Exclusion of the Young and Poor in Olympic Host Cities

Security Spectacles, Neoliberal Urbanization, and Homeless Youth in Vancouver 2010 – 12th July

Tuesday 12th July  3.30 – 5.30  Room 151 Birkbeck Main Building
Free and open to all – no registration – just turn up

Jacqueline Kennelly (Carleton University, Ottawa)
This paper examines the experiences of homeless and street-involved young people with policing and surveillance practices instituted within the city of Vancouver in preparation for the 2010 Olympic Games. Tracing intensifed and differentiated encounters with the security apparatus before and during the Games, the paper accounts for the experiences of the youth through a theoretical frame that understands security as a ‘spectacle’ – related to the spectacle of the Olympics themselves – that intersects with practices of city marketing. These two forces in combination constitute the conditions whereby particular forms of symbolic (and material) violence are enhanced within the Olympic city for its most marginalized members.

Jacqueline Kennelly is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. She is the co-author (with Jo-Anne Dillabough) of Lost Youth in the Global City: Class, Culture, and the Urban Imaginary (Routledge, 2010), and the author of Citizen Youth: Culture, Activism, and Agency in a Neoliberal Era (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2011). Jacqueline is co-author (with Paul Watt, Department of GEDS, Birkbeck) of a forthcoming paper – ‘Sanitizing public space in Olympic host cities: the spatial experiences of marginalized youth in 2010 Vancouver and 2012 London’ – in a special issue of Sociology on the London 2012 Olympics. Her research interests include youth cultures, social exclusion and inclusion, citizenship, gentrification studies, and social movements. Her current research project is a cross-national study of the impacts of the Vancouver (2010) and London (2012) Olympic Games on low-income youth.

This event is presented jointly with the Olympic City Critiques Reading Group (Department of GEDS, Birkbeck)


About: Robert Grimm

All over Europe, cities are faced with the challenge of using cultural resources to re-position their city in an increasingly culturally and economically diversified European space. Related to this is a clear recognition of the growing importance of cultural resources for economic and community development. This produces new opportunities and challenges for local cultural planning and management. In order to fully exploit the innovative and supportive role of culture in European urban development, it will be necessary to develop a new socially and culturally sensitive professionalism, able to cross the boundaries between the arts, design, urban and spatial planning, public policy and the market, artistic creativity and cultural management. The MA in European Urban Cultures offers a specialist programme aimed at graduate students from Europe and elsewhere with undergraduate degrees in subject areas such as the social sciences; cultural and leisure studies; art, design and architecture; urban theory and planning; cultural marketing and management. The course is also targeted at professionals and administrators eager for the latest experiences, ideas and insights in urban cultural policy.