Studies for ‘Conflicts in space’
This key concept relates to research about how public space can harbor, facilitate or mitigate conflict between dissimilar groups and individuals. Expressions of conflict can take on visible forms, e.g., physical or verbal altercations, or quiet forms of social friction such as general discontent towards an event, a certain behavior or changes in public space.
Little empirical research exists on major changes in the strategies and tactics of social movements, but some researchers argue that organizational readiness and political opportunities produce such changes. This article examines the circumstances that led some state woman suffrage movements to use a bold new tactic, the suffrage parade, beginning in the early twentieth century. An event-history analysis reveals that organizational readiness and political opportunities had little to do with change in the suffragists' strategic approach. Rather, the change occurred when movements consisted of a diverse assortment of organizations, when movement organizations were less centrally structured, when conflict existed among movement members, when movements engaged in fundraising, and when the suffragists had recently experienced significant political defeat. The model of tactical change presented here better explains the impetuses for such a shift than do earlier explanations.
International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (2013)
Chaskin, R. J., & Joseph, M. L.
Public policies supporting market-oriented strategies to develop mixed-income communities have become ascendant in the United States and a number of other countries around the world. Although framed as addressing both market goals of revitalization and social goals of poverty deconcentration and inclusion, these efforts at 'positive gentrification' also generate a set of fundamental tensions - between integration and exclusion, use value and exchange value, appropriation and control, poverty and development - that play out in particular concrete ways on the ground. Drawing on social control theory and the 'right to the city' framework of Henri Lefebvre, this article interrogates these tensions as they become manifest in three mixed-income communities being developed to replace public housing complexes in Chicago, focusing particularly on responses to competing expectations regarding the use of space and appropriate normative behavior, and to the negotiation of these expectations in the context of arguments about safety, order, what constitutes 'public' space, and the nature and extent of rights to use that space in daily life.
Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability (2016)
The popularity and impact of the High Line in New York mirrors the complex reality of contemporary provision of public space. The development of the project, its relation- ship to its surroundings and the evolving trend of elevated parks are analyzed in relation to the role of urban green space and impacts of Landscape Urbanism. The High Line shows the way to a new role for urban green space by utilizing abandoned infrastructure. In analysing the narrative of the High Line, this article stresses the importance of understanding localities and connectivity. Based on observations as well as a review of the literature and media, the article concludes that great landscaping does not create great places without careful consideration of the surrounding community and residents.
Previous gang research has focused primarily on the attributes of individuals who join gangs. This ecological study of violent urban youth gangs examines the social, economic, and physical organization of places where gangs locate. Our goal is to understand those features of communities that either facilitate the formation of gangs or insulate an area from gang formation. By interviewing gang members and having them map places where they came together as a sociological group to “hang out,” we study what we label as the “set space” of gangs. Our study is analogous to criminological studies of where criminal acts occur rather than of the factors that lead an individual to commit criminal acts. This study indicates that gang set space is usually a very small geographic area, much smaller than neighborhoods or even census tracts. A probability (logit) model estimates the influence of various local area attributes on the presence of violent youth gangs in census block groups. Diminished social control—in the absence of capable guardians and physical abandonment of place—and underclass features increase the likelihood of observing violent youth gangs hanging out in a particular area.
Public monuments traditionally appear in high contrast to their landscapes, an effect that sets aesthetic, ideological and social distances. However, Manmale, counter-monuments, and counter-hegemonic monuments (eg the AIDS quilt, Rachael Whiteread’s House, Melbourne’s Another ViewWalking Trail, Tiananmen’s Goddess of Democracy, or Maya Lin’s Vietnam Memorial), challenge the norms of monuments in visuality, fixedness, and permanence, and suggest intricacies which mediate the interactivity of art, site and passers-by. In this paper, I consider three counter-hegemonic monuments in Vancouver, British Columbia – all installed in 1997/98 and all dealing with the issue of violence – sited within one neighbourhood. Via archival research, interviews, and extensive participant observations investigating how the monuments actually function in social memory rituals, I discovered that the characteristics of publicness in the landscapes that lay ‘beneath and before’ the monuments deeply affected their origins, designs, and current uses.
