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Glasgow’s new urban frontier: ‘Civilising’ the population of ‘Glasgow East’

To cite this article: Neil Gray & Gerry Mooney (2011) Glasgow’s new urban frontier: ‘Civilising’ the
population of ‘Glasgow East’
, City: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action, 15:1,
4-24, DOI: 10.1080/13604813.2010.511857

Focusing on Glasgow’s East End, home to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, this paper
explores the ways in which narratives of decline, ‘blight’ and decay play a central role in
stigmatising the local population. ‘Glasgow East’ represents the new urban frontier in a city
that has been heralded in recent decades as a model of successful post-industrial transforma-
tion. Utilising Löic Wacquant’s arguments about advanced marginality and territorial
stigmatisation in the urban context, we argue that narratives of decline and redevelopment
are part of a wider ideological onslaught on the local population, intended to pave the way
for low grade and flexible forms of employment, for punitive workfare schemes and for
upwards rent restructuring. To this end, the media and politicians have played a particu-
larly important role in constructing Glasgow East as a marker of a ‘broken Britain’. While
the focus of this paper is on Glasgow’s East End, the arguments therein have a wider UK
and global resonance, reflected in the numerous cases whereby stigmatised locales of relega-
tion are being re-imagined as elements in wider processes of neo-liberalisation in the city.


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