Second Westminster Sociology Open Talk of 2017/18: New Directions in Sociology

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The second Westminster Sociology Open Talk of 2017-18 showcases the current research projects of our PhD students. Nikhaela Wicks will discuss nighttime policing and ‘race’ in the UK while Elvan Can will explore gentrification and the loss of public space in Istanbul.

Date: Thursday 30th November 2017
Time: 5-7pm
Location: The Boardroom, 309 Regent Street, University of Westminster, London W1H 2HW

This event is open to academics, students and anyone else who’s interested in this important topic. Attendance is free but we ask attendees to register via Eventbrite.


Nikhaela Wicks
Department of History, Sociology and Criminology
University of Westminster

The continued construction of the deviant racialized Other and the impact for policing at night in the UK

This paper explores the ways in which certain contexts give rise to particular understandings of race and racialized persons and the impact this has on the policing of racialized persons, venues and licensees at night in the UK. I will begin by looking at the way in which racialized persons have been demonized over time, from the black mugger of the 1970s to the Muslim terrorist we are taught to fear today. Recent media stories will be explored, from the four black girls turned away at Dstrkt nightclub as they were not of a ‘certain calibre’ to the Dice Bar being banned by police from playing Bashment. These media stories will be situated amongst historical understandings of how racialized night time scenes have been linked to criminality throughout time (Talbot, 2007). I engage critically with the above by approaching race as a discursive construct (Hall, 1997), suggesting that the language and systems of thought used to make sense of race at any given point in time are radically contextual. I argue that conceptions of race intersect more broadly with understandings of gender and class. The importance of discourse analysis in revealing the nuance of racial meanings and contradictions between how the police speak of race (in conversation, in policy documents, in meetings) and how they respond to racialized minorities (at night, in the day, amongst colleagues, friends, on the job) will be uncovered throughout the paper.

Elvan Can
Department of History, Sociology and Criminology
University of Westminster

Gentrification and Loss of Public Spaces in Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is an interesting mega city not just because of its location between the West and the East but also because of its historical background, rapid political and cultural transformation throughout the history. This research aims to focus on the impacts of these transformations from an urban aspect of Istanbul and how the city was transformed. In order to have a clearer picture, urban history of Istanbul, the society’s relation with the city and governmental policies and approaches to gentrification are crucial sources. However, the main focus is the current situation of Istanbul with the increasing numbers of gentrification projects and how these projects transform and change the city as well as its public spaces. Needless to say, that, public space understanding, culture and use is not the same in Istanbul as they are in many other cities. Thence combination of all these dynamics are forming something that is changing the city and its public spaces incredibly fast that transformation needs attention and deserves a study.


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