Place revisited: Class, stigma and urban restructuring in the case of Glasgow's Commonwealth Games



Paton K, McCall V & Mooney G (2017) Place revisited: Class, stigma and urban restructuring in the case of Glasgow's Commonwealth Games. Sociological Review, 65 (4), pp. 578-594.

This paper reappraises the meaning of space and place in contemporary class analysis. We explore how class is reshaped and mediated by neoliberal urban restructuring, of which the processes of gentrification and territorial stigmatization form critical parts. We focus on the contemporary interrelation of class and urban restructuring in the post-crash city by looking at the local lived experiences of the 2014 Commonwealth Games (CWG) in Glasgow's East End. This high-profile regeneration effort in a deprived working-class neighbourhood reveals much about the functions of neoliberal financial capitalism, austerity and contemporary class formation. We show that gentrification and territorial stigmatization work in tandem within urban regeneration policy interventions as a punitive strategy for managing poor populations. This involves land value and (de)valuing of people and creates new localized class inequalities and insecurities. Our research highlights that in the face of national level cuts and commodification, residents’ local relations and support become essential social, economic and political resources. Yet, paradoxically, at the very same time, their local attachment to place is devalued, stigmatized and is at its most precarious. This exposes the coercive elements of the neoliberal class project; a distinct urban class inequality of our time and therefore, we suggest, a critical direction in class analysis.

class; urban regeneration; stigma; gentrification; value; indebtedness

Sociological Review: Volume 65, Issue 4

Publication date01/11/2017
Publication date online21/10/2016
Date accepted by journal26/07/2016

People (1)


Professor Vikki McCall

Professor Vikki McCall

Professor of Social Policy, Housing Studies