Citizenship, Democracy and Belonging in Suburban Britain

Making the local

David Jeevendrampillai


ISBN: 9781800080546

Publication: October 13, 2021

A study of the conditions of being a citizen, belonging and democracy in suburban Britain, this book focuses on understanding how a community takes on the social responsibility and pressures of being a good citizen through what they call ‘stupid’ events, festivals and parades. Building a community is perceived to be an important and necessary act to enable resilience against the perceived threats of neoliberal socio-economic life such as isolation, selfishness and loss of community. Citizenship, Democracy and Belonging in Suburban Britain explores how authoritative knowledge is developed, maintained and deployed by this group as they encounter other ‘social projects’, such as the local council planning committee or academic projects researching participation in urban planning.

The activists, who call themselves the ‘Seething Villagers’, model their community activity on the mythical ancient village of Seething where moral tales of how to work together, love others and be a community are laid out in the Seething Tales. These tales include Seething ‘facts’ such as the fact that the ancient Mountain of Seething was destroyed by a giant. The assertion of fact is central to the mechanisms of play and the refusal of expertise at the heart of the Seething community. The book also stands as a reflexive critique on anthropological practice, as the author examines their role in mobilising knowledge and speaking on behalf of others.

Citizenship, Democracy and Belonging in Suburban Britain is of interest to anthropologists, urban studies scholars, geographers and those interested in the notions of democracy, inclusion, citizenship and anthropological practice.

David Jeevendrampillai is Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Anthropology, UCL.

List of figures
1 Introduction

2 Theoretical frames of the book
3 The making of an unused map: moments of incommensurability
4 How to make a suburb part 1: diagrams, expertise and cake
5 Being stupid in the suburbs: life in the state of Seething
6 Making a suburb part 2: the research activities of the Free University of Seething
7 Citizenship in the suburbs: shit and the story of the filter beds
8 Conclusion
Afterword by an anonymous interlocutor

Format: Paperback

Size: 234 × 156 mm

228 Pages

25 colour illustrations

Copyright: © 2021

ISBN: 9781800080546

Publication: October 13, 2021

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