Contents Background Introduction


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Contents



Background Introduction

  • Background Introduction



Background Introduction

  • There is a gap in understanding how differently positioned women live, work and socialise in the North East and the effect of economic restructuring and cultural regeneration upon those who are included and excluded in ‘new’ times and places.

  • The aim of this research is to elucidate women’s varied positioning within regional transition/stagnation and the significance of gender and class within this.



Objectives

  • Objectives



Objectives

  •   To examine the ways that de-industrialisation has impacted on women’s lives in the North East: What happens to women when ‘traditional’, industrial jobs disappear and how do they fit in when they come back in a different, service based, form?

  • To analyse the ways that gendered and classed inequalities and identifications are eroded or recreated in the economic and social reconstruction of the North East.



Methodology

  • Methodology



Methodology

  • Design

  • A qualitative research design including 55 face-to-face interviews and 8 focus groups, 16-85 yrs old (97 female participants in total)

  • Recruitment

  • Women were recruited from a range of class positions, using locality as a preliminary indicator and starting point (Nayak, 2003; Taylor, 2007).

  • 66 women identified as working class (wc), 22 middle class (mc), 6 reluctant to state class position (n) and 3 believed we lived in a classless society (cl).



Methodology - class

  • Class meanings

  • “I think, if you’d asked me that question 20 years ago it would have been quite easy to answer because it was very much related to things like your employment, where you lived, your income, all sorts of things.” (Andrea, 54, wc)

  • “I think working class is associated with industry and things like that, so…father’s occupation. I often think about that, because me boyfriend’s sister is married to a doctor, and she’s got a very middle class lifestyle, middle class I suppose, really, really nice house and the things she does…And I often think well, what class is she? Is she sort of still working class, or is she middle class now” (Angie, 25, wc)

  • “I think there’s an underclass and a middle class and I think the majority of working class and a majority of working people do consider themselves almost as middle class because they’re homeowners, I think that’s key. I think the underclass, there is a massive underclass who don’t have access to jobs, who don’t have access to services, to networks…” (Carla, 52, mc)



Preliminary Findings

  • Preliminary Findings

  • Locations: Relocations, Transformations, Im/mobilies

  • Material Transitions: Employment and Education

  • Cultural Activities,



Preliminary Findings Locations: Relocations, Transformations, (Im)mobilities

  • Locations and residents- North East

  • “I like the geography of the area as well, I like the fact that you’re very close to the countryside even though you’re in this very industrial or post-industrial now town, it’s not that far and you’re in Northumberland, it’s not that far or you’re down at the seaside, so we’ve got so many things on our doorstep as well, it’s a marvellous place really, Newcastle.” (Andrea, 54, wc)

  • “I think Newcastle has got very few areas that are really attractive as you say. I think other parts of the country and other cities that I’ve been to, you find areas that are mixed, so you might have 5 or 6 areas and in one of the areas there’s fabulous housing and more reasonable housing, but Newcastle is very segmented, I think, in the housing market because, say, if you’re a doctor and you’ve come to work in Newcastle, the only two areas that you would consider are Garden or Jasmine Vale, so professional people moving in will only consider two areas and that makes the housing in those areas quite expensive. I think Newcastle is quite expensive to buy in if you want to be in certain areas.” (Carla, 52, mc)



Preliminary Findings Locations: Relocations, Transformations, (Im)mobilities

  • Locations and residentsJasmine Vale

  • “Jasmine Vale’s supposed to be the posh place. If you have a decent disposable income which, and a lot of university students do have, they want to live in this place that’s prestige as being safe and posh and the most popular. Then it gets known as the student place to live.” (Anna, 26, wc,)

  • “Jasmine Vale is a bit of a mixture, it’s a professional, it’s an area where professional people live, it’s got some very rich areas to it, not the one we live in, but it’s got some very rich areas and it’s also got student accommodation, and the two kind of have to get along together really, and the big explosion in the numbers of students has probably started to change the area,” (Carla, 52, mc)

  • “I like where we live, there are other parts of Jasmine Vale that I know I wouldn’t like to live in, Austin Road and the pub scenes encroach quite a bit and I know some people who live further down in in Holly Avenue at the bottom end of the pub scene who really, it has affected them enormously because people pass by and are sick in their garden. So you don’t want that. Once you’ve left student life you’ve left student life and you don’t want that any more! So I like where I live in Jesmond, I like being able to go down to the shops in Jesmond and feeling quite vibrant and I like the fact that there’s a lot of languages spoken in Jesmond now. I notice that the cash machines give you a choice of English, French, German etc. like the continental ones and that was a bit of a surprise. You hear a lot of languages in Tesco’s. So it is very multicultural” (Carla, 52, mc)



Preliminary Findings Locations: Relocations, Transformations, (Im)mobilities

  • Locations and residentsBridge Burn

  • “I’m originally from Bridge Burn , I was born in Bridge Burn before the wall and everything is there now, you know, the sort of original Bridge Burn, and when they did the slum clearances in the 60s then we got moved to a new estate in the outer West of Newcastle …” (Andrea, 54, wc)

