4: Constructing Britain’s Hated Landscapes: The Linguistic and Ideological Construction of Toxteth

This chapter explores the centrality of rhetoric in the formation of landscapes of hate by examining the application of the label ‘inner city’. A discourse analysis of British newspapers and policy documents in the 1980s is undertaken to show how applying the term ‘inner city’ labelled Toxteth, in Liverpool, UK, giving it a specific, racialized, classed, stigmatized and ‘othered’ identity; and that this was a deliberate rhetorical and ideological act making Toxteth the ‘poster child’ of the 1980s ‘inner city problem’ and the testing ground for related solutions. The chapter’s historical study of Toxteth represents a paradigmatic case from which we can learn and apply the findings to contemporary debates regarding the invention of spatial stigma and hate, and the later attempts to ‘unhate’ areas through white middle-class gentrification and privatization.

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