Framing Fitzroy: contesting and (de)constructing place and identity in a Melbourne suburb
AffiliationDepartment of History
Document TypePhD thesis
CitationsBirch, A. (2002). Framing Fitzroy: contesting and (de)constructing place and identity in a Melbourne suburb. PhD thesis, Department of History, The University of Melbourne.
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2002 Dr. Anthony Birch
This thesis examines the ways in which Melbourne's 'worst suburb', Fitzroy, was constructed, both physically and culturally, from the Great Depression of the 1930s until the gentrification of the suburb in the early 1970s. The thesis argues that an array of institutions, extending from social welfare and slum reform groups to the media and a variety of policing agencies, relentlessly constructed Fitzroy as the site of social evil in Melbourne. It examines the variety of texts, both written and visual, that were utilised to construct a singular and negative representation of Fitzroy that legitimated particular forms of intervention. The thesis critiques and contests this representation through an analysis of the lives of those who lived in Fitzroy in the period covered by this thesis and by using a variety of original sources, including the testimonies of those who lived and worked in Fitzroy. It is a central argument of this thesis that Fitzroy was a place of complexity, vitality and cultural value for those who lived there.
KeywordsFitzroy; Victoria; Australia; history; social conditions
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