The policing of the anti-poll tax campaign allows an insight into how protest is incorporated. Protestors were both accommodated and coerced as police sought to balance various threats of 'trouble.' Concessions and overt assistance were offered as a means of 'winning over' the protest organizers, whilst legal conditions were imposed to ensure that any threat of disorder was contained. This analysis suggests that notions of an ubridled shift towards a more confrontational style of policing in the wake of the Public Order Act are unfounded. It illustrates the relationship between institutional and interactional social processes, for institutional considerations limit the police's room for manoeuvre, whilst low-level decisions by police officers themselves have implications for those institutions.
Existing research typically examines fear in public space from women’s perspectives. To date, environment–behavior researchers have largely overlooked men’s fear in public space, and the role of masculinity in shaping men’s perceptions of fear and safety. This paper investigates the intersections of traditional, dominant masculinity—or masculinism—and men’s fear in public space, based on interviews with 82 undergraduate men students. Masculinism features qualities such as control, competition, aggression, and physical strength. We argue that, for many men, public spaces and situations that challenge this masculinist identity may generate fear. Similarly, spaces and situations that promote feelings of safety do so, in part, by bolstering this identity. We employ the lens of masculinity to explore men’s feelings of fear of the unknown, heightened awareness and safety, fear of confrontation, and safety in numbers. Conclusions examine implications for the development of masculinity and recommendations for future research.
There is growing evidence that residents are more likely to walk in attractive neighbourhoods, and that negative visual cues can deter residents from engaging in physical activity. This study explored the premise that house design and upkeep could inhibit the incidence of physical disorder in suburban streets, thus contributing to a more pleasant walking environment for pedestrians. Street segments (n 1⁄4 443) in new residential developments (n 1⁄4 61) in Perth, Western Australia, were audited for house attributes that facilitate natural surveillance (e.g., porch/verandah) or indicate territoriality (e.g., garden/ lawn upkeep), and physical incivilities. A composite index of street-level house attributes yielded highly significant associations with disorder (trend test p 1⁄4 0.001) and graffiti (trend test p 1⁄4 0.005), signifying that the cumulative effect of several key attributes had greater potential to discourage incivilities in the street than any single characteristic. The findings suggest house design and upkeep may contribute to the creation of safe, inviting streets for pedestrians.
The 'fear of crime' has been at the centre of political and policy debate for some time. The purpose of this paper is to examine critically the continued relevance of that debate in the light of findings from an in-depth two and a half year research project. The findings from that project suggest that the relation people have with crime, criminal victimization, and the fear of crime is mediated by the relevance of their relationship with their local community and their structural position within that community. Understanding the nature of these relationships suggests the question of trust is of greater value in highlighting who is and who is not afraid of crime.
Through an ethnographic study of a stretch of beach in Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana and Ipanema neighborhoods, the author argues that the public space of the city can act as a sort of public sphere where the politics of everyday class and race interaction can be part of larger scale politics, even in a very divided city like Rio de Janeiro. But Rio's beaches only confer a sort of marginal citizenship on their users. They are not the location of discursive democracy idealized by some social theorists, nor are they the egalitarian classless and color-blind spaces mythologized by the Brazilian elite. Rather, they are the site of an unequal, often confrontational politics of class whereby the legitimacy of the social order is challenged, renegotiated, and ultimately reproduced.
This article offers a detailed analysis of a neighborhood dispute over fencing a public park. Unlike the archetypal turf battles between longstanding and new neighborhood residents described in previous research, here the daily visits of Latino “outsiders” coming into a local public space produce conflict over park usage and control. The usually cited conditions for conflict, such as reactionary residents resisting ethnic transition and protecting their backyards, do not apply in this case, as the park sits amidst a relatively stable, affluent, white “liberal” neighborhood. This case study shows how sources of tension and trouble extend beyond the property interests and actions of the park users to include the more symbolic and indirect concerns about identity as reflected in park use. Together with longstanding concerns over neighborhood reputation and property values, changing demographics and greater sensitivity to the perception of racism distinctively shaped the unfolding of conflict in this case. The bumpy course of conflict and shifting opinions about the fence shed light on the new complexities and contradictions of contemporary social diversity and exclusion in city parks and other public spaces.
