By Karen Evans, Penny Fraser, Ian Taylor
A story of 2 towns is a research of 2 significant towns, Manchester and Sheffield. Drawing at the paintings of significant theorists, the authors discover the typical existence, making contributions to our knowing of the defining actions of lifestyles.
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Extra resources for A Tale of Two Cities: Global Change, Local Feeling and Everyday Life in Manchester and Sheffield
It is not at all clear, for example, what the maritime cities of Hull and Liverpool have in common with the landlocked cities of Leeds or Bradford, other than their generally Northern location. Nor is it obvious what smaller Northern cities, founded before the Industrial Revolution—Durham, Lancaster and York—have in common over and above their medieval heritage. The existing economic and social histories of English cities do recognise the fact of local difference. A favourite comparison amongst English social historians is between Birmingham (the heartland of a confident imperial England and efficient local government) and Manchester (a ‘nervous’ and ‘governmentally disorganised’ centre of commerce and trade) (Briggs 1963; Smith 1982).
The overall source of this ‘de-traditionalisation’ is the move towards global markets: the local imperative in Britain and in other older industrial societies is the collapse of the local mass manufacturing industry and the communities associated with it. At every level in such social formations, individuals are left to adapt to the void in what was their working world, their identity, their community and their social life, but in particular local contexts. There is no doubt that the world Lash and Urry describe (and which Giddens assumes as the background for his thinking about high modernity) represents the ‘cutting edge’ in the current phase of capitalist development and transformation (Castells 1989).
THEORISING SPACE, SENSING PLACE Even a superficial reading of the literature on locality, well-being and space involves engagement with the epistemological debate which emerged in the mid-1980s on the interface of urban geography and social theory, particularly in respect of the theoretical status of the taken-for-granted concepts regarding space (referring to notion of place, region, city, territory, and even physical buildings) as they had tended to be employed in these disciplines. Doreen Massey (1991) and Savage and Warde (1993) have summarized many of these issues very helpfully: it is certainly not our concern here to suggest that an interest in local differences between Manchester and Sheffield involves us in a purely empirical investigation, searching out a mass of facts to illustrate or prove some difference assumed at the outset.