Assembling singularities in a Trans-scaler world: St-Andrews as a global-town

Paula Margaret Duffy

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Understanding places is a complex process and this widely acknowledged in geography. Indeed new ideas such as assemblage thinking are challenging other theoretical positions such as structuralism. Structuralism focuses on the overarching system and the big influential processes. It propagates dichotomous thinking such as urban/rural and global/local. These dualisms notably leave no place for towns, for in between spaces and places and do not foster a multi-scalar approach.
In both Understanding Scottish Places (2015) typology of Scottish towns and my own typological study of Scottish coastal demographies, St. Andrews was an outlier: a category all on its own. We therefore use St. Andrews as an empirical case study of a singularity from these technical knowledges, and question if scale has skewed the understanding of this town space/place.
This project brings together qualitative and quantitative data from the aforementioned demographic studies, student migration, retail and commercial activity as well as an analysis of the planning and policy practices which impact St. Andrews. Using assemblage thinking we examine how a trans-scaler approach can better account for St Andrews outlier position and the role it plays within global networks. We reflect on what this means for trans-scaler places, the in-between spaces such as towns. Considering the possibility of global-towns as new geography; One of mismatched power, agency and planning.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2016
EventRGS-IBG Postgraduate Mid-term Conference 2016 - Newcastle University, Newcastle, United Kingdom
Duration: 17 Mar 201618 Mar 2016


ConferenceRGS-IBG Postgraduate Mid-term Conference 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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