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Laid Off ... Ethnography of the Relation to the Automobile, Space and Displacement Among the Young People Living in a Deprived Peripheral Town of a Small City of the North of France in the Middle of the 90s

Yves Lacascade

In the peripheral, underprivileged and deurbanized cities of Northern France, having access to a motorcar (belonging to the father or, more likely, shared by the whole family) is seen as the surest way of distancing oneself from the ghetto and to escape its inevitable and ever-present stigma. The ghetto-dweller is first and foremost someone who travels on foot and exhausts himself in wasting time that has lost all value. And he is also someone who, in the course of his pedestrian displacements, will come up against a multitude of obstacles that will unceasingly remind him of his status of urban outcast.