An actor-centered approach to the gendering of urban spaces demonstrates how individuals respond to competing ideologies in determining the rules that surround women’s presence in urban, Muslim spaces. This article examines how women in the Ville Nouvelle of Fes, Morocco draw on local conceptualizations of hospitality, kinship, and shame as they debate the gendering of four urban areas: the street, the café, a cosmopolitan exercise club, and cyber space.
Women’s tactics for occupying social space indicate the resilience of local culture in the face of ideologies that attempt to posit a specific vision of women in the Moroccan nation state.
Homelessness has been a perennial concern for sociologists. It is a confronting phenomenon that can challenge western notions of home, a discrete family unit and the ascetics and order of public space. To be without a home and to reside in public places illustrates both an intriguing way of living and some fundamental inadequacies in the functioning of society. Much homelessness research has had the consequence of isolating the ‘homeless person’ as distinct category or indeed type of individual.They are ascribed with homeless identities.The homeless identity is not simply presented as one dimensional and defining, but this imposed and ill-fitting identity is rarely informed by a close and long-term engagement with the individuals it is supposed to say something about. Drawing on a recent Australian ethnographic study with people literally without shelter, this article aims to contribute to understandings of people who are homeless by outlining some nuanced and diverse aspects of their identities. It argues that people can and do express agency in the way they enact elements of the self, and the experience of homelessness is simultaneously important and unimportant to understand this. Further, the article suggests that what is presumably known about the homeless identity is influenced by day-to-day lives that are on public display.
This paper examines the interplay between informal social control, civil unrest and local crime management in Belfast. Official crime management is the responsibility of the police, but where this role is contested, 'popular' or local forms of crime management occur. The local management of crime is accomplished in certain localities in Belfast by several mechanisms that extend beyond the policing role of the paramilitaries, and popular crime management is rooted in social processes, such as the survival of community structures, extended family kinship patterns, neighbourliness and legitimate authority accorded to community representatives, which constitute important informal social controls. Informal social control is recognized as important in inhibiting crime, but this paper reports on its role in the management of crime in the absence of reporting it to the police. These informal social controls are localized, being mediated by class, communal redevelopment, civil unrest and other social transformations affecting the locality. In this respect, political violence has helped, locally, to protect some areas from the worst vagaries of community breakdown and dislocation, with a positive effect on crime management. These issues are explored ethnographically by means of in-depth qualitative research.
A number of recent studies have examined the sources of conflict surrounding the presence of Muslim minorities in Western contexts. This article builds upon, and challenges, some of the principal findings of this literature through analyzing popular opposition to mosques in Badalona, a historically industrial city in Catalonia where several of the most vigorous anti-mosque campaigns in Spain have occurred. Drawing upon 46 semi-structured interviews and ethnographic observation conducted over a two-year period, I argue that opposition to mosques in Badalona is not reducible to anti-Muslim prejudice or fears of Islamic extremism. Rather, it is rooted in powerful associations drawn between Islam, immigration, and a series of social problems affecting the character of communal life and the quality of cherished public spaces in the city. These associations are expressed through local narratives that emphasize a sharp rupture between a glorified ethnically homogeneous past of community and solidarity, and a troublesome multicultural present fraught with social insecurity and disintegration. I show how the construction of these "rupture narratives" has entailed active memory work that minimizes the significance of prior social cleavages and conflicts, and selectively focuses on disjuncture over continuity with the past. I also highlight how these narratives have been reinforced by strong socio-spatial divisions, which have intensified contestations over public space and led to the integration of mosque disputes into broader struggles over social justice and public recognition.
