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'Oh my god, we're not doing nothing': Young people's experiences of spatial regulation

Gray, Debra; Manning, Rachel


Debra Gray

Rachel Manning


© 2013 The British Psychological Society. Social psychologists have become increasingly concerned with examining the ways in which social practices are interrelated with their location. Critical perspectives have highlighted the traditional lack of attention given to both the collective aspects of spatial identities, together with the discursive practices that construct the relationships between people and places. In this article, we draw together the developing discursive work on place with work on children's geographies, in order to examine young people's accounts of spatial regulation. Adopting a discursive approach to the analysis of focus group discussion, we illustrate a variety of concerns managed in relation to spatial practices by 41 young people living in a large city in the South of England. Our findings suggest that everyday use of public space by young people is constructed at a nexus of competing concerns around childhood/adulthood, freedom, and citizenship, and illustrate the dynamic nature of place, and its regulation, as a resource for constructing identities.


Gray, D., & Manning, R. (2014). 'Oh my god, we're not doing nothing': Young people's experiences of spatial regulation. British Journal of Social Psychology, 53(4), 640-655.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2014
Deposit Date Jan 15, 2013
Journal British Journal of Social Psychology
Print ISSN 0144-6665
Electronic ISSN 2044-8309
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 53
Issue 4
Pages 640-655
Keywords young people, childhood, public space, discourse, spatial regulation, policing, citizenship, spatial identities
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : Published online 9 December 2013.

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