Cleaning up and clearing out: the stigmatisation, securitisation and gentrification of Night-Time Economy spaces

Wednesday 8 June 2016
1.00 - 2.00pm

This event has passed


Madsen Rm 449, Madsen Building, Eastern Ave, The University of Sydney


Explore current innovations in geographical research and cutting edge trends in socio- spatial theory throughout this seminar series.

Geographers and the Environment with Alistair Sisson (Geosciences post-grad) 

In the past decade in Australia there has been an inordinate level of attention paid to inner-city Night-Time Economy (NTE) spaces. Concerns about violence and ‘anti-social behaviour’ have in several cities led to contentious regulatory interventions. This presentation is concerned with (i) the moral panics that have arisen in response to the ‘disorderliness’ of NTE spaces and (ii) the outcomes of the subsequent securitisation and gentrification of these spaces. A case study of Northbridge, Western Australia – the pre-eminent NTE space in the state’s capital of Perth – is presented that draws on discourse analysis to explore the spatial imaginaries that have been developed and deployed by politicians, bureaucrats and commentators in the media.  It is argued that the framing of NTE spaces such as Northbridge as disorderly ‘problem spaces’ constitutes a process of territorial stigmatisation, and that stigmatisation has induced exceptional corrective responses and rationales of wholesale restructuring. Processes of securitisation and gentrification are re-territorialising NTE spaces, redefining ‘what’ and ‘who’ is desirable/undesirable and included/excluded. While this might lead to a reduction in violence and anti-social behaviour it threatens to erode the liminal character of NTE spaces that makes them important counter-spaces, where counter-hegemony and difference can take place.

Alistair Sisson is a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney. His research centres around controversial and contentious urban spaces.  His PhD studies focus on territorial stigmatisation – its meanings, its processes, its impacts and the responses it elicits.

Upcoming in the Series

Wednesday June 15 | 1 – 2.00pm