Space and Place Conflicting Issue in Great Toronto Area

– apply skills at social/spatial analyses to a contemporary local issue. 
-Identify a recent (2014 or 2015) conflict over space in the Greater Toronto Area, with attached newspaper articles.
-have at least 3 conflicting views on the issue
-have at least 3 scholarly sources 
Essay Breakdown:
-The first half of your assignment (3-4 pages) should include 
• A brief discussion of the significance of the space and the overall conflict (approx 0.5-1 page), 
• A discussion of the 2-3 different positions including who is holding each position, why they might have this position, and who is affected by the different positions (approximately 1 page each). 

The second half of your assignment (3-4 pages) should include a more detailed scholarly analysis of these positions drawing on literature and class material that sheds light on these viewpoints, and a reasoned discussion and conclusion of your own analysis of the situation.

GGR B13H3 – SOCIAL GEOGRAPHY

Assignment Two: Analysis of a conflict over space

Due December 1st (at the beginning of class)

Length: 6-8 pages

Worth 30%

 

The goal of this assignment is to analyze a situation in which there are at least two differing perspectives on the appropriate use or meaning of a particular space in or around the GTA.

 

In this course we have developed tools for looking at the social, economic and political meaning of different spaces. We have explored who is affected by these meanings and the corresponding distribution of resources. We have also developed skills to examine how these spatial segregations and values are created and reproduced. This paper is an opportunity to apply your new skills at social/spatial analyses to a contemporary local issue that interests you.

 

Identify a recent (2014 or 2015) conflict over space in the Greater Toronto Area. Please find a newspaper article, on line discussion, radio report or other public media source as a starting point for identifying an appropriate conflict. Attach a copy of this article or clearly reference the source in your paper. Examples of an appropriate conflict might include the debate about bike lanes in Toronto, or a conflict surrounding the building of new homeless shelters in a particular neighbourhood. Think about a space you care about in the city and conflicts that have arisen over its use.

 

Explore two to three conflicting views about the meaning of a particular urban space. (there may be more positions on the conflict but for the sake of clarity in this assignment please stick to 2 or 3 main viewpoints.) You should identify what these positions are, think about who might be holding them and why, and analyze who is affected by the different possible outcomes of this conflict.

 

Finally take a well reasoned position on this conflict. After discussing the different positions explain why you have chosen a certain approach to the conflict.

 

This paper is based both on academic and scholarly material and on your own analysis. You will need to draw on at least three scholarly sources outside the classroom material. I recommend looking for articles that are directly about this or a similar conflict, and/or articles that are about the same kind of space (whether or not they discuss a conflict), and/or articles that may discuss conflict of this kind even though they may be in a different location or context.

 

 

 

Breakdown:

 

The first half of your assignment (3-4 pages) should include

  • A brief discussion of the significance of the space and the overall conflict (approx 0.5-1 page),
  • A discussion of the 2-3 different positions including who is holding each position, why they might have this position, and who is affected by the different positions (approximately 1 page each).

 

The second half of your assignment (3-4 pages) should include a more detailed scholarly analysis of these positions drawing on literature and class material that sheds light on these viewpoints, and a reasoned discussion and conclusion of your own analysis of the situation.

 

Many of the same writing skills apply to this paper as they did to the first assignment. Please use the following checklist to ensure you write a clear and effective paper.

 

Keys to success in writing your conflict analysis

 

  1. TRUST YOUR JUDGEMENT: Be critical of the readings, and the various viewpoints on the situation. Use them as an avenue for exploring the situation in a new and interesting way.

 

  1. PRESENT YOUR OWN HONEST AND WELL REASONED POSITION ON THE SITUATION: Explore the various positions on this conflict, use them to help inform your own position

 

  1. MAKE SURE IS IT CLEARLY WRITTEN

It is very important to me that you write a clearly articulated analysis. WE WILL DEDUCT MARKS FOR GRAMMAR AND PUNCTUATION if they are incorrect. There is nothing more frustrating for us as markers than to read an assignment with a seemingly interesting argument that we can’t seem to pinpoint, primarily because it is poorly written. PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO PROOFREAD YOUR CRITICAL ANALYSIS. Hand it over to your best friend, your partner, your grandmother – and perhaps the people who can be most helpful are the individuals at the writing centre (see http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/~tlsweb/TWC/index.html). You can book an appointment there and they will help you strengthen your writing. Finish your paper a week before it is due and make an appointment to see the very helpful staff at the writing centre and they will be happy to proofread it with you. You will not regret it – even if you think you are a fantastic writer! Everyone can use help in improving their writing.

 

  1. HAVE YOU INCLUDED CITATIONS FROM OTHER ARTICLES

In order to complete this assignment you need to draw on at least three scholarly sources from outside the class. As much as possible these should be geography journals, but other peer reviewed social science journals can also be good sources. These sources can help you understand the social, economic and political impact of the different positions you are exploring, and help you situate them in social geography scholarship.

 

  1. HAS IT GONE THROUGH SEVERAL DRAFTS?

You can bring your paper to the writing centre, to my office hours, or tutorial to get feedback and commentary before it is graded. Peers and/or family members may also be able to help you determine if your paper is clear enough.

 

  1. IS IT TRULY YOUR OWN WORK?

This is not an assignment that can be plagiarized. You need to identify a current situation (ideally one you are personally interested in) using a newspaper article or other media source, and you need to present your own position on this situation. You can describe and properly reference other peoples arguments about similar conflicts, but this is just to be used as a starting point around which you build your own analysis.

 

  1. DO YOU GO OFF ON TANGENTS?

While you should be presenting your own perspective, we do not want to read long-winded stories that ramble on for pages and pages. Always make sure when you are presenting a story that it relates back to the situation in some way. Relevant stories are good. Rambling stories are not.

 

  1. DID YOU KEEP IN MIND THE THEMES OF THE COURSE?

It is helpful if you can relate your commentary back to the significant themes of the class (social hierarchies and its accompanying spatial complement; social exclusion and geographic scales; etc).

 

  1. IS IT THE RIGHT LENGTH?

While there is no exact page length dictated for this assignment, we expect approximately 6-8 pages. Over 9 pages WILL NOT be read. 6 pages is the minimum!

 

  1. DID YOU REFERENCE OTHER TEXTS APPROPRIATELY?

Please use the MLA (Modern Language Association) style of referencing in your bibliography. If you don’t know what this means, please look it up! Please refer to these sources if you are comparing and contrasting (ie: Stilgoe’s piece resonated with me because of its similarity to another article I read by Thoreau (Thoreau, 1893).

 

  1. ARE YOU PROUD OF WHAT YOU HAVE WRITTEN?

Above all, your piece should represent a part of you – meaning you should feel like it is demonstrative of your own opinions, beliefs and attitudes about the situation you are exploring. We should learn something more about you but more importantly, it should give you a chance to APPLY what you have learned IN THIS CLASS to your own life.

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