Shaping urban inequalities: space and power in the city

Rivke Jaffe (University of Amsterdam)
Anouk de Koning (Leiden University)
Start time:
25 August, 2010 at 11:30
Session slots:


Debates regarding the role of urban space in the production, reproduction and contestation of social inequality have reemerged with the transformations of urban landscapes in the context of neoliberalism. We seek to build upon and extend these debates through ethnographically grounded explorations of the spatiality of power and inequality in urban contexts worldwide. We understand space as a crucial agent in the shaping of urban difference and social hierarchies through material and symbolic techniques of division and exclusion, ranging from the privatization and militarization of public space to spatialized narratives of inequality. Urban citizens respond to these inequities through strategies of accommodation and resistance that often rely on the management of mobility and visibility. Based on empirical investigations, this panel explores how urban space becomes defined and enclosed in, among others, class terms and, conversely, how social status is attained and contested through spatial practices.