(Re) constituting the past, (Re)branding the present and (Re)imagining the future: Young women's spatial negotitation of gender and class
Geography, Politics, Sociology Newcastle University Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
This ESRC funded research seeks to explore women's lives in the North East of England in the context of de-industrialisation and the transition to a service sector, leisure-based economy. Based on interviews with 97 women in the North East of England, this article aims to explore younger women's spatial negotiations in the context of change and continuation, where regional efforts on regeneration can be conceptualised against the backdrop of de-industrialisation and (urban) re-branding; the "past", "present" and "future" sit uneasily in these (re)imagingings. These re-constitutions force consideration to the different forms and consequences of social transformation, negotiated in the dis-identifications made by women where, for some, their presence was marked as distinctly out of place, as opposed to others who could more easily claim a movement and placement compatible with the sense of regional change and mobility. The themes of mobility and transformation occupy centre stage in many sociological accounts, where "movement" references people and places often without situating how these may be actually fixing or reconstituting class and gender inequalities, spatially, culturally and materially (Adkins, 2002). Attention to how gender and class may be reconfigured in changing times queries straightforward notions of change and "crisis", pointing towards the reshaping of exclusions and their intersecting dimensions.