The concept of street efficacy, defined as the perceived ability to avoid violent confrontations and to be safe in one's neighborhood, is proposed as a mechanism connecting aspects of adolescents'“imposed” environments to the choices they make in creating their own “selected” environments that minimize the potential for violent confrontations. Empirical models using data from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods suggest that street efficacy is substantially influenced by various aspects of the social context surrounding adolescents. Adolescents who live in neighborhoods with concentrated disadvantage and low collective efficacy, respectively, are found to have less confidence in their ability to avoid violence after controlling for an extensive set of individual- and family-level factors. Exposure to violence also reduces street efficacy, although it does not explain the association between collective efficacy and individual street efficacy. Adolescents' confidence in their ability to avoid violence is shown to be an important predictor of the types of environments they select for themselves. In particular, adolescents with high levels of street efficacy are less likely to resort to violence themselves or to associate with delinquent peers.
This paper explores some of the discursive practices through which the place meanings are formulated, warranted and, above all, contested. Drawing particularly on the work of the social psychologist Michael Billig, we present a rhetorical analysis of newspaper reports and interview accounts about the ‘development’ of a contested public space in Barcelona, known locally both as Figuera’s Well and the Hole of Shame. This analysis explores a number of rhetorically opposed constructions of the nature, purpose and appropriate beneficiaries of this place, whose implications are discussed both within the context of local power struggles and within the context of wider ideological struggles over the nature of public spaces in Barcelona. We argue that a rhetorical perspective reveals how practices of attributing meaning and value to places are often more conflict-ridden, action-oriented, and politically-charged than is implied by much research in environmental psychology. Relatedly, we argue that environmental psychologists need to complement a ‘weak’ conception of the role of conflict in the formation of public space (focused on subjective differences in environmental tastes, preferences and values) with a ‘strong’ conception of the role of conflict (focused on ideological struggles over access, equality and inclusion).
This study examines the first two years of a tactical innovation that emerged in 2012 in Egypt, which involved activist groups organizing patrol-type "intervention teams" to combat sexual violence against women in public spaces. Findings reveal that the new tactic took different forms in the two places in which it was deployed, even though the same actors employed it. I argue that the place in which a new tactic emerges shapes the form it takes. When coming up with a new collective action tactic, activists elaborate visions about how to carry out their actions based on their collective identities and taste in tactics. But as they start experimenting with the new tactic on the ground, they learn about the places' material affordances, symbolic valence, and power relations, as well as the constraints and opportunities that they represent. The material properties of places shape activists' possibilities of movement, patterns of communication, field of vision, and capacity to escape repression or reach safe spaces. The configuration of actors in a place shapes the nature of their interactions with others on the ground, possible alliances, and sources of conflict. The symbolic meanings of places shape the resonance of a group’s actions and the degree of resistance that actors face. Place in part determines the ability of activists to develop a tactic in the form that best fits their preferences.
The World Gay Pride week convened in Rome in July 2000 at the same time the Catholic Church planned on celebrating its Holy Year Jubilee. Thousands of gays came together, and by the end of the week more than 200,000 marched through the streets of Rome's historical centre. This unique event provides an opportunity to examine the causal relationship of the gay movement acquiring a political identity of its own while the city of Rome was trying to assert a `proper' identity for its public spaces. Acting in solidarity for the first time since its formation, the gay movement drew attention to the difficulties in securing unrestricted access to Rome's public spaces. Conservative sectors of society challenged the right to demonstrate, as guaranteed in Italy's Constitution, which resulted in the delay of obtaining the necessary permit. On the one hand, this revealed the existence of sectors of society not yet willing to acknowledge gay rights or even discuss gay issues in public; on the other, it helped make clear that the process for building Rome's identity is governed by a specific political design. In particular, policies for the privatisation of urban space in conjunction with discriminatory planning processes in the city's historical centre, point to tourism as a powerful tool to control urban space. Resisting this spatial marginalization the gay movement has significantly widened the scope of its social and political action in order to contest prevailing practices and trends which are shaping the city.
