Studies for ‘Place and identity’
This key concept refers to the generation, perpetuation, and expression of individual or cultural identities within public space. This might include the experience, use, and understanding of public space mediated by socially constructed ideas of race and gender.
This research, which uses an intersectional feminist methodological approach, explores the relationships and intersections among women, public urban space, and bicycling, and the gendered processes through which the use of space is claimed, negotiated, and constrained. It builds on the existing scholarship on the gendered nature of public space, and uniquely uses bicycling as the site of inquiry. Drawing primarily from interviews with women cyclists in Chicago, this article explores how gender and other social identities are constructed, challenged, and constituted through an interaction with public space, urban processes and structures, and societal expectations and attitudes. It brings to the forefront and centers these narratives and empirically contextualizes them by linking the scholarship on the gendered (and raced, classed, and sexualized) nature of public space with the scholarship on women’s participation rates and barriers to bicycling. This research examines, through the everyday lived experiences of bicyclists and their multiple subject positions and privileges, how the gendered nature of public space affects the participation and experiences of women cyclists; how public space is negotiated and constrained; and how gender can be both (re)produced and challenged in and through urban space via women bicyclists’ actions. In particular, the research findings explore how women bicyclists must demand and negotiate public space; how their movement and activities are constrained in public space; how gender roles and social reproduction issues intersect with bicycling; and how social, quasi-advocacy group bicycle rides are used as a strategy, with mixed results, to address barriers to women bicyclists’ mobility.
Geographers have made important contributions to scholarship on the lived experiences of masculinity, highlighting the ways in which identities emerge through embodied and emplaced performances that are shaped by intersecting dimensions of gender, sexuality, race, class and religion. While a small number of studies have considered masculinity in relation to physical disability, more work is needed to examine other experiences of disability and the ways that they intersect with gender. In this article, we draw from feminist and queer disability theory to explore the social geographies of men with intellectual disability. We draw on in-depth, participatory research in Toronto to examine how men labeled/with intellectual disabilities imagine and enact masculinity in domestic settings and public places. Our analysis highlights that men confront multiple constraints and pervasive paternalism in public and domestic settings that frustrate their efforts to craft an adult identity. Partly in response, many men aspire to a normative heterosexual masculinity as a way to militate against the disabling conditions of everyday life. This reflects the tremendous pressure the men confront to ‘fit in’ but it also forecloses opportunities to imagine and enact other forms of disabled masculinity.
Through an exploratory study of romantic heterosexual couples in a public park situated in Hanoi’s outskirts, this article offers a conceptual rethinking of a western understanding of the park’s public/private dichotomy which can then be used to better appreciate how these categories are evolving in western urbanizing societies and their impacts on gender relations. By developing a relational, spatialized understanding of how young romantic couples justify their ‘transgressive’ displays of sexual intimacy in public spaces in contemporary urban Vietnam, this article focuses on how couples, especially women, manage their visibility. This analysis confronts the public civilizational discourse on Vietnamese sexual restraint by analyzing how young couples justify their romantic displays by creating an intimate space within a public environment. This space of visible intimacy is justified through their commitment to marriage. For the individuals involved in these romantic couples, visibility is justified, particularly for young women, through the enjoyment of a newly gained sexual autonomy as they migrate to the city.
Art festivals are a feature of many urban districts undergoing gentrification; they help to catalyze change by drawing a set of consumers with particular cultural interests. This article examines whether the arts produce racial exclusions by examining long-term Black and White residents’ participation in and perceptions of the monthly Last Thursday Art Walks in Portland’s gentrifying Alberta Arts District. We use surveys to measure arts participation and follow-up, in-depth interviews to understand whether long-time residents feel excluded by the arts, and if race is a factor. We find that Black residents participate less in Last Thursdays than White residents, and they often feel uncomfortable or unwelcome. We conclude that the arts-anchored symbolic economy results in racial exclusions that have little to do with differences in arts appreciation, but much to do with perceptions of people associated with the arts, and with residents’ abilities to use the arts to identify with neighborhood changes.
Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in post-unification Berlin, this article examines the re-articulation of the problematic of “the social” in city planning. It juxtaposes the contrasting visions of city planners and youth workers for Alexanderplatz, a controversial square in Berlin’s eastern centre. I argue that the notion of “robustness” is helpful in understanding an important contemporary shift in thinking about planning and the social. In a sense, both planners and youth workers accused each other of taking insufficient notice of “the social.” While planners spoke of robustness as a technical, economic and aesthetic quality to which public space needs to aspire, the youth workers’ vision for Alexanderplatz was a proposal for a kind of “social” robustness where the social is, quite literally, built into the urban design. These ethnographic observations need to be understood in a context where city planning has been one of the most critical domains in which the tensions provoked by German unification are played out. Taking such socio-cultural specificities into account will lead to a more nuanced understanding of forms of neoliberal city
The article explores relationships among urban form, human activities and socio-economic-cultural features in Danwei compound. With Jingmian compound, a typical Danwei compound in Beijing, as a case study, the researcher studies urban form in open spaces from a socio-economic-cultural perspective. In addition, residents' activities are discussed. The research shows that open space form reflects features and transitions of Chinese society from sociological and economic perspectives. This article also proves the validity of thorough micro space form investigation.
Research has identified several factors that affect fear of crime in public space. However, the extent to which gender moderates the effectiveness of fear-reducing measures has received little attention. Using data from the Chicago Transit Authority Customer Satisfaction Survey of 2003, this study aims to understand whether train transit security practices and service attributes affect men and women differently. Findings indicate that, while the presence of video cameras has a lower effect on women's feelings of safety compared with men, frequent and on-time service matters more to male passengers. Additionally, experience with safety-related problems affects women significantly more than men. Conclusions discuss the implications of the study for theory and gender-specific policies to improve perceptions of transit safety.
