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Contested cultural spaces: exploring illicit drug-using through Trainspotting

Hemingway, Judy (2006) Contested cultural spaces: exploring illicit drug-using through Trainspotting. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 15 (4). pp. 324-335. ISSN 1038-2046

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Abstract

Contending that culture is one of the most potentially divisive signifiers of human activity, this paper probes some of the complexities that attend the (un)popular culture of illicit -using with which many young people in contemporary Britain are identified. Irvine Welsh's multi-media drugs narrative Trainspotting is drawn on to explore the politics embedded in Edinburgh's low- and high-cultural spaces and interrogate how lived culture is spatially constituted and expressed. Investigations focus on the micro - mappings of Scotland's drug-using "Other" which disorder official cartographies of the capital and illustrate the processes of marginalization. The final part of the discussion argues that the academy's recent cultural turn can inform school geography by contributing to a cultural pedagogy which recognizes that informal sites of learning can be used with young people to examine the multiple dimensions and dynamics of in/exclusion.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This paper probes the cultural politics of illicit drug-using in contemporary Britain. It argues that culture is one of the most potentially divisive signifiers of human activity and draws on the iconic drugs text ‘Trainspotting’ by Irvine Welsh to suggest ways in which informal sites of learning can be used with young people to examine the multiple dimensions and dynamics of in/exclusion. Conceptually, the paper registers the recent cultural and spatial ‘turns’ in order to explore how lived culture is spatially constituted and expressed. It interrogates the politics embedded in Edinburgh’s low- and high-cultural spaces through the micro-mappings of Scotland’s drug-using ‘Other’. This local disordering of official cartographies by illicit drug-users illustrates the politics of place and space and highlights the processes of marginalization. The paper is a solicited contribution to a special issue of the journal. This paper was subsequently selected to be reprinted as a chapter in 'Contemporary Literary Criticism' (2009) Farmington Hills, Michigan: GaleGroup (Cengage Learning). This is an electronic version of an article published in Hemingway, Judy (2006) Contested cultural spaces: exploring illicit drug-using through Trainspotting. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 15 (4). pp. 324-335. Research in Geographical and Environmental Education is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/10.2167/irg198.0
Controlled Keywords: Geography/Environment , Secondary school
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Geography, Enterprise, Mathematics and Science
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (2)
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2010 10:30
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2013 11:56
URI: http://eprints.ioe.ac.uk/id/eprint/849

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