This article makes the case for shadowing as ethnographic methodology: focusing attention on what occurs as interlocutors move among settings and situations. Whereas ethnographers often zoom in on one principal set of situations or site, we argue that intersituational variation broadens and deepens the researcher’s ethnographic account as well as affording important correctives to some common inferential pitfalls. We provide four warrants for shadowing: (a) buttressing intersituational claims, (b) deepening ethnographers’ ability to trace meaning making by showing how meanings shift as they travel and how such shifts may affect interlocutors’ understandings, (c) gaining leverage on the structure of subjects’ social worlds, and (d) helping the ethnographer make larger causal arguments. We show the use value of these considerations through an analysis of violence and informal networks in an ethnography of immigrant Latinos who met to socialize and play soccer in a Los Angeles park.
This paper focuses on the development and meaning of informal social control experiences when strangers intervene face-to-face in instances of child punishment in public. The central question is, in the absence of formal authority and institutional resources, how do strangers construe wrongful punishment, negotiate deviant import, and manage control outcomes? Thirty-seven interviews were conducted with people who intervened on at least one occasion, and seven more with witness-participants. Interviewees described the meanings, events, and circumstances surrounding 50 acts of face-to-face intervention. The analysis focuses on some of the micro-political forces, such as claim themes and audience norms, that shape control outcomes. The interpersonal predicament for interveners reflects the cultural tension created when approval of physical punishment is widespread, when distinctions between normal and deviant punishment are ambiguous, and when interaction rules for informal intervention are not institutionalized.
The correlation between class and delinquency often observed in areal studies and assumed in prominent sociological theories is elusive in studies of individuals commonly used to test these theories. A restricted conceptualization of class in terms of parental origins and the concentration of self-report survey designs on adolescents in school have removed from this area of research street youth who were once central to classic studies of delinquency. We argue that street youth experience current class conditions that cause serious delinquency, and that life on the street is an important intervening variable that transmits indirect effects of control and strain theory variables, including parental class origins. Data gathered from nearly 1000 Toronto school and street youth are analyzed with important implications for the conceptualization of class and delinquency, testing and integrating sociological theories of delinquency, the measurement of delinquency, and the use of cross-sectional and longitudinal research designs. Our findings especially encourage incorporation of street-based samples into research on class-based aspects of theories of delinquency.
This article uses ethnography and conversation analysis to pinpoint what “goes wrong” when certain so-called street people “harass” passersby. The technical properties of sidewalk encounters between particular black street men and middle-class white female residents of Greenwich Village are compared with interactions expected from studies of other conversation situations. The men attempt to initiate conversations and to deal with efforts to close them in ways that betray the practical ethics fundamental to all social interaction. In this way they undermine the requisites not just for “urbanism as a way of life,” but the bases for how sociability generally proceeds. These acts of “interactional vandalism” both reflect and contribute to the larger structural conditions shaping the local scene.
Much literature on contemporary U.S. racial relations tends to view black middle-class life as substantially free of traditional discrimination. Drawing primarily on 37 in-depth interviews with black middle-class respondents in several cities, I analyze public accommodations and other public-place discrimination. I focus on three aspects: (1) the sites of discrimination, (2) the character of discriminatory actions; and (3) the range of coping responses by blacks to discrimination. Documenting substantial barriers facing middle-class black Americans today, I suggest the importance of the individual's and the group's accumulated discriminatory experiences for understanding the character and impact of modern racial discrimination.
International journal of urban and regional research (2013)
Discussions on social movements in Asian cities are inseparable from the abundance of public rallies in the region. In this article, I look at the case of Thamrin-Sudirman, the main thoroughfare in Jakarta, Indonesia, to uncover how physical urban spaces constituting part of the city as living systems broaden the reach of social movements’ agendas. The study involved continuous observation at rallies, interviews with social movement leaders and participants, and a look at simultaneous public rallies in various cities. This article analyzes the sites of public rallies as ‘megaphones’, based on the patterns of issues featured in the rallies, the groups participating, and the nodes and paths that they constructed. Two key dimensions of the megaphone are: (1) the symbolic and historical significance of the sites of rallies; (2) the relationship between the space and the media. Particular sites in cities become places where information is gathered,
distributed and transferred through the media, facilitating a network among cities. This article concludes that cities are agents of political actions that amplify ideas and spread them across the globe. The urban centers’ megaphonic function results from the synergy between the public space in the built environment and the public sphere, and is reflective of the recentering of the city.