This paper is drawn from a larger research project exploring young people, leisure activities and alcohol consumption. The study draws on the concept of affordances from environmental psychology as a way of framing the debate of what young people need in neighbourhood parks. Parks are important to this age group since they provide a setting for physical activity, relaxation and social interaction. However, human development at this life stage also includes indulging in experimental and/or deviant behaviour. In the eyes of the young people involved, however, their behaviour is mostly benign, even if/when it causes conflict with other users. Furthermore, they often take particular measures to avoid other age groups (defined in environmental psychology as ‘retreat’) and while often voluntary, it may also be enforced. The research suggests that while the park is the most important place for this age group to socialise outside the home, young people themselves often feel poorly provided for and unwelcome. The fact that they adopt what they find in parks to suit their needs is motivated by interconnecting aspirations, perceptions and needs. Developing a more sophisticated understanding of these issues may lead to more appropriate and satisfactory design for all users.
In this paper I present childhood biographies of three people who grew up in or near a public housing development located on the border between the contrasting communities of Yorkville and East Harlem in New York City. Stories of their middle childhood (ages 11-13) poignantly capture the social and spatial evolution of play and recreation in New York City from the 1930s until present time. Based on in-depth childhood autobiographies and archival materials from the New York Times, I demonstrate changes in children’s access to play and recreation space, how children negotiate their lived experiences in these spaces, and how these spaces reflect differing representations of childhood over time. While play and recreation are, of course, a broad range of activities that occur in multiple settings and under various forms of supervision, the focus of this paper is upon the role of the streets, public parks and playgrounds in children’s everyday lives. Preliminary results suggest that children’s access to public play spaces in New York City has declined over time. This decline can be attributed to public disinvestment in neighborhood parks and playgrounds, perceived (and real) violence in these spaces, and more recently, to the commercialization and privatization of playtime activities.
This article explores women’s fear of urban violence from a spatial perspective. It is based on qualitative data collected in Finland. It shows first that women do not have to be fearful. Boldness is associated with freedom, equality, and a sense of control over, and possession of space. Secondly, the article considers how and why fear of violence undermines some women’s confidence, restricting their access to, and activity within, public space. Women’s fear is generally regarded as ‘normal’ and their boldness thought to be risky: the conceptualization of women as victims is unintentionally reproduced. However, a more critical view might regard fear as socially constructed and see how it is actually possible for women to be confident and take possession of space.
After three decades of urban renewal in China, public spaces used by average residents have not been improved proportionally and, in some cases, have even deteriorated. Three problems can be identified. ‘Window-dressing’ prevails in government- developed squares and parks. Their locations and monumentality have made residents less willing to use these spaces. ‘Privatization’ describes how private developers maximize profits at the cost of public life in the urban environment surrounding their projects. ‘Gentrification’, different from its meaning in the West, refers to the tendency to ignore the needs of mid- and low-income residents in public facilities. Not entirely a repetition of the 1950s Western urban renewal, the Chinese cases reflect a society changing from a socialist system to a capitalist one.
Journal of the American Planning Association (2003)
This article discusses successful common grounds for children public settings that enable the harmonious intermingling of children of different backgrounds, races, and ethnicities and that encourage their social interchange, play, educational development, and collaboration. Our study focused on three types of public space that tend to bring these children together: the public school, the park, and the neighborhood community center. The research employed a variety of methods to study the interaction of children 9 to 12 years of age. Field work took place at four sites in West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and the San Fernando Valley that enjoy a high level of intermixing and have a reputation for promoting diversity. Subjects in the research included children, teachers, and administrators. The article highlights the findings of the field work and concludes with a comparative analysis of the different settings and a discussion of the environmental and programmatic attributes that contribute to their success.
This paper works at the intersection of three bodies of writing: theories relating to fashion, identity and the city; debate relating to urban materialities, assemblages and context; and cultural interventions advancing the study of post-socialism. Drawing on empirical research undertaken in Bratislava, Slovakia, we unpack a blurring of public and private space expressed through clothing. In contrast to elsewhere in the city, in Petržalka, a high-rise housing estate from the socialist period, widely depicted as anonymous and hostile since 1989, residents are renowned for wearing ‘comfortable’ clothes in order to ‘feel at home’ in public space. We describe the relationship between fashion, identity and comfort as an everyday ‘political’ response to state socialism and later the emergence of consumer capitalism. We argue, however, that by considering materialities, assemblages and context that studies of fashion and consumer culture can offer more complex political, economic, social, cultural and spatial analysis. To that end, we show how personal and collective consumption bound up with comfort and city life can be understood with reference to changing temporal and spatial imaginaries and experiences of claiming a material ‘right to the city’.
Planners and urban designers place high value on public open spaces, because of the latter's contribution to the quality of life and social interaction of residents in an urban development. Many urban theorists consider open space as an important component of a healthy urban environment. It is well established in the literature that the utilisation of public space varies from context to context. This article investigates whether the utilisation of open space at the neighbourhood level is more associated with the physical and functional properties of open space or if it varies across different cultures and contexts of cities. This research adopts the method of comparative analysis, involving three case studies from different cultures, and climatic and geographical contexts. In each of these three cities, the opinions of residents and visitors about public open space were obtained and observation surveys were conducted to measure the utilisation of these spaces. The research found that the utilisation of public space at various levels of neighbourhood significantly differs between cities because of the local context, such as culture, social values and climate, instead of just being due to the physical and functional properties of open space.
Fear in public spaces negatively impacts women’s lives. Even when danger is low, the idea of women as endangered in public space endures—due, in part, to its centrality in the construction of gender identity for men and women. In this article, the author examines the construction of contemporary, masculine gender identities and men’s perceptions of women as fearful and endangered in public space. Through interviews with 82 male students in Irvine, California, USA, the author examines how men’s construction of masculine identities builds upon perceptions of women as fearful and endangered in Irvine public spaces. Though they regard Irvine as safe, men see women as vulnerable there. The author investigates this apparent inconsistency in light of men’s performances of two masculine identities—the youthful ‘badass’ and the chivalrous man—which depend for their construction on opposition with women as fearful. Recommendations include suggestions for continued research on the spatial construction of masculine identities.
