Memories, Stigma, and Becoming in Postindustrial Urban Landscapes and Communities in Upstate New York
Posted by Jake DeNicola '15
Based in the cities of Saratoga Springs and Schenectady, located in the northeastern area of New York State, this ethnographic project is geographically specific but relates to a larger context and setting. Themes of stigmatization and generalization of post-industrial cities and communities can be applied to many locations in the United States. Sometimes propelled by media representation, the social image of cities are in a constant state of change and therefore never “are”, rather always “becoming”. Of course, a generalized social image of a city may speak to some sort of truth, but it is wrong to say that this image shows a fully objective truth. My locally-based research challenges this idea of linear, stagnant urban development of physical landscape and image through the memories of local individuals who have lived and experienced the cities. Here, individual memories and conceptions of physical spaces can prove to be powerful tools in deconstructing the common trend of labeling cities specifically. My project reveals the complex, multi-layered and ever-changing nature of urban space, through the voice of those whom occupy that space.
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