‘… might go to Birmingham, Leeds … up round there, Manchester … and then we always come back here …’: The conceptualisation of place among a group of Irish women travellers

Piazza, Roberta (2014) ‘… might go to Birmingham, Leeds … up round there, Manchester … and then we always come back here …’: The conceptualisation of place among a group of Irish women travellers. Discourse and Society (25/2). pp. 263-282. ISSN 0957-9265

[img] PDF - Published Version
Restricted to SRO admin only

Download (837kB)

Abstract

This study of a group of Irish women travellers in the South of England provides the opportunity for
a discourse of situated self-identity within a mobilities paradigm. The stability-aspiring travellers’
community, to which the women in the study belong, invites a reflection on existing approaches
to place-identity in that these women conceptualise their place in terms of its positive affordances
and services that make their life liveable. The five women’s emerging discourses of both mobility
and stability suggest that their emotional attachment to the place where they momentarily reside
can be explained in terms of the beneficial results they gain from it. A scrutiny of the deictics used
by the women, as well as a qualitative interactional analysis of the semi-structured interviews,
suggests that for these travellers the sociolinguistic phenomenon of place-identity is layered and
scalar so as to account for a loyalty to their distant provenience from Ireland, together with their
present attachment to the encampment. As these women conceptualise place in terms of what
it can provide for their families and community, their often idealised conceptualisation of locality
resembles a Foucauldian ‘heterotopia of compensation’, in which the meticulous functioning of
the site protects the community and defends it from outer contaminations.
Discourse & Society 2014, Vol. 25(2) 263–
282

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English > PE1001 Modern English
Depositing User: Roberta Piazza
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2015 11:13
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2017 06:32
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/56685

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update