Locating identities: the role of narrative and the physical body within a spatial perspective

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This paper seeks to propose a model for identity construction in explaining the purposes by which migrant young people navigate towards (s)p(l)aces of inclusion within an alienating and marginalising city. The authors position migrant identities as stories told to the self and other, they are enacted and performed, and on account of their fluid nature, wholly bound to the global/local scapes traversed by migrant young people. The interconnections between concepts of narrative, performance and spatiality are therefore theorised, in presenting identity construction as contextual and fit for purpose: a quest towards a sense of belonging and self-worth. While these concepts will be discussed in their application to migrant youth engaged in practices of capoeira and parkour in Turin, this model has wider application in relation to the conduct of ethnographic research with marginalised youth, in shaping an agenda for qualitative researchers interested in exploring the role of identity in shaping and rendering meaningful, the lived realities of disadvantaged and disempowered young people.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2013
EventEuropean Sociological Association Conference - Turin, Italy
Duration: 28 Aug 201331 Aug 2013


ConferenceEuropean Sociological Association Conference


  • identity
  • space
  • performance


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