Cities around the world have marked differences in spatial form and structure. To some extent this can be attributed to cultural differences. However, the impact spatial form has on the interactions within and between residents of different neighbourhoods is unclear. This paper calls on empirical evidence collected in the Walled City of Ahmedabad, India, home to Hindu and Muslim residents in distinct neighbourhoods for centuries. Employing Space Syntax method, this paper reveals significant differences in how public spaces are spatially laid out by these two communities. Muslim neighbourhoods have a spatial structure typical of a naturally evolved settlement, where the most integrated spaces are clustered centrally. In contrast, Hindu neighbourhoods have an ‘inside-out’ pattern, with the most integrated spaces located at the neighbourhood edge. The cultural significance of these distinct forms is discussed alongside the relationship between the neighbourhoods and the rest of the city. These findings on spatial structure could have an important role in Ahmedabad’s urban planning . A better understanding of how public space relates to lifestyle and culture could contribute to improved community relations. It could also contribute to dealing successfully with communal conflict, economic development, social sustainability as part of Ahmedabad’s future urban planning strategies.
International journal of urban and regional research (2012)
This article asks whether locality and the varied resources, networks and racialized histories of local actors make a difference in the experience of immigrants and their transnational practices. Such questions are typically explored in metropolitan centers and global cities, but the present work results from an ethnographic study of a previously all‐white rural Illinois town, where the meat processing industry recruited a labor force translocally among Latin Americans and West Africans. The article reports on the experience of this rapidly diversifying town where both formal politics and the liberal‐democratic channels of citizens' participation in governance remain exclusionary. Despite this, the diverse immigrant populations have achieved a certain inclusion in public institutions and public spaces. Paying attention to the dynamics developing across immigrant groups through everyday spaces of interaction within their residential community, I argue that the kinds of mediating spaces local context offers are critical to the ability of diverse immigrant groups to renegotiate the interracial social and spatial relations they encounter in a highly contested and constrained context where a global corporation is the sole local employer.
Drawing from ethnographic research in the Research Triangle of North Carolina and Williamsburg, Virginia, the authors build on Anzaldúa’s conceptualization of “borderlands” to analyze how borders of social membership are constructed and enforced in “el Nuevo South.” Our gender analysis reveals that intersecting structural conditions—the labor market, the organization of public space, and the institutional organization of health care and other public services—combine with gendered processes in the home and family to regulate women’s participation in community life. Enforcers of borders include institutional actors, mostly women, in social services and clinics who occupy institutional locations that enable them to define who is entitled to public goods and to categorize migrants as undeserving “others.” We reveal how a particularly configured matrix of domination transcends the spheres of home, work, and community to constrain women migrants’ physical and economic mobility and personal autonomy and to inhibit their participation in their societies of reception.
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.
In recent years, local activists in the Global North and South have been organizing to improve degraded and abandoned spaces in marginalized neighborhoods by creating parks, playgrounds, urban farms, or community gardens. This paper integrates existing knowledge on urban place attachment and sense of community with scholarship on environmental justice in order to understand the role of place attachment in environmental mobilization in distressed neighborhoods across political systems and urbanization contexts. It examines the different forms of connections that activists develop and express toward neighborhoods with long-time substandard environmental conditions and how their experience of the neighborhood shapes their engagement in environmental revitalization projects. This comparison of three neighborhoods in Barcelona, Boston, and Havana shows that activists in all three places intend for their environmental endeavors to express grief at the loss of community, fears of erasure, and emotional connection and feelings of responsibility to place. To address environmental trauma, they aim to construct nurturing, soothing, “safe havens,” recreate rootedness, and remake place for residents.
China, like many other nations, struggled in the twentieth century with defining an indigenous landscape design tradition. This was particularly true in addressing urban open space design after China implemented the Open Door Policy in the late 1970s, when Chinese garden design traditions became largely neglected. The objective of this study is to determine whether the traditional design approach could still effectively serve as modern design inspiration. Built upon a previous study by Wu (1999), our study is a reflective critique on modern Chinese urban public space design. We compare major types of traditional and modern Chinese urban open spaces. The percentage areas of five landscape variables that Wu proposed (planting, water, rock, architecture and pavement) were quantified using Photoshop and ArcGIS software. Although Wu (1999) compared only scholars' gardens (a traditional model) with modern parks (a modern model), we include imperial gardens (another traditional model) and urban plazas (another modern model). In addition, we supplemented Wu's plan analysis with perspective view analysis (photographs). Our results suggest more similarities between traditional and modern landscapes than previously suggested. This article concludes by suggesting that traditional models can be relevant to contemporary urban public space design in China.
Applying a gender perspective to cities reveals how spatial structure and social structure are mutually constitutive. This article reviews the ways cities have reflected and reinforced gender relations in the United States from the turn of the twentieth century to the present. First, I discuss ways in which women in industrial cities challenged the ideology of separate spheres. Next, I suggest that the post–World War II city was shaped by an era of high patriarchy similar to the architectural high modernism of the same era, and in the third section, I explore how that urban structure limited women's opportunities outside the home. In the fourth part, I examine changes in the concept of gender as it expanded beyond masculine and feminine categories to include lesbians, gays, and transgender individuals. The article ends with a review of how women's and gay rights movements, gentrification, and planning practices have shaped a more gender-neutral contemporary metropolis.