Around the world, there is increasing concern with the ways in which different populations use public spaces and places. Focusing on the French context, this paper investigates conceptual difficulties inherent in the co‐occupation of space by different population groups. The focus is to shed light on the ordinary engagement of teenagers in a working‐class neighbourhood in terms of differentiated social practices according to gender, age, social network, the physical and social morphology of the neighbourhood, and relational and situational criteria. Their occupation of space is channelled by public policies as well as educational, family, and socio‐educational care that structure their time and space. However, this paper highlights also the subjective dimension. Manipulating the ‘regime of familiarity’ and the ‘regime of regular planning’, teenagers learn through experimentation to use the ‘regime of justification’, thus challenging adult spatiality in terms of their moral and political involvement. The deliberate and involuntary characteristics of their occupation of space transgresses the accepted uses of public space and disturbs adults. Their actions produce discomfort, which adult residents express through distancing practices. Teenagers recall various situations of general dissatisfaction that they are unable to synthesise in a complaint with reference to a general problem, and they express this feeling through stronger transgressions. Low‐level conflict between adults and teenagers is thus self‐perpetuated. Furthermore, teenagers' occupation of space is differentiated between girls and boys, between the ‘cool’ teenagers and the ‘geeks’, the teenagers from the neighbourhood and those from the outside, those who ‘have origins’ and those who do not. This generates unpleasant reciprocal disturbance and an everyday conflict that is further perpetuated by the failure to frame this disturbance as a public problem.
The literature on cities in the developing world equates segregation with the proliferations of enclaves and slums and tends to overlook how the people associated with those places are further segregated in public spaces and enclaves. To account for the symbolic partitioning of Metro Manila, I document the segregating practices of the residents of enclaves (villagers) and slums (squatters). These practices reveal a well-developed sense of place on both sides, a commitment to the relative status positioning of the two groups as expressed through their separation in space. A sense of place explains why squatters and villagers engage in segregating practices. It also enables us to identify other spatial practices that conform to or challenge its logic. Integrating practices are largely consistent with a sense of place, while desegregating practices challenge it and may set up or advance contentious situations. By using this approach we are better able to understand how class patterns of residential segregation are extended to encompass virtually all urban spaces where class interaction occurs.
This article argues critically that the consequences of a binary system of gender norms is experienced as a kind of gender tyranny both for those who transgress gender in their daily lives, but also for those whose lives are lived within such constraints. Feminist geographers and urban theorists have argued that space is gendered and that gendering has profound consequences for women. This article extends this analysis and shows how rigid categorizations of gender fail to include the intersexed and transgendered populations, a small and highly marginalized segment of the wider population. This article uses autoethnographic methods to illustrate the ways that those who transgress gender norms experience a tyranny of gender that shapes nearly every aspect of their public and private lives. The nature of these consequences is explored using citations from the transgender and queer literature as well as the lived experience of this tyranny by the author in a continuum of public to private spaces, including: parking lots, public restrooms, shopping malls, the workplace and the home.
The British premarital stag tour to Central and Eastern European destinations is commonly associated with drunk and unruly behaviour. This link frequently focuses on the inappropriate use of public spaces by stag tour groups. Drawing on participant observation with British stag tourists Krakow, Poland, it is suggested that the meanings attributed to stag tour destinations are collectively defined within the group. A distinction is made between place, which is how the destination is anticipated and imagined, and space, which is how the city is engaged with physically and socially on the ground. Within this the definition of place and space created by stag tour participants is antagonistic and both directly and indirectly contested by other actors within the spatial setting.
