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Social Geography of Outsiders (Geography, senior honours)

The course will offer a geographical perspective on "outsider" human groupings and aims to provide conceptual and empirical elements, from different times and places, and promote an awareness of (and perhaps a tolerance and respect for) 'outsider' worlds, lives and geographies.

Subject-specific learning outcomes:

By the end of this course students will be able to:

(1) debate the concept of 'outsiders', thinking about who might be so categorised in what circumstances, and being critical about the limitations of the concept;

(2) draw upon 'figures' of 'the outsider' associated with a range of disciplinary perspectives beyond academic geography, outlining their geographical implications;

(3) describe and evaluate the central claims about a social geography of 'outsiders' present in the texts of David Sibley;

(4) examine the many connections between space (both physical and imagined) and the worlds of 'outsider' human groupings, acknowledging that space can be both a tool of 'mainstream' oppression and a resource for 'outsider' resistance;

(5) critically assess the 'marginal geographies' associated with groupings (eg. islanders, crofters) existing in harsh physical environments remote from 'mainstream' population centres;

(6) critically assess the 'occupational geographies', noting the unique cultures that certain 'occupations' or ways of securing a livelihood (eg. sewer-workers, rubbish-workers and tinners) can foster in the people and places concerned;

(7) critically assess the 'enclaved geographies' of indigenous peoples (or 'Fourth Worlders') such as Australian Aborigines and New Zealand Maoris, noting the processes and legacies of a spatially constricting colonialism;

(8) critically assess the 'embodied geographies' of people whose physical capacities differ from what is taken as normal, exploring the relationship with space negotiated by both people with chronic illnesses and people with physical disabilities;

(9) critically assess the 'aged geographies' of people who are chronologically of very different ages, thereby contrasting the differing spatial exclusions/inclusions present in the worlds of babies, children and elderly people;

(10) critically assess the 'sexualised geographies' of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and others who are sexually different, noting the difficulties prompted for them by the predominant heterosexual codings of public space;

(11) reflect critically on the course materials, albeit in a manner that is both aware of the problems faced by many 'outsider' groupings and attuned to the creative (often courageous) ways in which such groupings cope with their situations.


Keywords: ClassCriminalisationDisability studiesGenderHealthMental healthMigrantsRefugees

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