City Publics: The (dis)enchantments of Urban Encounters

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Psychology Press, 2006 - 193 pagine
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City Publics investigates the ordinary spaces in the city where differences are negotiated. It is concerned with the borders, and boundaries, the constraints and limits on living with, accepting, acknowledging and sometimes celebrating, difference in public. Through ethnographic studies of a number of unusual, surprising and marginal sites, which are not usually the focus of debate, as well as studies of different subjects in public spaces, the book aims to interrogate how difference is negotiated and performed. When and how differences are lived agonistically, and how power is exercised often subtly, not through dominance or manipulation, represents a further focus. Also challenged are the conventional notions of the public and public space.
This book explores the conditions under which violent and negative emotions can erupt to the detriment of others, and elucidates through fine-grained exploration what underlies racist, homophobic, sexist or any other phobic/ist exclusionary practices, so that it becomes possible in some way to expose and confront them. At the same time this book uncovers and reveals some of the many and serendipitous sites of enchantment and pleasure to be found in the city.
With numerous photographs and drawings City Publics not only throws new light on encounters with others in public space, but also destabilises dominant, sometimes simplistic, universalised accounts and helps us reimagine urban public space as a site of potentiality, difference and enchanted encounters.

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1 Introduction
contesting the eruv in Barnet London and Tenafly New Jersey
living with difference in a London street market
the Hampstead ponds meet state regulation
embodied differences in bathing sites
encounter desire and association amongst older people
7 Childrens publics
some concluding reflections
A summary of the primary research methods

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Informazioni sull'autore (2006)

Sophie Watson is Professor of Sociology at the Open University, UK.

Informazioni bibliografiche