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Spatial stigma and health in postindustrial Detroit
International Quarterly of Community Health Education (2016)
  • Louis F Graham, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Mark B Padilla, Florida International University
  • William D Lopez, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
  • Alexandra M Stern
  • Jerry Peterson
  • Danya E Keene
An emerging body of research suggests that those who reside in socially and economically
marginalized places may be marked by a stigma of place, referred to as
spatial stigma, which influences their sense of self, their daily experiences, and their
relations with outsiders. Researchers conducted 60 semistructured interviews at
partnering community-based organizations during summer 2011 with African
American and Latina/o, structurally disadvantaged youth of diverse gender and
sexual identities who were between 18 and 26 years of age residing in Detroit,
Michigan. The disadvantaged structural conditions and dilapidated built environment
were common themes in participants’ narratives. Beyond these descriptions, participants’
framings and expressions of their experiences in and perceptions of these
spaces alluded to reputational qualities of their city and particular areas of their city
that appear related to spatial stigma. Young Detroit residents articulated the ways
that they experience and navigate the symbolic degradation of their city.
  • spatial stigma,
  • structural inequaity,
  • minority health,
  • urban health,
  • young adults
Publication Date
Winter February, 2016
Citation Information
Louis F Graham, Mark B Padilla, William D Lopez, Alexandra M Stern, et al.. "Spatial stigma and health in postindustrial Detroit" International Quarterly of Community Health Education Vol. 36 Iss. 2 (2016)
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