Geographers have effectively examined girls’ reactions and resistances to adult control in public space, but the ways that girls learn about and rein scribe social differences like race and class through ‘hanging-out’ practices in public, urban space have yet to be sufficiently explored and theorized. Therefore, in this paper I consider the normative productivity of girls’ spatial practices, as well as girls’ resistances to adultist space. I examine the case of consumption space and focus on how girls utilize, create and reproduce myriad social identifiers as they hang out in public, urban space. Consumption space and consumerism dominate the urban spaces and hanging-out practices of teenagers, and while girls complain about the ubiquity of consumption space, girls’ public social-spatial activities inevitably involve consumption space. Therefore, consumption’s symbols and spaces are central to the normative production of girls’ identities like class and race, and of social difference more generally in urban space.
For Friedmann and Wolff, the citadel's physical form—physically defended enclaves in the global city—shapes relations between citadels and outsiders. Subsequent work claims that the designs of citadels produce simulated community life, exclude the city and sanitise public spaces. However, such claims have been based on relatively brief observations. This ethnography assesses the impact of design by examining the quintessential citadel of Battery Park City, in New York City, while the community mobilised against plans for a highway tunnel bordering their community during redevelopment of the neighbouring World Trade Center site. Community life is robust. However, the influence of the physical design is borne out in previously unrecognised ways: residents are identified as a crucial new constituency promoting exclusivity in the global city.
Urban design scholars denounce the recent trend towards the privatization of US public space. Critics emphasize the negative consequences of privatized public space, tied to private ownership, an emphasis on consumption, leisure and security, a targeted audience, and controlled behaviour and design. Yet these key qualities of privatized public spaces have meaning only in the context of one's identity. The same qualities shape experiences of privatized public spaces that can be understood as constrained, as constraining or as a form of resistance, depending on one's gender, race, class and sexuality. This paper challenges the prevailing design critique by examining women's experience of privatized public spaces, drawing on interviews with 43 middle- class women and behavioural mapping in five privatized public spaces in Orange County, California. Recommendations address changes to research and practice to better reflect and accommodate diverse experiences of public space.
Journal of Architectural and Planning Research (1998)
Tingwei Zhang and Paul H. Gobster
Leisure preferences and open space needs were explored within a discrete, homogeneous ethnic community: the Chinese Americans of Chicago's Chinatown. Face-to-face interviews and focus group discussions were used to identify outdoor leisure patterns and preferences, in general, and with respect to new park development being planned for the community. Findings show that although some popular activities are no different from what might be expected for the mainstream Anglo American population, the meaning and significance of these activities have clear and unique ties to Chinese culture. Preferences for the new Chinatown park development mirror activity preferences, emphasizing facilities that enhance the natural environment for passive activities. Notable differences in activity preferences were found within the sample of respondents according to age, generational status, and other factors. Park planning considerations and future research needs are identified.
The World Trade Center site allows anthropologists and educators to reflect on the relationship of public space to culture, and to consider the symbolic importance of this site for imagining the public culture of the future. Public spaces in the city have the potential of being places of learning and democratic practice, but the trend toward increased surveillance and policing of these spaces, exaggerated by September 11, makes this potential difficult to realize. Anthropologists and educators interested in the nexus of education, place, and culture should consider becoming involved in this imagining process and insert themselves into the ongoing debate in order to preserve spaces for learning and democracy.
Functioning public spaces, as ‘public’ political, social, and cultural arenas of citizen discourse, affect not only the citizen’s quality of life, but are also indispensable infrastructure in democratic societies. This article offers a nuanced understanding of Iranian women’s usage, feelings, and preferences in public spaces in present-day Tehran by not simply importing Western theories that sustain distinctions between traditional and modern women, but instead by hearing women’s stories. This article raises concerns related to the gender identities, the politics of space, and design of these places. Meidan-e-Tajrish, Sabz-e-Meidan, and Marvi Meidancheh in Tehran accommodate an ethnographic visualization of gendering space. The process by which Iranian women attach symbolic meanings to those public spaces offers insight into the mutual construction of gender identities and space politics. The contrasting urban locations, different design styles, and distinct social activities provide an excellent comparison between the selected public spaces. Findings suggest caution in using gender as an essential category in feminist geography research to better represent the diversity of experiences in public spaces. Binary categorization of modern versus traditional, secular versus religious, public versus private, and male versus female in urban studies should be carefully validated as Iranian women’s lived experiences challenge the homogenizing Western theories, particularly the predominant critics of modern public spaces in North America. The research process also highlights the benefits of geo-visualization in understanding the complex interaction between gender identities and the built environment.
There is a growing body of evidence that indicates that for creating civic consciousness and sustaining urban identity and memory people need civic interaction and social reconciliation, which are promoted by public open spaces. However, in an era of globalisation, public open spaces are mostly discussed in relation to privatisation, disappearance, obsolescence and loss of place identity, leading to urban decay problems in many city centres. The aim of this study is to propose a research method for monitoring changes in place identity in public open spaces to set the right objectives and policies in the design process of these spaces for keeping them alive and for sustaining public life. In this context, a case study was conducted in Bursa’s Republic Square in Turkey, using different interpretive historical, quantitative and qualitative strategies. The main findings of the case study are that there has been a gradual decline in sense of place in recent years, although the architectural and artistic elements of the area and the name of the place are still effective in defining the identity of the area.
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.
In Bangladesh, Dhaka is migrants' most important destination and has itself been fundamentally transformed through migration. But there is ‘no place’ for many migrants in Dhaka. Poorer migrants live in slums and many encroach on public space to sustain their lives – the new urbanites are taking their ‘right to the city’. In doing so, they not only draw on local resources. Their production of the urban space often relates directly to their migration trajectory, their translocal networks, and their simultaneous situatedness at multiple places. Migrants connect ‘the rural’ and ‘the urban’ and constitute translocal spaces, which contribute to re‐making Dhaka from below. This paper integrates current debates on translocality, informal labour, and subaltern urbanism to address two key questions on transient urban spaces: How do migration trajectories and translocality structure the urban poor's lives? How do migrants make use of local networks and translocal social relations to find work and appropriate ‘their place’ in the city? Empirical research on street food vendors in Dhaka, almost all of whom are internal migrants, builds the basis for my argument. I show that ‘translocal social capital’ and home‐bound identities can be important resources to gain access to urban labour markets and to appropriate one's place in the city. The paper argues that the poor use translocality for their livelihoods and thereby continuously re‐shape the face of the megacity of Dhaka.
