Regulatory practices and 'subversive' use of urban spaces

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This project will investigate the relationship between 'subversive' use of urban spaces (incl. street art, yarn bombing, rough sleeping, skateboarding, protesting, alcohol consumption, nightlife revelling, warehouse raving) and the construction of 'legitimate' public behaviours. The project will explore multiple dimensions of the construction of legitimacy, including state regulatory strategies of criminalisation, policing, and surveillance; the interventions of local government and the private sector in the night-time economy; and media and wider community perspectives. The relationship between 'subversion' and inclusive participatory democracy for marginalised groups will be a key focus of the project, as will the role of technology and media in the construction of 'virtual' public spaces. The project will involve a mixed methods research design including socio-legal research, observational field work/ethnography, in-depth interviews, and media and policy analysis around contested uses of public space in Sydney and other selected urban and regional/rural settings.

The ideal candidate will have qualifications in law and criminology (although a background in either, with minimum 2(i) Hons or equivalent, will be sufficient) and research skills in qualitative data collection (particularly interviewing) and analysis. S/he will have a genuine interest and life/work experience in settings and lifestyles that involve diverse public space use.   

Supervisory team
Luke
McNamara

Law
Law
Alyce McGovern
McGovern

Arts & Social Sciences
Social Sciences
Phillip
Wadds

Arts & Social Sciences
Social Sciences
luke.mcnamara@unsw.edu.au