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Belonging as a resource: the case of Ralphs Bay, Tasmania, and the local politics of place


Stratford, E, Belonging as a resource: the case of Ralphs Bay, Tasmania, and the local politics of place, Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 41, (4) pp. 796-810. ISSN 0308-518X (2009) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2009 Pion Ltd

DOI: doi:10.1068/a40198


This paper seeks to contribute to the theorization of belonging as a resource on which people draw in the local politics of place—especially in contestations over ecological space and decisions about land use that resonate at many scales and across many domains. The task is advanced with reference to a controversial development proposal to build a marina and residential subdivision on estuarine mudflats near a seaside dormitory suburb in the capital city of Hobart on the island state of Tasmania, Australia. Particular attention is paid to story lines generated in three discourse coalitions which have formed around the controversy over the proposal: a multimillion dollar mainland company known as the Walker Corporation, the Tasmanian state government, and a community action group known as Save Ralphs Bay Inc. Techniques of narrative and discourse analysis are used to read these story lines for evidence of belonging. In this analysis of ‘text, talk, and practice’, opportunities arise to consider the wider salience of the case to geographers, among them connection and attachment to place, and counterpoints of belonging such as social and ecological dispossession and displacement.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Belonging; Place; Discourse; Islands; Participation; Loss of place
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Human geography
Research Field:Social geography
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Government and politics
Objective Field:Civics and citizenship
UTAS Author:Stratford, E (Professor Elaine Stratford)
ID Code:55110
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:23
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2009-03-05
Last Modified:2021-02-10
Downloads:6 View Download Statistics

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