This paper aims to produce new insights into the complex relationship between the spatial and social dimensions of ethnic segregation in the public space of the walled city of Nicosia. The ethnic demographic of Cyprus is subject to a changing population dynamic by net in-migration, from both the EU and Third World countries, which is mainly found in the city centres. The mechanisms involved in the ways Cypriots and ethnic minorities use the public space of the city centre and the interface (or lack of it) between them lies at the heart of this paper. Building on existing research, the study focuses on a ring of public spaces which, despite their small size and the absence of any clearly defined boundaries, form a physically continuous spatial entity that is distinctly divided among different users. An attempt to account for the observed phenomenon is facilitated by the discussion of a number of relevant topics such as: the city centre as an edge condition; the entrance of users into the space through injection versus infiltration; the relationship between history and spatial adjacency; and the emergence of social phenomena from the attempts of individuals to 'make-do'.
Journal of the American Planning Association (2016)
Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, Madeline Brozen, Lin Chen & Lené Levy-Storms
Problem, research strategy, and findings: Parks provide important physiological and psychological benefi ts to seniors, improving their quality of life; they are particularly important for low-income, inner-city seniors who lack access to open and green space. However, seniors do not often use parks partly because park design and programming are not responsive to their diverse needs and values. To identify what low-income, inner-city seniors seek and value in neighborhood parks, and to provide guidance to planners on how to better design senior-friendly parks, we conducted a literature review and held focus groups with 39 low-income, ethnically diverse seniors in an inner-city neighborhood in Los Angeles (CA). We asked these seniors about their preferences as well as the challenges and barriers they encounter in using neighborhood parks. Seniors report many impediments to park use; they are not provided appropriate programming that allows opportunities for socializing, safety, and security within the park and along access routes; opportunities for exercise and walking; and aesthetic and natural elements that provide contact with nature.Takeaway for practice: Park planners and designers should seek to incorporate senior voices in park design and programming in four ways by developing appropriate programming sensitive to diverse needs, accommodating the desire for �seniors-only� parks, promoting security and safety in the park and along access routes, and offering open and green space. We also fi nd the need for additional research on seniors from different racial and ethnic backgrounds.
Gulf cities have witnessed rapid urban growth where new migrant communities from various cultural backgrounds
have been evolving over the last two decades. This paper explores perceptions of liveable urban environments in
Qatar’s capital city, Doha. An attitude survey of 280 migrant professionals from different cultural backgrounds
engaged in the high service sector was conducted. A profile for each cultural group including westerners, middle
easterners, Indians and Southeast Asians was developed to analyse the way in which the key liveability factors are
perceived. Factors were classified into two overarching categories: urban life and urban spaces. Urban life category
included aspects that pertain to traffic and movement experience, residential satisfaction, shopping experience,
and satisfaction regarding leisure and service spaces. Urban space category included attractiveness, iconicity and
familiarity, which were attitudinally explored in four public open spaces. The inquiry has uncovered a number of
concerns related to traffic experience, housing quality, parking spaces, school facilities and shopping opportunities.
This may stymie the city’s global attractiveness success on the global stage while warranting the need for addressing
liveability as a part of future development plans.
This article examines cultural practices and social life in urban public spaces of postreform China, focusing on the everyday leisure, entertainment, and cultural activities spontaneously organized by grassroots residents or groups. It examines performativity in constituting cultural meanings, reproducing everyday identities, and building up mutual engagements, and unravels the ways in which ordinary people devote resources, labor, and energy to keep alive individual or collective identities. Performances of cultural identities in public spaces entail improvised and temporary social relations which emerge from the immediate contexts of mundane spatial practices. Empirical analyses of public performativity in Guangzhou identify three scenarios, namely, the performativity of public teaching, public shows and performances, and the performative displays of cultural difference between carnivalesque dancing and “high-end culture” in public leisure.
Orum, A. M., Bata, S., Shumei, L., Jiewei, T., Yang, S., & Trung, N. T.
Public space is a topic of great interest for urban scholars and urban planners. Such space, like parks, sidewalks, and plazas, it is argued, can provide the common grounds where the inhabitants of a city meet, exchange ideas, even engage in a variety of cultural performances. This article reports on fieldwork about the use of public space in Shanghai today. We find a great diversity of uses, ranging from vendors who sell their wares to people who engage in heated and extensive political discussions to performers of Beijing opera and ballroom dancing. We also find that the local authorities use a light, and sometimes covert, hand in their oversight of inhabitants in such spaces. Finally, we discover that powerful social differences and inequalities between native inhabitants and working-class migrants, which have emerged during the period of economic reform and market transition, are now actively in evidence in the quality and use of public space in Shanghai. The article puts these findings within a broader theoretical context, concluding in the end that for many—though not all—inhabitants public man is alive and well in Shanghai.
This paper explores the complex relationship between transgendered people and cities in the USA, and, in particular, their relationship with queer spaces within those cities. Some have argued that queer spaces occur at the margins of society and constitute a safe haven for LGBT oppressed by the hetero-normative nature of urban areas. Data from a survey of 149 transgendered individuals indicate that although queer spaces provide a measure of protection for gender variant people, the gendered nature of these spaces results in continued high levels of harassment and violence for this population. The author argues that the strongly gendered dimensions of these spaces suggests that a discursive revisioning of gender is needed to create more transgender friendly urban spaces.
