Getting By: Estates, Class and Culture in Austerity Britain
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Contributor note: Forward by Danny Dorling, Afterward by Owen Jones
While the 1% rule, poor neighbourhoods have become the subject of public concern and media scorn, blamed for society's ills. This unique book redresses the balance. Lisa Mckenzie lived on the St Ann’s estate in Nottingham for more than 20 years. Her ‘insider’ status enables us to hear the stories of its residents, often wary of outsiders. St Ann's has been stigmatised as a place where gangs, guns, drugs, single mothers and those unwilling or unable to make something of their lives reside. Yet in this same community we find strong, resourceful, ambitious people who are 'getting by', often with humour and despite facing brutal austerity.
higher education at the University of Nottingham following an undergraduate degree, a master’s degree and finally handing in her PhD in September 2009. She has used her experience in and out of university to collect stories, and to interpret the narratives from people she cares passionately about because of the levels of injustice visited on them. She considers her research to be active and political sociology, and herself as an activist sociologist. ix Foreword The world is changing rapidly.
1 per cent once again take 15 per cent of all income.1 In the years in between we came together and then fell apart – we came together before, when we began to recognise just how bad the repercussions of falling apart really are. There are worse things than just ‘getting by’ and we are currently heading towards them. Danny Dorling Oxford,October 2014 1 Dorling, D. (2014) Inequality and the 1%, London:Verso Books. xiii Introduction The importance of narrative George Orwell asked, in The road
visited. So I met Tyler’s wife, Misha, who was 23, and both of them told me how they had met. Misha had come from Leicester as a student to Nottingham Trent University and was staying in student flats on the edge of St Ann’s. Tyler had used his cheek and local charm to chat her up. It worked, and Misha was pregnant a few months after they started going out; they married, it was what they both wanted, and their little boy was born. Misha took a year out of university and went back when the baby
to a social life. In order to ‘be St Ann’s’ there are cultural markers that say that ‘you belong’, and that you are ‘authentic’, and therefore it seems that local inclusion to those who are socially excluded becomes ever important. 145 5 ‘On road, don’t watch that’ There are many sayings and phrases that are used on the estate, and they make perfect sense. The people who live on this estate, and probably in estates all over the UK, have an uncanny knack of saying something that is so
told me that she and a group of women had joined together and ‘battered’ (physically attacked) “one of the Iraqi asylum seekers” for asking to buy sex from one of the women’s 15-yearold daughters. When I spoke to this woman about the incident, she said, “Why should we be the only ones having to put up with this?” The women understood this as ‘the council’ disrespecting their neighbourhood by putting people into it without thinking about the impact it might have, but they also had an awareness