‘You Get a Reputation If You’re from the Valleys’: The Stigmatisation of Place in Young Working-Class Men’s Lives

  • Michael R. M. Ward
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in the Social Sciences book series (GSSS)


Since the 1990s, there has been a large amount of research conducted on both sides of the Atlantic that has looked at the negative implications of living in communities that are ‘racially’, economically and social marginalised (see Shields, 1991; Campbell, 1993; Walker et al., 1998; Reay, 2000; Williams and Collins, 2001; Watkins and Jacoby, 2007; Wacquant, 2008; Keene and Padilla, 2010; Rhodes, 2012). A lot of this work has examined the consequences that stem from living close to unhealthy environments (see also Bullard, 1999; Phillimore and Moffatt, 1999; Bush et al., 2001; Acevedo-Garcia et al., 2003; Entwisle, 2007), through a lack of access to key community services (Gordon et al., 2004; Watkins and Jacoby, 2007) and through residing in areas suffering high levels of crime, deprivation and unemployment (Walker et al., 1998; Sampson et al., 2002). However, as Wacquant (2007, 2008) has pointed out, due to the deindustrialisation process that has taken place in Western countries over the past four decades, certain communities and neighbourhoods have become more ‘socially marginalised’ than others. Deindustrialisation has therefore resulted in residents not only becoming physically confined to decaying environments, but these environments also act as symbolic and powerful signifiers of class and ‘racial’ identities (see also Reay, 2000; Skeggs, 2004; MacDonald et al., 2005; Rhodes, 2012).