Throughout the centuries Beirut has had an endless capacity for reinvention and transformation, a consequence of migration, conquest, trade, and internal conflict. The last three decades have witnessed the city center's violent self-destruction, its commercial resurrection, and most recently its national contestation, as oppositional political forces have sought to mobilize mass demonstrations and occupy strategic space. While research has been directed to the transformative processes and the principal actors involved, little attention has been given to how the next generation of Lebanese are negotiating Beirut's rehabilitation. This article seeks to address this lacuna, by exploring how postwar youth remember, imagine, and spatially encounter their city. How does Beirut's rebuilt urban landscape, with its remnants of war, sites of displacement, and transformed environs, affect and inform identity, social interaction, and perceptions of the past? Drawing on Henri Lefebvre's analysis of the social construction of space (perceived, conceived, and lived) and probing the inherent tensions within postwar youths’ encounters with history, memory, and heritage, the article presents a dynamic and complex urban imaginary of Beirut. An examination of key urban sites (Solidère's Down Town) and significant temporal moments (Independence Intifada) reveals three recurring tensions evident in Lebanese youth's engagement with their city: dislocation and liberation, spectacle and participant, pluralism and fracture. This article seeks to encourage wider discussion on the nature of postwar recovery and the construction of rehabilitated public space, amidst the backdrop of global consumerism and heritage campaigns.
Definitions of neighbourhood in the Social Sciences are complex, varying in their characteristics (for example, perceived boundaries and content) and between residents of that neighbourhood (for example, by class and ethnicity). This study employs an under-utilised methodology offering strong potential for overcoming some of the difficulties associated with neighbourhood definitions. A mental mapping exercise involving local residents is showcased for an ethnically diverse working-class neighbourhood in south Liverpool. The results demonstrate distinctions between residents in the geographical demarcation of the area and the features included, with important implications for how neighbourhood is best measured and understood. We suggest that one size does not fit all in definitions of neighbourhood, and that mental mapping should form a more common part of a neighbourhood researcher’s toolkit.
In this essay, I paint a portrait of women in public places and their concerns with crime prevention, based on a survey of the literature and in-depth interviews with women. I argue that there is a situationally appropriate self that crime-prevention advice literature suggests women adopt and that women attempt to adopt. This situated self, however, is sometimes constrained by the general character of public places and by the particular character of the belief system that women have and that the literature recommends with regard to crime prevention. In particular, I view normative beliefs about crime prevention as a "rhetoric" that involves negative contingencies for the woman's situated self in public, including frequent reliance on others, self-profanation, and lengthy or consuming preparations.
This paper examines the relationship between ethnic residential segregation and two components of the built environment: the geographic distribution of its elements and their spatial configuration (i.e., the spatial relations and visual access between those elements). This relationship is investigated through a case study of Arab-Jewish residential segregation in Jaffa. Statistical and structural analyses (Q-analysis) of this case show that the conjunction of elements having different meanings (symbolic, cultural, functional, etc.) with spatial and visual integration attributes provides varying conditions for the expansion of the Arab Jewish residential patterns, a process potentially affecting the geographic scale intensity of residential segregation. It was found, for example, that public land uses having relatively 'neutral' ethnic and symbolic meanings (e.g. commercial sites and parks) and spatially integrated with the surrounding urban environment tend to moderate residential segregation. Identification of the institutional character of the built environment—segregation/encounters in mixed ethnic areas—may contribute to a more socially oriented spatial policy.
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.
Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability (2015)
Temporary uses of vacant urban spaces are usually not foreseen in conventional urban planning and have often been linked to economic or political disturbances. In New Zealand, Christchurch’s vacant spaces came into existence after the city was hit by several devastating earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. Parallel to the ‘official’ rebuild dis- course, temporary uses have emerged on vacant post-earthquake sites including community gardens, urban agriculture, art installations, event venues, eateries and cafés, and pocket parks. Based on the review and analysis of exemplary transitional community-initiated open spaces and correlated literature, the paper looks at how the post-disaster urban context in Christchurch has influenced particular aspects of temporary urbanism in comparison with case studies in non-disaster environments. By focusing on the anticipated benefits of community-initiated open spaces, the paper dis- cusses the relevance of temporary uses of vacant urban spaces for urban sustainability in relationship to concepts of community resilience and raises questions about possible long-term values.
Annals of the Association of American Geographers (2001)
James S. Duncan & Nancy G. Duncan
This article examines the aestheticization of the politics of exclusion in a suburban American community. The research for this study focuses on the relationships among landscapes, social identity, exclusion, and the aesthetic attitudes of residents of Bedford, New York. By being thoroughly aestheticized, class relations are mystified and reduced to questions of lifestyle, consumption patterns, taste, and visual pleasure. Landscapes become possessions that play an active role in the performance of elite social identities. As such, social distinction is achieved and maintained by preserving and enhancing the beauty of places such as Bedford. This aestheticizing of place is managed through highly restrictive zoning policies for residential land and by "protecting" hundreds of acres of undeveloped land as nature preserves. This article explores the role of romantic ideology, localism, antiurbanism, antimodemism, and a class-based aesthetic in the construction of "wild" nature in these preserves. We argue that, in places such as Bedford, the celebration of localism, environmental beauty, and preservation mask the interrelatedness of issues of aesthetics and class identity on the one hand and residential land shortages in the New York metropolitan region on the other. The seemingly innocent pleasure in the aesthetic appreciation of landscapes and the desire to protect nature can act as a subtle but highly effective mechanism of social exclusion and the reaffirmation of elite class identities.
International journal of urban and regional research (2012)
This article examines two different models of space management, devised by NGOs to confront the marketization of public space in New York City through privatizing the land of community gardens. The Trust for Public Land promotes a model that emphasizes community ownership, while the New York Restoration Project promotes a model that emphasizes the preservation of land. The article compares the two models of NGO management of community gardens particularly through the lens of community participation, sense of ownership and control over space, and argues that both models transform the meaning of public space in ways that undermine its opportunity to develop as an autonomous community space.
