Social and Cultural Geography Research Group
The Social and Cultural Geography Research Group (SCGRG) embraces researchers and activists interested in the way the world works to produce social and cultural difference, engaging with key social science debates concerning identity, subjectivity, citizenship and belonging. The group's collective work emphasises the connections between material and immaterial geographies, stressing that social injustice, poverty, and exclusion cannot be divorced from questions of representation and imagination.
Likewise, it considers the shifting relations between cultural artifacts, practices and landscapes as they take shape in a mobile and seemingly global era. The group is committed to encouraging inclusive and accessible knowledges, destabilising hierarchical and centred knowledges in favour of those which foreground diversity and difference.
As such, the group is keen to promote areas of geography that have often been 'Othered' within the discipline, such as geographies of the lifecourse, the body, sexuality, gender, disability, ethnicity and religion, as well as geographies of the non-human and the 'animal'.
The group promotes social and cultural geographies through regular events such as sessions at the RGS-IBG Annual Conference and conferences on contemporary issues in social and cultural geography. The group has an active postgraduate membership and is keen to support events aimed at new career and emerging researchers.
Read more about news and activities on the SCGRG website.
Undergraduate dissertation prize winner
Since 2010, the SCGRG has offered an annual prize of £100 for the best Undergraduate Dissertation in Social and Cultural Geography and £50 for the Runner-Up. Both prize-winners also receive a year’s personal subscription to the journal Social and Cultural Geography published by Taylor & Francis.
Jessica Potts, University of Durham, is the winner in 2011 for her dissertation entitled We are not here, we are not there: Young Refugees’ and Asylum Seeker’s Negotiations of Identity and Belonging. The committee praised the study for its high level of theoretical engagement, its excellent empirical analysis and its methodological innovation. The committee felt it made a significant and original contribution to academic debates on identity and belonging in social and cultural geography.
Mary McLaren, University of Exeter, was highly commended for her dissertation entitled Constructing distant geographies of care: the example of Fairtrade in Horsham. The Committee thought it was an impressive and sophisticated study, written in an eloquent and clear style, engaging with challenging issues and debates. It deftly weaved existing literature with original research findings. The findings were based on high quality, in-depth multi-method qualitative research. The Committee felt that the research was both engaging and innovative and nicely developed ideas within the existing cultural geography literature on fair trade.