The effect of territorial stigmatisation processes on ontological security: A case-study of Bradford politics

Paul Sullivan, Parveen Akhtar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigate the effect of territorial stigmatisation on ontological security through a qualitative case-study of Bradford politics during the 2015 General Election. Territorial stigmatisation and ontological security are important constructs in political geography but there is relatively little research on how territorial stigmatisation effects ontological security in everyday lived experience – in this case, the lived experience of political contests. We conducted thirty in-depth interviews, generated three themes and present and analyse these three themes in the form of three ‘created dialogues’ as outlined by Sullivan (2012), with a smaller sample of ten out of thirty of our participants. Drawing on Bakhtin’s (1981) concept of ‘chronotope’ we identity three key effects of territorial stigmatisation on ontological security: i) A negative reputation of ‘parallel societies’ has the potential to create double meanings for the inhabitants of that society; ii) Local reputation enhances ontological security through linking particular places to particular personalities but potentially decreases ontological security for a district as a whole; iii) Everyday lived experiences sometimes acquire charged emotional symbolic significance, which could encourage the reflexive side of ontological security. Our findings went through a positive member-checking process with five of the participants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-54
Number of pages9
JournalPolitical Geography
Early online date22 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

© 2018, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


  • Bradford
  • Chronotope
  • Ontological security
  • Segregation
  • Territorial stigmatisation


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