In contrast to Olympic organizers' claims about the London 2012 Games as a celebration for all, we recount the experiences of low-income and marginally housed young people as experiencing exclusion from the benefits of the Games being held in their neighbourhood. Drawing on qualitative methods with young people living in the ethnically diverse and economically deprived Olympic host borough of Newham, we focus on public space and its limitations in the context of the 2012 Games. The article discusses the sense conveyed by young people of their neighbourhood being made beautiful for visitors, but of themselves being overly policed and subject to Olympic-related dispersal orders. We conclude by querying for whom is public space made available during the Olympic Games, suggesting that the benefactors are not economically marginalized young people living in the shadow of the Games.

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Keywords London Olympics, Marginalization, Policing, Public space, Security, Youth
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Journal Sociological Research Online
Kennelly, J.J, & Watt, P. (Paul). (2013). Restricting the public in public space: The London 2012 Olympic games, hyper-securitization and marginalized youth. Sociological Research Online, 18(2). doi:10.5153/sro.3038