Finding Community in the Midst of Chaos: The Social Construction of Calgary’s Mission Area

Michelle Margeret Coyne
Communications Studies, University of Calgary
January, 2005
 

Abstract

This thesis studies one inner city Calgary neighbourhood, Mission, using an autoethnographic approach. Theoretical understandings of gentrification from multiple disciplines are drawn upon to provide context to the neighbourhood and explain developmental processes. Rooted in subcultural and spatial studies, outlined here is the way local renters adapt to ongoing processes of gentrification in order to maintain a symbolic sense of identity and community within the area. Major themes addressed include how identity is linked by residents to the community, how this identity is used to resist dominant cultural assumptions of Calgary and how movement through space is used as a visual, symbolic method of claiming ownership. In addition, this movement through space is discussed as a means of enacting community identity and embodying dissent to dominant ideologies. Developed is a discussion of how local residents respond to and counteract developmental processes over which they have no control.
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We wish to acknowledge the financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for their financial support through theAid to Scholarly Journals Program.

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