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.
Outdoor advertising presents a unique case in that, unlike advertising in other media, an individual’s capacity to avoid exposure is inhibited. Unlike the private world of magazine and television advertising, outdoor advertising is displayed throughout public space, thus making regulation of the medium a pertinent public policy concern. The inescapable nature of outdoor advertising, compounded with the increasingly sexualised display of women within, demands that an active public policy response occurs. This paper draws from the disciplines of criminology, architecture, and feminist geography to argue that the continued sexualised portrayal of women in outdoor advertising works to illustrate and contribute to the social inclusion of men and the social exclusion of women in public space. I argue that these portrayals fuel women’s perceptions of fear and offence, and force them to limit their movements. I further suggest that such portrayals function to amplify masculine control of city spaces and reinforce women’s exclusion.
In India, there are religious practices intersecting with the process of urbanization at various levels. This paper looks at the practice of tree worship which continues to be a part of everyday life here. Specifically, it looks at how the Peepul tree (Ficus Religiosa) shrine with its serpent stones and the raised platform around it (katte) contributes to the territorial production of urban space in the city of Bangalore. Based on a study of 10 kattes in the city, it finds that these urban spaces belong either to a process of territorialization by the local community or its deterritorialization by the government. The paper builds a theoretical argument for how the katte as a ‘human activity node’ contributes to an ‘urban web’ which is categorized here as the physical layer. It finds that the Peepul tree could enable a ‘network of relations’, termed as the social layer. It suggests that the information fields generated within these layers influences collective memory of the people. Finally, the paper argues that the two layers acting together can help formulate an urban design model that can minimize deterritorialization.
This paper presents findings from a research project aimed at understanding children’s perceptions of play spaces, with an emphasis on safety and fun. Six places that were considered by the respondents of the first-stage research as having both attributes of safety and fun were observed. The findings show that these spaces are generally separated from motor vehicles and the child and adult users of these spaces show socially acceptable behaviours and a positive response toward children’s outdoor play. Nevertheless, the findings also point out the significant differences in the characteristics of the safe and fun play spaces in Tokyo, Japan, and Bandung, Indonesia, in terms of their user behaviour, space availability, play affordances and availability of natural elements.
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 modern world is facing rapid urbanisation, increasing urban population, constant growth of cities and the construction of new neighbourhoods. Moreover, new neighbourhoods often lack the elements of identity in the context of the place and the people who live there. Therefore, it is necessary to construct these identities together with the physical and natural structure of place and the cultural identity of the people. The construction of spatial identities has been studied in two case studies of “new” neighbourhoods, Mađir (Banjaluka, Bosnia- Herzegovina) and Ilsvika (Trondheim, Norway), using a qualitative analysis method. The comparison makes use of a triangle model that includes three elements of identity construction as three points of analysis: a) spatial context, b) participation in processes of planning and construction and c) action in place. The two cultural contexts and two ways of constructing spatial identity in the new neighbourhoods studied show certain similarities and differences. The study points to the universal significance of this phenomenon and indicates that the process could be improved in each case by applying positive experiences from the other, with adaptation to the specific context. Considering the importance and interrelation of the three elements involved in construction of spatial identities, they should be harmonised in all stages of development.
In this study we examine the spatial practices and lived experiences of an understudied subgroup, observant Muslim women of Arab descent, to explore the extent to which they experience representation and inclusion in the context of Brooklyn, New York. In an attempt to provide a more in-depth understanding of space, we utilize a phenomenological approach in which gender is central. We conceptualize our analysis based on Lefebvre’s spatial triad. The narratives of the women in this study elucidate how they interpret and navigate publicly accessible urban spaces as women marked by both ethnicity and religious difference in a multicultural city such as New York. Our study finds that the physical accessibility of public spaces, the aspect that planners tend to emphasize, matters for the observant Muslim women in this study both in ways with which planners are familiar and in other ways. The main aspects of physical accessibility that facilitated
their sense of inclusion and engagement in Bay Ridge public spaces are the ease of getting around, often called ‘walkability’ in planning circles, the extent of access to mass transit, and the types of destinations in the area. Streetlights and the openness of public spaces were also critical to participants’ lived experiences, as was the presence of a number of women wearing the Islamic headscarf. The latter enabled participants to become active actors in space because they marked a place as culturally, religiously, and socially appropriate for them. Participants’ lived experiences (representational space) in turn shaped and were shaped by the characteristics of physical space. For example, well-lit open spaces enabled their spatial engagement because this made them visible to the community and at the same time allowed them to see the community. For immigrant women the Arabic landscape of the neighborhood marked by the Arabic signage, the Arabic language being spoken, and women wearing the Islamic headscarf provided them an opportunity to communicate with other women who share their cultural and religious values (spatial practice), and thereby to experience a safe space of normalcy (representational space).
Drawing on some results of a broader research project, this paper aims to discuss the relation between urban design and creative dynamics in cultural districts. Appropriation and production of public spaces in three ‘creative quarters’ are analyzed, through a photographic approach, covering material aspects, human appropriation and symbolic dimensions in these areas. Discussing the boundaries of public spaces and their relevance for creative activity (through the conviviality and sociability they promote), it is argued that urban design characteristics and specific place morphologies significantly influence the appropriation of these areas and the development of specific creative dynamics.
