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'Even the birds round here cough': Stigma, air pollution and health in Teesside

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Judith Bush, Professor Suzanne Moffatt


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In this paper we explore how the presence of hazardous industry may affect the identity of a place and the people who live there. Drawing on Goffman's seminal work on stigma - together with recent debates on environmental and technological stigma - we extend the concepts of difference and spoiled identity from the individual to place. The paper is based on a qualitative study which explored public perceptions of the risks to health from air pollution in Teesside, a heavily industrialised area in north-east England. We did not set out to study stigma per se in this study, but emergent themes produced by grounded theory analysis highlighted the way in which the presence of technologies, air pollution, poor health and social exclusion may be used as 'discrediting' characteristics, to stigmatise one place, whilst confirming the usualness of another. We demonstrate place stigma as a complex, multiple and re-inforcing concept. Copyright © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Moffatt S; Bush J; Dunn C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Health and Place

Year: 2001

Volume: 7

Issue: 1

Pages: 47-56

ISSN (print): 1353-8292

ISSN (electronic): 1873-2054

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/S1353-8292(00)00037-X

PubMed id: 11165155


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