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SONIC GEOGRAPHY, PLACE AND RACE IN THE FORMATION OF LOCAL IDENTITY: LIVERPOOL AND SCOUSERS

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Abstract:

ABSTRACT.

The concept of identity has attracted significant academic attention. This article unpacks what constitutes the Scouse identity, how it is constructed and its different dimensions, with particular reference to place, phonology and race. Its novelty lies in developing the underused concept of “sonic geography” to examine the extent to which sound, for example a distinctive accent and/or dialect, affects the construction of local identity. Empirically this is conducted through a detailed analysis of the Scouse, or Liverpudlian, identity. The article also deploys the concept of “sonic exclusion” to examine the role a distinguishing vernacular plays in shaping local identity and the extent to which it determines “who is in” and “who is out” as a Scouser. The conclusion is that an effective understanding of a Scouser is not only spatial – someone born in Liverpool – because the sonoric landscape of spoken Scouse, and thereby Scouse identity, extends beyond the contemporary political and geographic boundaries of the City of Liverpool.

Keywords: Scousers; identity; phonology; place; race; territory

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0467.2010.00330.x

Affiliations: School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Queen's University Belfast, David Keir Building, Stranmillis Road, Belfast BT9 5AG, United Kingdom., Email: p.boland@qub.ac.uk

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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