Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
O'Connor, Sinéad
Association of American Geographers
Prejudice, micro-publics and the university:International Students’ Experiences of Discrimination and Prejudice at University College Cork, Ireland
Tampa, Florida
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields
The geographies of prejudice lead us to question the contexts of everyday interactions with difference in what Amin terms the 'micro-publics' of the city (Amin 2002). Spaces such as the university campus, accommodation, social and leisure areas, each influence social dynamics that occur and can lead to the formation of particular relationships or attitudes. The university, now increasingly diverse in terms of student body, is a space that is traditionally associated with equality and openness. But campus spaces can also be zones of social exclusion and segregation, in particular for international students, wherein certain forms of prejudice are produced and experienced. This research investigates these concepts through an extensive survey and interviews with international students at University College Cork, Ireland. I identify areas of exclusion in the assorted 'micro-publics' of the university campus, and how the articulation of particular forms of prejudice is produced therein. The opportunity to explore the experiences of such a contrasting group in sites of interaction provides insight into living with difference, and how negative attitudes and prejudice come to be fostered through everyday negotiations with difference. Drawing out the complexity in terms of encounters with discrimination and situating them in their specific spatial contexts, the paper ultimately draws conclusions about the lived experiences of prejudice and the effects this has on those who experience it.
Department of Geography, University College Cork; Geographical Society of Ireland