Ta plats eller få plats? : studier av marginaliserade människors förändrade vardagsliv

Detta är en avhandling från Department of Social and Economic Geography

Sammanfattning: The aim is to study and analyse processes intended to change the daily lives of two marginalised groups and enable them to participate to a greater extent in the community. The two marginalised groups are young male drug addicts and older intellectually disabled. The thesis is permeated by three geographic perspectives: 1) the time-geographic approach, 2) sense of place and 3) social-geographic theories of how marginalisation influences a person’s prospects of acquiring a place. A plausible reason for combining these three perspectives is that they will increase understanding of the connection between the prerequisites for daily life and an individual’s likelihood of acquiring a place. The time geographic approach uses several concepts to describe and analyse empirical data. In my studies, projects, constraints and prisms are particularly important in the analysis of empirical information. Sense of place is built on people’s experiences and perceptions of it. Our recollections and previous experiences of places, positive or negative, are often the starting point when we settle into new places. For the groups that I have researched, understanding how social relations function and how they experience and use places became particularly important. People have a need to identify with others. By shutting themselves off from groups they find frightening, they also reinforce identification with the group they belong to. Both physical and/or symbolic markings in a place make it clear what sort of place it is, or for whom the place is or is not. The drug addicts’ process of change is divided into four phases. The intellectually disabled processes of change are divided into three phases. The collected empirical information is accounted for in every phase, under the same heading. These headings consist of the following concepts and angles of approach: daily routines, constraints, projects and activities, shadow effects, movement pattern, sense of place, social relations and marginalisation. The cured drug addict tries to take his place in a new way. In order to do this he has to be constantly aware of capacity limitations and compensate for these by establishing links to new people and new pastimes. The intellectually disabled have new places to be in and some have been given more power to make decisions regarding their daily lives. The outside environment contains more constraints depending on e.g. how people in the surroundings react and on the traffic milieu. Insight into different people’s possibilities and prerequisites provides increased opportunities to understand their unique context. Together with more general knowledge of groups and categories I can show the significance of being placed in a group, what consequences this may imply for the individuals, and their possibilities of being permitted to live their daily lives in the community and of obtaining a place.

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