaf Adult’s Commentary.” Deaf World as I See It (Mar. 2013). <http://www.deafeyeseeit.com/2013/03/05/sabcommentary/>.Emma72. “ABC Family’s ‘Switched at Birth’ ASL Episode Recalls Gallaudet Protest.” Comment. The Daily Beast (28 Feb. 2013). <http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/28/abc-family-s-switched-at-birth-asl-episode-recalls-gallaudet-protest.html>.Fiveash, Chad. Personal interview. 17 Jan. 2014.Gallaudet University. “The Issues.” Deaf President Now (2013). <http://www.gallaudet.edu/dpn_home/issues.html>.Grushkin, D. “A Cultural Review. ASL Challenged.” Switched at Birth Facebook page. Facebook (2013). <https://www.facebook.com/SwitchedatBirth/posts/508748905835658>.Jankowski, K.A. Deaf Empowerment: Emergence, Struggle, and Rhetoric. Washington: Gallaudet UP, 1997.———. “A Metaphorical Analysis of Conflict at the Gallaudet Protest.” Unpublished seminar paper presented at the University of Maryland, 1990.Lacob, J. “ABC Family’s ‘Switched at Birth’ ASL Episode Recalls Gallaudet Protest.” The Daily Beast 28 Feb. 2013. <http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/28/abc-family-s-switched-at-birth-asl-episode-recalls-gallaudet-protest.html>.Martin, D. “Switched at Birth Season 2 Episode 9 ‘Uprising’ ASL/Deaf Cultural Analysis.” David Martin YouTube channel (6 Mar. 2013). <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA0vqCysoVU>.Nielson, R. “Petitioned ABC Family and the ‘Switched at Birth’ Series, Create Responsible, Accurate, and Family-Oriented TV Programming.” Change.org (2011). <http://www.change.org/p/abc-family-and-the-switched-at-birth-series-create-responsible-accurate-and-family-oriented-tv-programming>.Orangejack. “Details about Katie Leclerc’s Hearing Loss.” My ASL Journey Blog (29 June 2011). <http://asl.orangejack.com/details-about-katie-leclercs-hearing-loss>.Paz, G. “Casting Call: Open Auditions for Switched at Birth by ABC Family.” Series & TV (3 Oct. 2010). <http://seriesandtv.com/casting-call-open-auditions-for-switched-at-birth-by-abc-family/4034>.Ryan, Maureen. “‘Switched at Birth’ Season 1.5 Has More Drama and Subversive Soapiness.” The Huffington Post (31 Aug. 2012). <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maureen-ryan/switched-at-birth-season-1_b_1844957.html>.Stelter, B. “Teaching Viewers to Hear with Their Eyes Only.” The New York Times 8 Mar. 2013. <http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/09/arts/television/teaching-viewers-to-hear-the-tv-with-eyes-only.html>.Van Cleve, J.V., and B.A. Crouch. A Place of Their Own: Creating the Deaf Community in America. DC: Gallaudet University Press, 1989.Yahr, E. “Gallaudet University Uses All-Sign Language Episode of ‘Switched at Birth’ to Air New Commercial.” The Washington Post 3 Mar. 2013 <http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/tv-column/post/gallaudet-university-uses-all-sign-language-episode-of-switched-at-birth-to-air-new-commercial/2013/03/04/0017a45a-8508-11e2-9d71-f0feafdd1394_blog.html>.

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