- Living in commodified history: constructing class identities in neotraditional neighbourhoods
- Social & Cultural Geography
- Volume | Issue number
- 13 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This paper examines how residents of neotraditional neighbourhoods in the Netherlands socially construct a ‘classed’ place identity and what role the historicised architecture plays within that process. Given that place identity is constructed through social and cultural practices, the paper argues that residents' consumption of historicised environment is bound up with drawing symbolic boundaries that have been explored here by analysing residents' narratives. Three prominent types of narratives were found: (1) residents' locational choice, (2) their aesthetic judgement of the residential environment and (3) the way they use it. Through these layered narratives, all interviewees appear to use historicised aesthetics to classify themselves as part of a valued social category. However, the way of boundary drawing took several forms, based either on fostering moral judgements of social behaviour accompanied by sophisticated efforts to keep neighbourhoods' historicised image unchanged, or by conducting cultural practices shared with fellow residents by which ‘the other’ living outside the neighbourhood is ‘bracketed out’ symbolically and socially.
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