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P047


Living, leaving and undoing ‘left behindness’ 
Convenors:
Olga Jubany (Universitat de Barcelona)
Ajmal Hussain (University of Warwick)
Daniele Karasz (TU Wien-Vienna University of Technology)
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Formats :
Panel
Mode :
Face-to-face

Short Abstract:

The panel aims to advance ethnographically informed debates regarding territorial inequalities, exposing original research to critically explore the multifaceted nature of "left behindness" and how individuals perceive, experience and negotiate it.

Long Abstract:

The panel refers to dominant debates on territorial inequality, seeking to scrutinize them and undo the concept of "left behindness" from an ethnographic perspective. The notion of "left behind places" has recently gained traction in debates on territorial disparities, particularly in regional studies and EU policy discussions. However, this concept has faced criticism due to its negative connotations and the image of decline it conjures, often leading to stigmatization of residents of these areas. Furthermore, the tendency to conceptualize "left behindness" as a binary opposition to thriving urban areas not only oversimplifies the diversity of local circumstances, but also obscures the significant disparities within urban areas – a crucial facet that should not be overlooked when understanding territorial inequalities. The dominant focus on economic indicators, coupled with assumptions about populist voting patterns, fails to account for the subtler dynamics at play at a local level. This limited perspective also hinders our ability to consider intersectional factors, such as gender, racialisation, age and class, as explanatory elements in the overall picture. In light of these current limitations in the debate, the panel aims to question “left behindness” as a concept and, in the process, delve into strategies for mitigating territorial inequalities in Europe. The panel calls for papers based on original ethnographic research to critically explore the multifaceted nature of "left behindness" and how individuals perceive, experience and negotiate it. By examining this concept in a grounded manner, the panel aims to advance ethnographically informed debates regarding territorial inequalities.

Accepted papers: