ISSN: 20509790
First published in 2014
3 issues per volume
Volume 2 Issue 3
Cover Date: September 2015
Polyrhythmia, heterogeneity and urban identity: Intersections between ‘official’ and ‘unofficial’ narratives in the socio-spatial practices of Australia’s Gold Coast
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Authors:  Zelmarie Cantillon 
DOI: 10.1386/jucs.2.3.253_1

Keywords
Gold Coast,urban identity,rhythmanalysis,social space,imaginaries,tourism

Abstract
Australia’s Gold Coast typically positions itself as a luxurious, upmarket resort city or a family-friendly, ‘fun in the sun’ holiday destination. At the same time, the Gold Coast lifestyle is often associated with hedonism, sexuality and excess. Yet the city is also home to over half a million residents whose daily lives – work, education and leisure – routinely take place within and against these powerful and familiar representations. Thus, the city’s identity can be seen as constituted by a series of conflicting ‘official’ and ‘unofficial’ narratives. The ‘official’ narrative is produced by how the city markets itself to tourists, and comes to include popular imaginaries of place that these representations construct and perpetuate. Beyond this, however, residents produce varied and multiple ‘unofficial’ narratives through their engagements with the actualities of their locality as well as with its metanarratives. Surfers Paradise, as the main tourist hub and entertainment precinct of the Gold Coast, is a site of convergence for these competing narratives. Drawing on Lefebvre’s rhythmanalysis, this article explores how conflicting narratives and disjunctions in identities of place manifest themselves in spatial practice in Surfers Paradise.
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