Moving Histories of Class and Community: Identity, Place and by Ben Rogaly, Becky Taylor

By Ben Rogaly, Becky Taylor

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Extra info for Moving Histories of Class and Community: Identity, Place and Belonging in Contemporary England (Identity Studies in the Social Sciences)

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The part of the North Earlham estate closest to the city was built first, in 1927–28. The bulk of the construction in the area, however, took place in the years 1936–38, which saw the completion of the North Earlham and Larkman estates, and the core of the Marlpit estate, located on the other side of the busy Dereham Road. Most of the houses in this phase of building were of brick, with modest front gardens and extremely generous back gardens. After the war an area of prefabricated housing was erected on the Marlpit which remained until the 1960s when it was replaced by newer style housing and flats.

In the Third Way political context, ‘the community’ became a key territory for governmental strategies, as for example, according to Giddens: community doesn’t imply trying to recapture lost forms of local solidarity; it refers to practical means of furthering the social and material refurbishment of neighbourhoods, towns and larger local areas. (Giddens, 1998, quoted in McGhee, 2003: 390–1) Thus, the New Deal for Communities scheme, introduced by New Labour in 1997, with its emphasis on organizations run by residents of deprived areas being granted significant amounts of money in order to solve ‘their’ problems, was one such product of this form of thinking.

Similarly, Anderson’s (1983) idea of ‘imagined’ communities suggested how community ‘[was] shaped by cognitive and symbolic structures that are not underpinned by “lived” spaces and immediate forms of social intimacy’ (Delanty, 2003: 2). As Day (2006: 163) comments, communities are much like nations through their ‘construction of close similarities’ and an ‘underlying, seemingly essential, unity among those who “belong”, and the exclusion of those who fail to meet these criteria’. He goes on to argue that in reality there are often profound internal differences.

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