‘Urban identity’ is high on the policy agenda and pervades the discourse of the planning community on the value of historical city centres. Unfortunately, there seems to be, until today, no proposal in scholarly literature of any unified conceptual framework or any tools to make identity operational. ‘Tourism’ takes advantage of this process, by seeking the qualities of the place, its authenticity and its perceived uniqueness that is grounded on the physical features as well as on the presence of local communities – their way of living and investing in the place. The interdependence between identity as perceived by tourists (external observer) and the identity of the
residents rooted in the relationship with the place (in-group) are key to addressing the identity of historic urban areas. These issues are addressed in the context of the growing attractiveness of Lisbon, Portugal, using a historic neighbourhood as a case study. The findings, which are on a set of interviews with different groups of users, showed the points of convergence and divergence between the different groups’ views of the neighbourhood’s
identity. This actor-oriented approach is pivotal to understanding the process and to produce knowledge for informed action.
Recent critiques of conventional poverty research have highlighted the need to move beyond the conceptual limitations of “neighborhood effects” models and the use of the tropes of “adaptation” or “resistance” to explain the behaviors and actions of the urban poor. We use ethnographic field observations and interviews with public-housing residents to address these limitations in the poverty literature, assess competing explanations of poor people’s agency, and provide insight into the importance of space as a mediating link between macrostructural constraints and locally situated behaviors. We theorize agency and identity as spatial phenomena—with spatial attributes and spatial influences—and examine how different spatial meanings and locations enable or constrain particular forms of social action and behavior. Our ethnographic and interview data depict several strategies by which residents “use space” to provide a measure of security and protection, to designate and avoid areas of criminality and drug activity, and to challenge or support the redevelopment of public housing. From these data we show that urban space is not a residual phenomenon in which social action occurs, but a constitutive dimension of social life that shapes life experiences, social conflict, and action.
This article uses photography and ethnography to understand and represent residents’ emotional phenomenological experiences of walks through their neighborhood. It addresses how narratives of the personal and the social structure individuals’ experiences of familiar public spaces. A diverse
group of residents gave the author their personal tours of emotionally significant neighborhood places. The author then continued these conversations with participants using photographs of these ordinary sites. The article addresses how these personal stories layer on public spaces and build aspects of psychologist Kurt Lewin’s situational, emotional and individual-specific life space, as well as constructing senses of dwelling and Heideggerian lifeworld. To consider ways in which people build senses of home in public spaces, the article looks at ordinary things to which people give little reflective attention yet that often support deep connections to place.
The article discusses alternative wedding ceremonies staged in urban spaces as a statement of protest among immigrant couples that cannot marry in rabbinical courts, because they are not recognized as Jews. These public weddings are organized and sponsored by the Fishka association of young Israeli adults of Russian origin. Our field-work at Fishka included participant observation of its various events during 2013–2014, as well as in-depth interviews with the key informants, promotional materials, and video recordings of their public wedding ceremonies held in the streets of Tel-Aviv in 2009–2011. Embedded in the social history of the city and framed in the concepts of urban diversity and the politics of belonging, our ethnographic data juxtapose “Russian” street weddings with other public festivals sponsored by Fishka and other protest actions by minority groups. Alternative, civil weddings emerge as a form of active and critical citizenship among young Russian immigrants, seeking solidarity of other Israelis in the joint effort to reform the status quo and enable civil alternatives to Orthodox marriage. The active political stance and cultural activism of Fishka members challenge native Israelis’ monopoly on communal public space; young immigrants are thus carving a place for themselves in the iconic sites of the city’s public cultural sphere.
In this paper, I adopt a concept of informal public space from socialist social life as part of the language of postsocialism to explore changing uses of social space by women in contemporary Hồ Chí Minh City. Following Zdravomyslova and Voronkov, I describe the informal public as the space in culture where urbanites are able to demonstrate normality and belonging by participating in neighborhood life. I argue that the use of informal public space has been adapted to meet the new conditions of the post-reform era. Because of this, the informal public is simultaneously a space where urbanites not only can demonstrate belonging but also can mark relative social position by producing or mitigating social distance.
Most theoretical perspectives on neighborhood effects on youth assume that neighborhood context serves as a source of socialization. The exact sources and processes underlying adolescent socialization in disadvantaged neighborhoods, however, are largely unspecified and unelaborated. This article proposes that cross-cohort socialization by older neighborhood peers is one source of socialization for adolescent boys. Data from the National Educational Longitudinal Survey suggest that adolescents in disadvantaged neighborhoods are more likely to spend time with older individuals. I analyze qualitative interview data from 60 adolescent boys in three neighborhoods in Boston to understand the causes and consequences of these interactions and relationships. Some of the strategies these adolescents employ to cope with violence in disadvantaged neighborhoods promote interaction with older peers, particularly those who are most disadvantaged. Furthermore, such interactions can expose adolescents to local, unconventional, or alternative cultural models.
People reside in homes; however, they live in neighbourhoods comprised of parks, sidewalks, restaurants, shops and other everyday places. Whether current or potential neighbourhood residents feel at home in these places remains an under theorised aspect of neighbourhood change. Rather than housing policy or real estate development, this essay explores public space as a mechanism of neighbourhood change. Drawing from ethnographic research in the Latino barrios of North Denver, It deconstructs the history of one small yet vital public space—la Raza Park. During the 1970s, this park, its pool and the many events it grounded, built community cohesion and fostered cultural identity. In 1981, city authorities went so far as to deploy a SWAT team to la Raza Park to enforce a permit violation. The following summer, they demolished its pool. North Denver is now gentrifying rapidly. This essay stitches these disparate-seeming events into a story of neighbourhood change.
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.
Anna Ortiz, Maria Dolors Garcia-Ramon & Maria Prats
This article deals with women's use of public space and sense of place in El Raval, a neighbourhood located in the historical center of Barcelona. Attention will be paid to discover to what degree the existence of a quality public space fosters the creation of socially meaningful places, thus contributing to the construction of women's sense of place and urban identities. A qualitative approach, based on direct observation and in-depth interviews with women living in the neighbourhood, has allowed us to capture the main aspects of the building of a sense of place and belonging, that is the use of public space and facilities, the attitude towards living in the neighbourhood, etc.