Phil Hubbard
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This chapter explores the identity of Margate, alighting on sights that reveal its former role as a centre of mass tourism but that now appear ‘out of time’. Noting that images of disinvestment and abandonment have consolidated the representation of Margate as something of a ‘dumping ground’ for the socially vulnerable and those on welfare, it examines the way that recent gentrification and reinvestment has exposed social divisions of class in the town, which have often been articulated through the politics of migration and nationalism. Here, it suggests that depictions of Margate, and the wider Isle of Thanet, as a stronghold of pro-Brexit voters is overly simplistic, but notes the continual circulation of ideas of Englishness and whiteness in the town. The chapter concludes by exploring the significance of the public art in the town, which rejects exclusionary nationalism in favour of a more cosmopolitan sense of place.

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Identity and belonging at the edge of England


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