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


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Stratford, E (2009) Belonging as a resource: the case of Ralphs Bay, Tasmania, and the local politics of place. Environment and Planning A, 41 (4). pp. 796-810. ISSN 0308-518X (print) 1472-3409 (electronic)

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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 Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Stratford, E
Keywords: belonging, place, Tasmania, local politics, discourse coalitions, dispossession
Journal or Publication Title: Environment and Planning A
Page Range: pp. 796-810
ISSN: 0308-518X (print) 1472-3409 (electronic)
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1068/a40198
Additional Information:

The definitive, peer-reviewed and edited version of this article is published in Environment and Planning A, 41/4 pp 796-810, 2008.

Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2009 02:28
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:57
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