Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Haynes, A., Power, M. & Devereux, E.
European Sociological Association Research Network 37 “Urban Sociology” Mid-Term Conference: Public spaces and private lives in the contemporary city
“Gangs continue to cast cloud over Shannonside”. Media representations of Limericks Regeneration Estates and their impact on place-making and everyday life in these communities.
Lisbon, FCSH-UNL
International Refereed Conference
Optional Fields

McCafferty (2011) documents the manner in which housing policies have contributed to the creation of segregated and marginalised social spaces in Irelands third city, Limerick. In recognising the significance of the mass media’s role in shaping public perceptions about social problems this paper examines the manner in which media constructions also contribute to this process (Devereux, Haynes and Power 2011; 2013). 


Drawing upon a quantitative content analysis of print media coverage appearing in 4 national and local newspapers between 1/3/2009 and 31/03/2011, we analyse the representation of two of Ireland’s most deprived urban public housing estates and identify the key frames used in explaining these estates to its residents and the wider public at a time when the largest regeneration project in the history of the Irish State was occuring.


The paper argues that for the most part, media coverage is stigmatising, focusing almost entirely on issues like crime, which in the process ensures an invisibility / lack of awareness of the impact of public policy on place-making and everyday life for these two communities. We argue that these depictions can be best understood within the context of commercial realities, which progressively impact upon media production (Hesmondhalgh 2006; Cottle 2007; Devereux, Haynes and Power 2012). Our paper concludes by examining debates regarding the potential to counter problematic (mis)-representations, which present difficulties for the communities themselves and for the Limerick Regeneration project, in terms of economically and socially regenerating estates which have been constructed as ‘no-go areas’.