Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Destination dumping ground: The convergence of ‘unwanted’ populations in disadvantaged city areas

an article by Lynda Cheshire (The University of Queensland, Australia) and Gina Zappia (University of Tasmania, Australia) published in Urban Studies Volume 53 Number 10 (2016)


Academic and lay discourses around disadvantaged urban areas often draw on the language of ‘dumping grounds’ to encapsulate the poverty, marginalisation and social problems often found there. Yet the concept of a dumping ground remains insufficiently theorised.

This paper addresses this issue by identifying five constituent features of the dumping ground:
  • the perception of people as waste whose fate is to be discarded;
  • the need to accommodate this human ‘waste’ and the logic by which places are selected for this purpose;
  • the mechanisms through which this spatial sorting occurs as problem populations are moved to their ‘rightful’ place;
  • the relations of power which enforce or encourage this mobility; and finally,
  • the reactions of incumbent residents in neighbourhoods that are compelled to host unwanted social groups.
In the second part of this paper, these themes are illustrated via a case study of the Australian city of Logan where residents complain that their city has been treated as a dumping ground in order to explain its poor reputation.

Full text (PDF)

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