Amy Lubitow, Miriam Abelson, JaDee Carathers & Maura Kelly
This research endeavors to fill a conceptual gap in the social science literature on gender, public space, and urban mobilities by exploring how transgender and gender nonconforming individuals experience public transit. Although previous research has surveyed gender minorities about harassment and discrimination in a range of environments, little is known about the quality or content of these experiences. Drawing from 25 interviews with transgender and gender nonconforming individuals in Portland, Oregon, this article finds that gender minorities experience frequent harassment while engaging with the public transit system. We articulate the concept of transmobilites to describe the ways that transgender and gender nonconforming individuals experience a form of mobility that is altered, shaped, and informed by a broader cultural system that normalizes violence and harassment towards gender minorities. We conclude that gender minorities have unequal access to safe and accessible public transportation when harassment is widespread, normalized, and when policies prohibiting discrimination remain unenforced on urban public transit.
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF URBAN AND REGIONAL RESEARCH (2015)
Blokland, T., Hentschel, C., Holm, A., Lebuhn, H., & Margalit, T.
In this symposium, we explore how urban citizenship is about expressing, if not producing, difference, and how fragmentation of claims affects urban citizenship and right to the city movements with their universal, all-inclusive ideals. Investigating social movements, political participation and conflicting diversities in public space in Tel Aviv and Berlin, we see a trend towards a diversification of interests, a weakening of movements, and even a competition over rights and resources rather than a development of mutual support and solidarities among various groups on the pathway to a livable city. This tension, we
argue, deserves attention. Radical urban scholarship and politics need to better understand the historical and place-specific contexts that structure the formation of citizenship claims and the courses that citizenship struggles take. Celebrations of urban citizenship as a more contextualized, community oriented, and bottom-up framework (in comparison to national citizenship) should therefore be complemented by a careful investigation of their fragmented and fragmenting practices.
This article examines the relationship between immigration and urban renewal in Naples during the 1990s through the conflicting representations and uses of Piazza Garibaldi, a large piazza located in front of the city’s central railway station. As well as the hub of the city’s public transport network, since the mid-1980s this piazza has been the multifunctional space for a number of immigrant groups. Re-envisioned as the ‘gateway’ to the city’s regenerated centro storico (historic centre) during the 1990s, the piazza became a focus of public debates on security, tourism and, in particular, immigration. I examine how these issues intersected with political discourses about a renewed sense of citizenship in redefining the piazza as a strategic but problematic public space. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and analysis of local newspaper reports, the article looks at the ways in which the piazza has been appropriated by different immigrant groups for social and economic purposes, and how, at the same time, they have been excluded from discourses about a ‘new’ Naples.
The Israeli protest movement 'Women in Black' is studied by focusing on the movement's mode of protest, which is used as a prism through which to analyse the manner in which the structure, contents and goals of protest challenge the socio-political and gender orders. The article analyses the protest vigil of 'Women in Black' in Jerusalem, and characterizes it, following Handelman (1990), as a minimalist public event. After examining and analysing the sources of minimalism it was concluded that minimalism was the result of two social processes attendant at the formation of 'Women in Black' as a social movement: personal interpretation of the political field, and avoidance of ideological deliberation amongst the participants. The minimalism of the public event preserved the movement for six years and created a collective identity that emphasized the symbolic difference between those within the demonstration and those outside it. This difference was symbolized by a juxtaposition of opposites. The essence of opposites is analysed by means of 'thick description', i.e., by deciphering them in the context of Israeli society. The study concluded that the mode of protest of 'Women in Black' has created a symbolic space in which a new type of political woman is enacted. This identity challenges established socio-cultural categories Israel.
International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (2012)
This article focuses on how working-class women encounter and negotiate economic uncertainty, social vulnerability and sexually threatening public spaces in contemporary Karachi, showcasing women's everyday experiences of social and physical violence as a microcosm of the city's life in order to explore the possibilities of a future politics for cities like Karachi that are haunted by the possibility of violent eruptions. By concentrating on people's everyday practices, it proposes a different register by which to understand cities and their politics, a register constituted by an emergent politics that is not always dependent on an analysis of conflict and friction, but which instead focuses on living with disagreements. Hence the article uses the ethnographic depiction of women's lives to understand the mechanisms through which people continue to coexist, share resources and work together, despite the endemic personal, social and political violence in Karachi's working-class neighborhoods.