Moral Panic Rugby Union Racial Residential Segregation Holiday Destination Loud Music 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Acevedo-Garcia, D., Lochner, K. A., Osypuk, T. L. and Subramanian, S. V. (2003) ‘Future directions in segregation and health research: A multilevel approach’, American Journal of Public Health, 93(2): 215–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adamson, D. (2008) ‘Still living on the edge?’ Contemporary Wales, 21: 47–66.Google Scholar
  3. Andrews, H. (2005) ‘Feeling at home: Embodying Britishness in a Spanish charter tourist resort’, Tourist Studies, 5(3): 247–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Andrews, H. (2006) ‘Consuming pleasures: Package tourists in Mallorca’, in K. Meethan, A. Anderson and S. Miles (eds) Tourism, Consumption and Representation: Narratives of Place and Self. Wallingford: CABI, pp. 217–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beck, U. (1999) World Risk Society Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  6. Brewer, T. (1999) ‘Heritage tourism: A mirror for Wales’, in D. Dunkerley and A. Thompson (eds) Wales Today. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, pp. 149–63.Google Scholar
  7. Bullard, R. (1999) ‘Dismantling environmental racism in the USA’, Local Environment, 4(1): 5–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bush, J., Moffatt, S. and Dunn, C. E. (2001) ‘Even the birds round here cough: Stigma, air pollution and health in Teesside’, Health and Place, 7(1): 47–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Campbell, B. (1993) Goliath, Britain’s Dangerous Places. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  10. Cohen, S. (1972) Folk Devils and Moral Panics: The Creation of the Mods and Rockers. London: MacGibbon and Lee.Google Scholar
  11. Connell, R. W. (1995) Masculinities. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  12. Crouch, D., Aronsson, L. and Wahlström, L. (2001) ‘Tourist encounters’, Tourist Studies, 1(1): 253–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Curtis, S. (2004) Health and Inequality: Geographical Perspectives. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  14. Day, G. (2002) Making Sense of Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.Google Scholar
  15. Edensor, T. (1998) Tourists at the Taj: Performance and Meaning at a Symbolic Site. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Edensor, T. (2001) ‘Performing tourism, staging tourism, (re)producing tourist space and practice’, Tourist Studies, 1(1): 59–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Entwisle, B. (2007) ‘Putting people into place’, Demography, 44(4): 687–703.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fevre, R. (1999) ‘The Welsh economy’, in D. Dunkerley and A. Thompson (eds) Wales Today. Cardiff: University of Wales, pp. 61–74.Google Scholar
  19. Galster, G. (2007) ‘Neighbourhood social mix as a goal of housing policy’, European Journal of Housing Policy, 7(1): 19–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Geertz, C. (1973) The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  21. Goffman, E. (1963) Stigma: Notes on the Management of a Spoiled Identity. New York: Simon and Shuster.Google Scholar
  22. Gordon, D., Kay, A., Kelly, M., Mandy, S., Senior, M., and Shaw, M. (2004) Targeting Poor Health: Review of Rural and Urban Factors Affecting the Costs of Health Services and Other Implementation Issues. Cardiff: National Assembly for Wales.Google Scholar
  23. Grant, R. (1991) Cynon Valley in the Age of Iron. Stroud: Alan Sutton Publishing.Google Scholar
  24. Harris, J. (2007) ‘Cool Cymru, rugby union and an imagined community’, International Journal of Sociology, 27(3/4): 151–62.Google Scholar
  25. Hayden, K. (2000) ‘Stigma and place: Space, community, and the politics of reputation’, in N. Denzin (ed.) Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Volume 23, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 219–39.Google Scholar
  26. Holland, S. and Scourfield, J. (1998) ‘Ei gwrol ryfelwyr. Reflections on body, gender, class and nation in Welsh rugby’, in J. Richardson and A. Shaw (eds) The Body and Qualitative Research, Aldershot, Overbuy, pp. 56–71.Google Scholar
  27. Howe, P. D. (2001) ‘Women’s rugby and the nexus between embodiment, professionalism and sexuality: An ethnographic account’, Football Studies, 4(2): 77–91.Google Scholar
  28. Jones, O. (2011) Chavs, The Demonization of the Working Class. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  29. Keene, D. E. and Padilla, M. B. (2010) ‘Race, class and the stigma of place: Moving to “opportunity” in Eastern Iowa’, Health and Place, 16(6): 1216–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kenway, J. and Kraack, A. (2004) ‘Reordering work and destabilizing masculinity’, in N. Dolby, G. Dimitriadis, and P. Willis (eds) Learning to Labor in New Times. London: RoutledgeFalmer, pp. 95–109.Google Scholar
  31. Kenway, J., Kraak, A. and Hickey-Moody, A. (2006) Masculinity Beyond the Metropolis. Basingstoke: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kneafsey, M. R. (2000) ‘Tourism, place identities and social relations in the European rural periphery’, European Urban and Regional Studies 7(1): 35–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mac an Ghaill, M. (1994) The Making of Men. Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  34. MacCannell, D. (1976) The Tourist. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  35. MacDonald, R., Shildrick, T., Webster, C. and Simpson, D. (2005) ‘Growing up in poor neighbourhoods: The significance of class and place in the extended transitions of ‘socially excluded’ young adults’, Sociology, 39(5): 873–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Malam, L. (2004) ‘Performing masculinity on the Thai beach scene’, Tourism Geographies, 6(4): 455–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. McDowell, L. (2003) Redundant Masculinities?: Employment, Change and White Working Class Youth. Oxford: Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. McDowell, L. (2007) ‘Respect, deference, respectability and place: What is the problem with/for working class boys?’ Geoforum, 38: 276–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. McDowell, L. (2012) ‘Post-crisis, post-Ford and post-gender? Youth identities in an era of austerity’, Journal of Youth Studies, 15(5): 573–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Mordue, T. (2005) ‘Tourism, performance and social exclusion in “Olde York”’, Annals of Tourism Research, 32(1): 179–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Nayak, A. (2003) ‘“Boyz to men”: Masculinities, schooling and labour transitions in deindustrial times’, Educational Review, 55(2): 147–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Nayak, A. (2006) ‘Displaced masculinities: Chavs, youth and class in the postindustrial city’, Sociology, 40(5): 813–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Nayak, A. (2009) ‘Beyond the pale: Chavs, youth and social class’, in K. Sveinsson (ed.) Who Cares about the White Working Class? London: Runnymede, pp. 28–35.Google Scholar
  44. Phillimore, P. and Moffatt S. (1999) ‘Narratives of insecurity in Teesside: Environmental politics and health risks’, in J. Vail, J. Wheelock and M. Hill, M (eds) Jnsecure Times: Living with Insecurity in Contemporary Society. London: Routledge, pp. 137–53.Google Scholar
  45. Reay, D. (2000) ‘Children’s urban landscapes: Configurations of class and place’, in S. Munt (ed.) Cultural Studies and the Working Class, Subject to Change, London: Cassell, pp. 151–66.Google Scholar
  46. Rees, G. and Stroud, D. (2004) Regenerating the Coalfields, the South Wales Experience. Tredegar: The Bevan Foundation.Google Scholar
  47. Rhodes, J. (2012) ‘Stigmatization, space, and boundaries in deindustrial Burnley’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 35(4): 684–703.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Sampson, R., Morenoff, J. and Gannon-Rowley, T. (2002) ‘Assessing “neighbourhood effects”: Social processes and new directions in research’, Annual Review of Sociology, 28: 443–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Shields, R. (1991) Places on the Margin: Alternative Geographies of Modernity. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  50. Skeggs, B. (2004) Class, Self, Culture. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  51. Smith, D. (1999) Wales, A Question for History. Bridgend: Poetry Wales Press Ltd.Google Scholar
  52. Thurnell-Read, T. (2011) ‘Off the leash and out of control: Masculinities and embodiment in Eastern European stag tourism’, Sociology, 45(6): 877–911.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Wacquant, L. (2007) ‘Territorial stigmatization in the age of advanced margin- ality’, Thesis Eleven, 91(1): 66–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Wacquant, L. (2008) Urban Outcasts: A Comparative Sociology of Advanced Marginality, Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  55. Walker, G., Simmons, P., Irwin, A. and Wynne, B. (1998) Public Perceptions of Risks Associated with Major Accident Hazards. Research report prepared for the Health and Safety Executive.Google Scholar
  56. Walkerdine, V. (2010) ‘Communal beingness and affect: An exploration of trauma in an ex-industrial community’, Body & Society, 16(1): 91–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Ward, M. R. M. (2012) ‘The Emos: The re-traditonalization of white, working-class masculinities through the “alternative scene”’. Cardiff School of Social Sciences Working Paper Series, Cardiff University.Google Scholar
  58. Ward, M. R. M. (2013) ‘The Performance of Working-Class Masculinities in the South Wales Valleys.’ Unpublished PhD thesis, Cardiff University.Google Scholar
  59. Watkins, F. and Jacoby, A. (2007) ‘Is the rural idyll bad for your health? Stigma and exclusion in the English countryside’, Health & Place, 13(4): 851–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Williams, D. R. and Collins C. (2001) ‘Racial residential segregation: A fundamental cause of racial disparities in health’, Public Health Reports, 116: 404–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Williams, G. A. (1985) When Was Wales? Harmondsworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
  62. Willis, P. (1977) Learning to Labour, How Working Class Kids Get Working Class Jobs. Farnborough: Saxon House.Google Scholar
  63. Winlow, S. (2001) Badfellas: Crime, Tradition and New Masculinities. Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Michael R. M. Ward 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael R. M. Ward

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations