Mapping multiplicity: place, difference and conviviality in Finsbury Park, London

Katherine Stansfeld

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This thesis explores the multiplicity of place in the ‘super-diverse’ area of Finsbury Park, London. It investigates and maps the meaning and experience of everyday spaces for a range of people. It seeks to understand what this ‘multiplicity of place’ means for vernacular geographies, for how individuals construct a sense of identity or situated subjectivity, and the implications of this for conviviality; the realities of living together with difference.

The thesis draws from wider debates on a critical theorisation of space and power; the production of identity and difference; and the role and potential of mapping. Using a qualitative empirical methodology, including ethnographic, visual and cartographic methods, I traverse themes of power, affect and meaning in everyday spaces.
Compositionally the thesis progresses through four analytical chapters, interleaved by visual ethnographic vignettes. The first introduces how vernacular geographies in Finsbury Park are constituted, exploring trans(local) relations of place through the production of boundaries and place-namings. Secondly, I explore what Doreen Massey (2005) famously termed the ‘thrown-togetherness’ of place through cartographic practice. I argue that mapping as more-than-representation indicates how place is performed and evoked indicating how complex, hybrid and layered it is. Thirdly, I discuss the impact of changing place on iterations of community and social relations, addressing the power-geometries of super-diversity and the ambivalences of regeneration and gentrification. The final empirical chapter encounters convivial relations of urban natures and streetscapes through video ethnography. It focuses on how a multitude of encounters between bodies, materials and ‘natures’ construct ‘super-diverse atmospheres’. In concluding, the thesis draws together key theoretical and methodological trajectories on the role of agency for the production of place and subject through vernacular geographies, the everyday ambivalences of conviviality and the possibility of collectivity through difference, reflecting on how practices of cultural cartography can map this relational multiplicity.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Crang, Philip, Supervisor
  • Eades, Gwilym, Advisor
  • Harding, Jenny, Supervisor, External person
  • Morley, Jeremy, Supervisor, External person
Thesis sponsors
Award date1 Jun 2019
Publication statusUnpublished - 2019


  • Mapping
  • Multiculture
  • Conviviality
  • Place
  • difference
  • encounter
  • space
  • Urbanism
  • Cities
  • Finsbury Park
  • Identity
  • super-diversity
  • vernacular geography
  • everyday
  • visual ethnography
  • photography
  • video
  • change
  • regeneration
  • neighbourhood
  • London
  • Royal Holloway University of London
  • throwntogetherness
  • community
  • power-geometry
  • cartography
  • urban natures
  • affect
  • Atmospheres
  • relational

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