  • “You know, if you go along to places like St Pauls, there’s this real divide between people who lived there originally and people who live in Westville, and the types of people who can afford to buy luxury apartments on the riverside. But I think that’s quite common to a lot of those sorts of developments” (Debbie, 51, mc)



Preliminary Findings Locations: Relocations, Transformations, (Im)mobilities

  • Locations and residents – Easter Hill

  • “Originally I’m from Easter Hill colliery which had a load of bad press for being; they think it’s the capital of the north and the worst area in England for things like unemployment and stuff.” (Diane, 51, wc)

  • “This area now, well you have to say a coal mining community but we are getting tired of saying that … I think they just see the pit’s stopped, the pit’s finished and that’s it, but to me it wasn’t when the pits closed that things started to change here you know…” (Charlotte, 53, wc,)

  • “I mean there’s no decent shops, you’ve got your really bad areas where you’ve got people on drugs and smack and what have you, you know. […] you have your nice part of Easter Hill, which is Easter Hill Village, and you’ve got your Easter Hill Colliery which sort of got worse and worse and worse over the years.” Chantelle, 30, wc)



Preliminary Findings Locations: Relocations, Transformations, Im/mobilities

  • Classed areas

  • “I think I’ve come from a very working-class background and there was very much more chatting to your neighbours that kind of thing goes on, and I think the area that I live in in Holly Town now, it’s probably predominately kind of younger middle-class couples possibly from outside the area.” (Andrea, 54, wc)

  • “I don’t know, you always felt like poorer than the village, like, when you went to school and that, and everyone who went to school at Easter Hill Village, you know, obviously they had more money, they had all the good stuff, you know what I mean. You lived down the colliery and you didn’t have so much money and it was a bit scruffier down there and what have you. I don’t know, it always appeared like a nicer place to live, whether it was, better people from there.” (Chantelle, 30, wc)

  • “It’s all a bit scruffy. I feel horrible saying that because it’s where I grew up and where my Mam lives and everything, but it’s people who just don’t want to work, are scruffy, take drugs and are just complete losers, you know what I mean?” (Chantelle, 30, wc)



Preliminary Findings Locations: Relocations, Transformations, (Im)mobilities

  • Summary



Preliminary Findings Material Transitions: Employment and Education

  • Employment and gender roles

  • “I think it’s changed a lot now and I think it is recognised that women erm can have careers and are an entity in themselves, they’re not just attached to their husband or boyfriend or partner or whatever, you know, they’ve got their own free brains to use, so I think it’s changing, definitely.” (Cathy, 47, mc)

  • “I don’t know, in Hillhead it’s…it was very traditional. I think it can be still a bit like that now. Sort of still working men’s clubs and things like that. And I think it’d be very sort of, ‘This is a woman’s role, and this is a man’s role.’ I mean, not so much now, I suppose, but I think it’s still there with the older generation, definitely. I suppose women’s jobs were more part time jobs, working in shops and looking after children, maybe working in nurseries. And men’s jobs were on the shipyards, electricians and joiners, heavy lifting, sort of things.” (Angie, 25, wc)

  • “Well I think women have always kind of supported men, that’s what it’s always been like hasn’t it? So even though women are tending to work more, I think they still have most of the responsibility at home, so that just carries on doesn’t it? And I think even the more liberated women slip into that, they’re like programmed into that now. It’s almost like that’s the way it’s been for women, isn’t it? They have to kind of really fight against it.” (Debbie, 51, wc)

  • I think the whole country has become much more open to part-time work and women going to work and trying to sort out work with childcare, so I think the North East, in line with the country, has changed in that respect.” (Carla, 52, mc)



Preliminary Findings Cultural Activities: Social ‘inclusion’

  • Newcastle as ARTY or PARTY?

  • “I don’t know who the people in the Baltic think they’re aiming their exhibitions at but I would think the majority of people in Newcastle wouldn’t be that interested in them, but that’s more about contemporary art practice” (Andrea, 54, wc)

  • “I think people think we’re all pit bulls and, erm, lower class, and that frustrates me. I make it, sort of, a job of mine, to show that we’re not all like that. And when you see, on the telly or anything, they’re always showing like the Bigg Market, with people throwing up down the Bigg Market and things like that; I mean, that makes me cringe meself. I wouldn’t go anywhere near the Bigg Market, d’ya know what I mean, so…it annoys us that people show that side of the north east and don’t show that we’re not all like that, we can do other things, we…you know, we improve our lives, we do make sort of, erm…there is some successful people amongst us that…can move up the housing ladder and start their own businesses and do whatever, we’re not all pit bulls and shipyard workers and things like that, so that annoys us.” (Cathy, 47, mc,)



Action Points: Discussion?

  • Action Points: Discussion?




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