Industrial Ruination, Community and Place: Landscapes and Legacies of Urban Decline

Industrial Ruination, Community and Place: Landscapes and Legacies of Urban Decline

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By Alice Mah
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2012
World Rights
240 Pages 22 Images
ISBN 9781442613577
Published Oct 2012
Online discount: 15%
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ISBN 9781442645493
Published Oct 2012
Online discount: 25%
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ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442662902
Published Oct 2012
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Abandoned factories, shipyards, warehouses, and refineries are features of many industrialized cities around the world. But despite their state of decline, these derelict sites remain vitally connected with the urban landscapes that surround them. In this enlightening new book, Alice Mah explores the experiences of urban decline and post-industrial change in three different community contexts: Niagara Falls, Canada/USA; Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK; and Ivanovo, Russia.

Employing a unique methodological approach that combines ethnographic, spatial, and documentary methods, Mah draws on international comparisons of the landscapes and legacies of industrial ruination over the past forty years. Through this, she foregrounds the complex challenges of living with prolonged uncertainty and deprivation amidst socioeconomic change. This rich comparative study makes an essential contribution to far-reaching debates about the decline of manufacturing, regeneration, and identity, and will have important implications for urban theory and policy.

Alice Mah is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick.

List of Illustrations

List of Tables


Chapter 1 Introduction

PART ONE: Case Studies

Chapter 2 “When the smell goes, the jobs go”: Ambivalent nostalgia and traumatic memory in Niagara Falls

Chapter 3 Protracted decline and imminent regeneration: Memory and uncertainty in Walker, Newcastle upon Tyne

Chapter 4 “We ruined everything around us, but we couldn’t change ourselves”: Enduring Soviet and textile identities in Ivanovo

PART TWO: Themes of Industrial Ruination

Chapter 5 Reading landscapes of ruination, deprivation and decline

Chapter 6 Devastation but also home

Chapter 7 Imagining change, reinventing place

Chapter 8 Conclusion



‘For researchers interested in industrial and urban sociology. Highly recommended.’

P.J. Venturelli, Choice Magazine - vol 50:09:2013

British Sociological Association Philip Abrams Memorial Award (Brazil) - Winner in 2013