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Just what is Gatwick airport?

* 28 November 2002 *

Just what is Gatwick airport?

The possible future expansion of Gatwick airport is very much in the news at the moment, but do we really understand what Gatwick is? Sociologists will meet on Friday (29 November) at the University of Sussex to discuss the issues.

"We have this mini city halfway between Brighton and London that is Gatwick airport but we don't fully understand how we should relate to it," says Dr Jenny Shaw, Senior Lecturer in Sociology. "Should we see it as a shopping mall, a centre of immigration and drug trafficking, a public or a private space?"

Leading figure in sociology Professor John Urry from Lancaster University, who has worked extensively on tourist-related issues, is visiting Sussex to take part in the seminar. Dr Richard Black from the University of Sussex will also challenge some of the myths around detained immigrants at Gatwick.

"Gatwick is truly the gateway to the South," says Jenny. "Whether it expands in the future or not we need to understand it more fully."


* Notes for editors *

Dr Jenny Shaw can be contacted on 01273 606755 or

Dr Richard Black can be contacted on 01273 877090 or

Press Office contacts: Peter Simmons or Alison Field, University of Sussex, Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456, email or


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