Advertisement

Growing Up in ‘The Ends’: Identity, Place and Belonging in an Urban East London Neighbourhood

  • Joy White
Chapter
Part of the Studies in Childhood and Youth book series (SCY)

Abstract

As a response to the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, austerity measures have been implemented which have had an enduring impact on the lives of young people living in urban multicultural settings. Between 2007 and 2012, I interviewed 40 people aged 18–40 who had grown up in ‘the ends’ in east London. In the UK, ‘the ends’ is a colloquial term used by young people to denote local, familiar neighbourhoods (Reynolds, Urban Studies, 50(3), 484–498, 2013; White, 2016b). The majority of the participants were involved in the production and dissemination of Grime music. Drawing on my empirical research as its starting point, this chapter will explore how young people use Grime music to construct a sense of belonging in ‘the ends’ or poor urban neighbourhoods. Given the challenging socio-economic changes in London, I explore what it means, to grow up in ‘the ends’. How are young people in this area positioned within the wider processes of social change? I conclude by suggesting that young people use music to construct identities and that despite chronic social issues, these identities may be a source of validation, comfort and recognition.

References

  1. Adams, R. (2016, November 16). UK’s social mobility problem holding back Thatcher generation, says report. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/nov/16/uks-social-mobility-problem-holding-back-thatcher-generation-says-report.
  2. Aldridge, H., Barry Born, T., Tinson, A., & MacInnes, T. (2015). London’s Poverty Profile 2015 (p. 100). New Policy Institute.Google Scholar
  3. Aston Mansfield. (2011). Newham—Key statistics. London: Aston Mansfield Charity.Google Scholar
  4. Back, L. (1996). New ethnicities and urban culture. UCL Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bainbridge, L., & Browne, A. (2010). Generation NEET (No. CHILD10-5067, p. 37). York: Report for Children and Young People Now Magazine.Google Scholar
  6. Barron, L. (2013). The sound of street corner society: UK grime music as ethnography. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 16(5), 531–547.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1367549413491937CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bauman, Z. (2007). Liquid times: Living in an age of uncertainty (1st ed.). Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  8. Berry, S. (2017). London’s lost youth services (p. 10). London Assembly.Google Scholar
  9. Bird, J. (2002). The Newham Story: A Short History of Newham (S. E. Kirby, Ed.). London Borough of Newham.Google Scholar
  10. Boffey, D. (2015, February 22). Youth unemployment rate is worst for 20 years, compared with overall figure. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/22/youth-unemployment-jobless-figure
  11. Bowling, B. (2000). Violent racism: Victimization, policing and social context (New ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Bramwell, R. (2015). UK hip-hop, grime and the city: The aesthetics and ethics of London’s rap scenes. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Burns, I. (2016, August 24). Newham house price boom creates winners and losers. Retrieved September 30, 2017, from http://www.newhamrecorder.co.uk/news/newham-house-price-boom-creates-winners-and-losers-1-4668269
  14. Cabinet Office. (2011). Opening doors, breaking barriers: A strategy for social mobility (p. 89).Google Scholar
  15. Campion, C. (2004, May 23). A look at grime music|Music|Observer music monthly. Retrieved April 13, 2012, from http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2004/may/23/urban1
  16. conpapi. (2004). Crazy Titch—I Can C U. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbZAAr1NHFU
  17. Crul, M., & Schneider, J. (2010). Comparative integration context theory: Participation and belonging in new diverse European cities. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 33(7), 1249–1268.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01419871003624068CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dar, A. (2015, July 15). Research briefings—Youth unemployment statistics. Retrieved August 10, 2015, from http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/SN05871
  19. Deputy Prime Minister’s Office. (2013, April 29). Improving social mobility to create a fairer society—Policies—Inside Government—GOV.UK. Retrieved June 22, 2013, from https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/improving-social-mobility-to-create-a-fairer-society
  20. du Bois-Reymond, M. (1998). ‘I don’t want to commit myself yet’: Young people’s life concepts. Journal of Youth Studies, 1(1), 63–79.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13676261.1998.10592995CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Earle, R. (2011). Boys’ zone stories: Perspectives from a young men’s prison. Criminology and Criminal Justice, 11(2), 129–143.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1748895811398458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Farrugia, D. (2016). Youth homelessness in late modernity—Reflexive identities | David Farrugia | Springer. Springer Retrieved from http://www.springer.com/gp/book/9789812876843
  23. Furlong, A., & Cartmel, F. (2006). Young people and social change: New perspectives (2nd ed.). Maidenhead: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Gilroy, P. (1993). Small acts: Thoughts on the politics of black cultures. Serpents Tail.Google Scholar
  25. Gilroy, P. (1996). The Black Atlantic. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  26. Gilroy, P. (2013). ‘… We got to get over before we go under …’ Fragments for a history of black vernacular neoliberalism. New Formations, 80/81.  https://doi.org/10.3898/NEWF.80.01.2013
  27. GOV.UK. (2011). Education maintenance allowance (EMA)—GOV.UK. Retrieved May 25, 2014, from https://www.gov.uk/education-maintenance-allowance-ema
  28. Gunter, A. (2010). Growing up bad? Black youth, road culture and badness in an East London neighbourhood. Tufnell Press.Google Scholar
  29. Hancox, D. (2013). Stand up tall: Dizzee Rascal and the birth of grime. Kindle.Google Scholar
  30. Hancox, D. (2015, May 31). How British MCs found a voice of their own. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/may/31/british-mcs-stormzy-jammz-little-simz-krept-konan-novelist
