Exclusion and Sense of Displacement Under Austerity

Experiences from Young Adults in Ballymun, Dublin


  • Sander van Lanen University of Groningen


Austerity, sense of displacement, exclusion, Ireland, austerity urbanism, youth


This article explores exclusion and sense of displacement through the austerity experiences of young adults in Ballymun, a disadvantaged urban neighbourhood in Dublin, Ireland. Such youth encountered exclusion on the labour market, urban housing, and support services. As austerity intensified urban exclusion, youth’s affective relations with their neighbourhood, their city, and the state transformed. Using the concept ‘at-homeness’, it is argued that reduced income and funding for social services resulted locally in a partial ‘sense of displacement’. Nationally, the class character of austerity reduced sense of belonging as youth felt betrayed and unfairly treated. It is argued that social, economic and political developments affect at-homeness, and that reduced sense of belonging induced by austerity can lead to a sense of displacement, not through physical movement, but by estrangement from the places one inhabits through processes of abandonment. Therefore, sense of displacement is expanded beyond gentrification as it can emerge from socio-economic transformations in a more-or-less stable physical and demographic environment.

Author Biography

Sander van Lanen, University of Groningen

Faculty of Spatial Sciences


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How to Cite

van Lanen, S. (2020). Exclusion and Sense of Displacement Under Austerity: Experiences from Young Adults in Ballymun, Dublin. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 19(1), 352–363. Retrieved from https://acme-journal.org/index.php/acme/article/view/1774



Themed Issue- Narratives of Displacements (Guest Eds. Pull, Lind, Tsoni, Baeten)