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01-08-2012 | Wissenschaftlicher Beitrag | Issue 4/2012

Raumforschung und Raumordnung |  Spatial Research and Planning 4/2012

Stigmatisation of Cities. The Vulnerability of Local Identities

Journal:
Raumforschung und Raumordnung | Spatial Research and Planning > Issue 4/2012
Authors:
Dr. Thomas Bürk, Dr. Manfred Kühn, Dr. Hanna Sommer

Abstract

The vulnerability of cities is often discussed in terms of physical hazards and disasters such as earthquakes, floods or terrorist attacks. In contrast, this paper opens up a social-constructivist perspective, describing the vulnerability of cities as a result of discursive based communications. The article looks at the extent to which collective identities in cities are vulnerable to stigmatisation in the media and the ways in which local actors find to cope with this. Key terms of stigma and identity research are presented and the transferability of stigma and identity concepts of social groups to cities is discussed. Taking the examples of Sangerhausen and Pirmasens, which have for several decades been affected by peripheralisation, the article describes stigma processes in the national media, how this is addressed in the city and what coping strategies the actors have developed. Finally the key findings are summarised and conclusions with regard to the vulnerability of collective identities are interpreted.

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