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dc.contributor.advisorTisdall, Kay
dc.contributor.advisorFry, Deborah
dc.contributor.advisorClasen, Jochen
dc.contributor.authorBernheim, Rebekkah
dc.date.accessioned2022-03-08T16:05:49Z
dc.date.available2022-03-08T16:05:49Z
dc.date.issued2021-12-17
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/1842/38676
dc.identifier.urihttp://dx.doi.org/10.7488/era/1934
dc.description.abstractThrough their everyday mobilities, young women forge and maintain social connections and often develop a sense of place belonging where they reside. Yet, young women’s mobilities are not solely a product of personal preference. Instead, they are influenced, and often curtailed, by familial, cultural and structural factors. These factors are wide-ranging and have complex gender dimensions. There is, however, a paucity of research examining how gender affects young women’s (im)mobilities and experiences of the public realm at different levels of analysis (i.e., individual, interactional and macro), particularly in the context of a small urban area. This research addresses this gap, and sheds light on the pervasive effects of gender and gender inequality on young women’s (im)mobilities. The aim of my research is thus to explore the everyday (im)mobilities of young women in Inverness, Scotland and the implications these have for their access to, and involvement in, the public realm. My research seeks to disrupt the historically adult male versions and narratives of social life in social science literature by meaningfully focusing on and including young women in the research process. To do this, I utilised a combination of qualitative methods, including participatory techniques and semi-structured interviews with 41 participants. The data were collected over an eight-month period (October 2018 to May 2019) in a cluster of three residential neighbourhoods in Inverness, Scotland. These neighbourhoods have a mixed demographic profile and experience several challenges including high rates of poverty, unemployment and crime. The neighbourhoods were selected because, due to their location, young women used a variety of different forms of transportation to move around including walking, cars and public transportation. The research was conducted with four participant groups including 12 young women between the ages of 13- 17, five parents/carers, 17 key adults and seven policy professionals. The age range for the young women is justifiable because adolescents often have more freedom of movement without an accompanying adult than younger children. Moreover, existing empirical evidence shows concern for young women’s mobilities compared to young men’s increases during adolescence. Ethical best practices were carefully considered throughout the research process. The three findings chapters explore several key themes. These themes include gender, (im)mobilities, space and place, place belonging and place-based stigma (territorial stigmatisation). In the findings chapters, I critically discuss the complex factors that constrain and enable young women’s mobilities. I argue that young women’s (im)mobilities are not simply a product of personal preference, but are influenced by intersecting social identities, environmental variables, self-imposed and parental regulations, transportation policy and infrastructure, and systemic inequalities, all of which have gender dimensions. Moreover, young women’s mobilities are interrelated with their social connections, and spending time with friends ‘on the move’ can both strengthen relationships, and at the same time, extend their mobilities. However, young women have varying degrees of access to the public realm and use it for different social purposes. The politics of sharing space with others also, at times, creates tensions as different generations and genders may have alternative understandings of acceptable spatial practices. Lastly, young women’s mobilities and subsequently their access to, and involvement in, the public realm are highly contextual, and shaped by where they live. In this research, the negative reputation attached to the neighbourhoods in the field site had implications for where young women wanted to go, where they were allowed to go, their sense of place belonging and their aspirations. By exploring young women’s movements in the public realm, as well as the meanings they and others give to their mobilities, this research lays bare the all too often hidden influence of gender. The findings conceptually contribute to literature on young people’s mobilities by highlighting how gender influences (im)mobilities at multiple levels of analysis. The findings also provide insight into the lives of young women in Inverness, a city which receives little research attention. This research moreover has implications for transportation policy, urban planning/design and youth work. Young women are overlooked in transportation design, services and policies in Scotland. The transportation sector would benefit from imbedding gender sensitive policies and programmes into their current and future activities. Those responsible for urban planning and design should also consider generational differences in social and spatial practices and take young women’s needs into account. The youth work sector would also benefit from considering young women’s desire to have a space to call their own. By focusing on the experiences and needs of young women new knowledge will emerge to inform more inclusive and effective local services and policies to support and value young women in Scotland and beyond.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherThe University of Edinburghen
dc.subjectyoung womenen
dc.subjectsocial connectionsen
dc.subjectpublic realmen
dc.subjectInvernessen
dc.subjectsocial identityen
dc.subjectsocio-cultural contextsen
dc.subjectparental regulationsen
dc.subjectinfrastructureen
dc.titleYoung women's (im)mobilities: a qualitative study in Inverness, Scotlanden
dc.typeThesis or Dissertationen
dc.type.qualificationlevelDoctoralen
dc.type.qualificationnamePhD Doctor of Philosophyen


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