  31. Hancox, D., Lea, T., & Mr Beatnick. (2013, August 22). Stand up tall: A round table debate about Dizzee Rascal’s Boy in Da Corner and the birth of grime—FACT magazine: Music news, new music. Retrieved October 6, 2013, from http://www.factmag.com/2013/08/22/stand-up-tall-a-round-table-debate-about-dizzee-rascals-boy-in-da-corner-and-the-birth-of-grime/
  32. Hanna, K., & Bosetti, N. (2015). Inside out: The new geography of wealth and poverty in London. Centre for London.Google Scholar
  33. Hughes, C. (2015). Ethnicity, poverty and youth unemployment (p. 12). The Work Foundation.Google Scholar
  34. Ilan, J. (2012). ‘The industry’s the new road’: Crime, commodification and street cultural tropes in UK urban music. Crime, Media, Culture, 8(1), 39–55.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1741659011433367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Institute of Career Guidance (ICG). (2011). Uncertain futures: The impact of cuts to the careers service on the futures of young people (p. 24). AGCAS.Google Scholar
  36. Joseph, I., Gunter, A., Hallsworth, S., Young, T., & Adekunle, F. (2011). Gangs revisited: What’s a gang and what’s race got to do with it? Runnymede Trust.Google Scholar
  37. Kelly, L. (2012). Representing and preventing youth crime and disorder: Intended and unintended consequences of targeted youth programmes in England. Youth Justice, 12(2), 101–117.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1473225412447160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Lee, N., & Wright, J. (2011). Off the map? The geography of NEETs a snapshot analysis for the Private Equity Foundation (p. 17). London: Work, Foundation, Lancaster University.Google Scholar
  39. Leyshon, A., Matless, D., & Revill, G. (1998). The place of music. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  40. London Borough of Newham. (2017). Newham Info. Retrieved September 2, 2017, from http://www.newham.info/factsandfigures
  41. London Borough of Newham Newham’s Local Plan. (2012). Newham 2027 Newham’s Local Plan Detailed Sites and Policies Development Plan Document (p. 291).Google Scholar
  42. MacDonald, R. (2011). Youth transitions, unemployment and underemployment: Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose? Journal of Sociology, 47(4), 427–444.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1440783311420794CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. MacRury, I., & Poynter, G. (2009). London’s Olympic Legacy (A “Thinkpiece” report prepared for the OECD and Department for Communities and Local Government). University of East London: London East Research Institute.Google Scholar
  44. Mason, M. (2008). The Pirate’s Dilemma: How hackers, punk capitalists, graffiti millionaires and other youth movements are remixing our culture and changing our world. Penguin.Google Scholar
  45. mayowahd. (2017). Myers (Case)—Home [Music Video] GRM Daily.Google Scholar
  46. Murray, S., & Gayle, V. (2012). Youth transitions. University of Stirling.Google Scholar
  47. National Audit Office. (2017). Taxpayer support for UK banks: FAQs—National Audit Office (NAO). Retrieved September 9, 2017, from https://www.nao.org.uk/highlights/taxpayer-support-for-uk-banks-faqs/
  48. Newham Council Communications. (2014). Newham’s Legacy Story.Google Scholar
  49. NOMIS. (2017). Newham profile: Official labour market statistics (p. 11).Google Scholar
  50. Oxfam. (2013). The true cost of austerity and inequality. Oxfam.Google Scholar
  51. Pollock, I. (2016, November 8). Taxpayer bailouts for banks ‘too big to fail’ to end by 2022. BBC News. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37909327
  52. Reynolds, T. (2013). ‘Them and us’: ‘Black neighbourhoods’ as a social capital resource among black youths living in inner-city London. Urban Studies, 50(3), 484–498.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098012468892CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. SBTV: Music. (2016). Lil Nasty | Better Place (Plaistow) [Music Video]: SBTV. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMPJDwkqbwE
  54. SBTV: Music. (2017). Baseman x Snizzy | Better Place (Forest Gate) [Music Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VAeFMUo0Qs
  55. Shildrick, T., Macdonald, R., Webster, C., & Garthwaite, k. (2010). The low-pay, no-pay cycle: Understanding recurrent poverty (p. 53). Joseph Rowntree Foundation.Google Scholar
  56. Sköld, D., & Rehn, A. (2007). Makin’ it, by keeping it real: Street talk, rap music, and the forgotten entrepreneurship from “the ’Hood”. Group & Organization Management, 32(1), 50–78.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1059601106294487CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Sutton Trust. (2016). Sutton Trust—Social mobility. Retrieved January 1, 2017, from http://www.suttontrust.com/about-us/us/social-mobility/
  58. Tames, R. (2006). London: A cultural history. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  59. Thornton, S. (1995). Club cultures: Music, media and subcultural capital. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  60. Wacquant, L. (2007). Urban outcasts: A comparative sociology of advanced marginality. Polity.Google Scholar
  61. Weber, T. (2012, January 28). Davos: Youth unemployment ‘disaster’. BBC. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16774301
  62. White, A. (2017, February 18). Where are London’s golden boroughs? Not necessarily where you think…. The Telegraph. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/house-prices/londons-golden-boroughs-not-necessarily-think/
  63. White, J. (2016a). Controlling the flow: How urban music videos allow creative scope and permit social restriction. Young.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1103308816644110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. White, J. (2016b). Urban music and entrepreneurship: Beats, rhymes and young people’s enterprise. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wise, A., & Velayutham, S. (Eds.). (2009). Everyday multiculturalism (2009 ed.). Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire and New York: AIAA.Google Scholar
  66. Yuval-Davis, N. (2006). Belonging and the politics of belonging. Patterns of Prejudice, 40(3), 197–214.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00313220600769331CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joy White
    • 1
  1. 1.University of RoehamptonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations