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Urban Anthropology

For open discussion related to the anthropology of cities and urban space.

Website: http://anthcoop.wikidot.com/grp-urbananth
Members: 419
Latest Activity: on Wednesday

Welcome

Urban anthropology addresses the social and cultural complexities of cities and urban life. Although generally seen as a subset of socio-cultural anthropology, urban anthropology overlaps with many other areas, such as economic, political and environmental anthropology, human geography, architecture, globalization, transnationalism, immigration, urbanization, and development studies. Due to their expansive size, population density and often multicultural nature, urban spaces provide distinct methodological challenges for anthropologists and ethnographers.

It is hoped that this group will foster beneficial discussion to enrich the practice of urban anthropology and to highlight the importance of understanding human societies of any scale. Please feel free to join and contribute.

Discussion Forum

Investigation of Privacy and Space in contemporary art

Started by Nicole Rademacher Mar 9, 2013.

Athens: Social Meltdown VIDEO

Started by Dimitris Dalakoglou Sep 30, 2012.

Material Culture/Anthropological Literature on a specific Ethnographic Area? 4 Replies

Started by Jannik Friberg Lindegaard. Last reply by Tracey Pahor Feb 3, 2012.

Background music in the public space, the "horror vacui" of perception. 4 Replies

Started by luca silvestri. Last reply by Rachelle Annechino Jul 4, 2011.

Getting Physical in the Field 2 Replies

Started by John McCreery. Last reply by paulrchalmers Jun 18, 2011.

Weimar Cities? 2 Replies

Started by John McCreery. Last reply by John McCreery Dec 28, 2010.

The exclusion of fishermen from the sea (Durban. South Africa) 4 Replies

Started by Sjoerd van Grootheest. Last reply by Sjoerd van Grootheest Nov 22, 2010.

Urban Anthropology-related blogs, sites and publications. Send me a link to add your blog to this list!

Comment Wall

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Comment by Elise Billiard on Wednesday

Call for Papers

SIEF 12th Congress (June 2015, Zagreb)

Dear all, please consider propsing a paper for our Panel: "Public Space as Utopia"

Short Abstract

Questioning utopias, this panel seeks to explore the different utopias behind the recent calls for public spaces - both as physical places of social encounter as well as in their conceptual dimension as politicized spaces of thought and action.

Long Abstract

The most controversial element today that connects different utopian visions is the fact that they are visions of public space, that is, conceptualizations of communal, political and social life. Whilst the dominant neo-liberal view rejects utopian visions for this precise reason, because utopias are regarded as totalizing projects, there has been a recurrent call for public spaces in urban planning and in academic research. Indeed, does not today's emphasis on a preservation of heritage, the protection of the environment and democratic ideals express a disavowed, nostalgic belief in utopia through organization of public space going back to models such as the ideal Greek city? Green parks, pedestrianized historical centers and regenerated river walks in big cities are praised to be the space where locals meet spontaneously, bridging their differences, allegedly fostering social cohesion. At a time when the loss of a sense of place as much as the loss of social cohesion is becoming worrying for many, public spaces are often seen to provide an ideal solution.

Can a democratic utopia become real through the planning of urban public spaces? If architects can provide the space of utopia to be materialized, does it mean necessarily that they can foster democracy, sustainable heritage or ecological cities? Finally, can utopia be realized by altering material spaces or should there be a stronger focus on the social production of utopia?

deadline January 14th 2015

More informations in the link below:

http://nomadit.co.uk/sief/sief2015/panels.php5?PanelID=3498

Comment by Neil Turner on July 6, 2014 at 12:23pm

A growing pandemic that does not receive the attention it deserves:

Children of the Streets: Into An Angel's Hands

Comments are welcome.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mfugsrw_sQI 

www.perspectivesinanthropology.wordpress.com

Comment by Jose Mansilla on March 21, 2014 at 5:11pm

Samantha, there is pretty much information about this issue. As an example, here you have an article of a college of mine. I hope you like it http://www.academia.edu/3982951/How_Did_Finance_Capital_Infiltrate_...

Comment by Samantha Hyler on March 21, 2014 at 4:15pm

Hi all, I have another question. I've read different kinds of literature related to social sustainability, urban transformation, planning, etc often from related disciplines, but I'm now seeking urban ethnographies specifically. Any tips or leads in this direction, particularly ones related to urban transformation, visions, integration, or social sustainability (broadly defined)? Or perhaps I should ask my question more broadly, how are anthropologists writing up their urban research these days?

Comment by Samantha Hyler on November 16, 2012 at 4:07pm

Thanks everyone, for your responses! Eeva, thanks for the link and suggestions. I think they are actually quite helpful!

Comment by John McCreery on November 3, 2012 at 5:00pm
Eeva, thanks so much for the link to Dark Matter and Trojan Horses. Have read just under half of it so far but am finding it very stimulating.
Comment by Eeva Berglund on November 2, 2012 at 10:44pm

Hi Samantha,

Hope this isn't completely off the mark for you, but I'm finding that folks who incorporate the words design, strategic and/or urban into their professional titles have things to say about the planning process (of cities and other things) that might be construed as anthropological or sociological. At least in urban design/planning there are pretty sophisticated efforts to proceed in a way that "goes beyond the object" - one example might be this ebook by the folks at Helsinki Design Lab http://www.strelka.com/press_en/dark-matter-and-trojan-horses-dan-h.... The other thing though is whether the short-term projects and collaborations or the highly thought-through ideas that do endless circuits of power points and (sometimes outrageously expensive) meetings, have the impacts they claim they do. So, here's work that's continuous with anthropology but could also be subjected to anthropological analysis.

For a different but definitely anthropological take, see the issue of the journal Focaal No. 61, 2011, with a section edited by Simone Abram and Gisa Weszkalnys, on planning.

Comment by Hannah Knox on November 2, 2012 at 10:22pm

Hi Samantha,

If you are interested in looking at planning from an anthropological perspective one good place to start would be James Scott's Seeing like a State. You might also find it useful to look at the anthropology of development literature. Whilst not exactly about urban planning it should give you a sense of what perspective or angle you might want to take on understanding urban planning from an anthropological perspective.

I haven't worked with architects or planners before but I have done anthropological fieldwork with people trying to develop cities through economic regeneration in Manchester, UK; with road engineers and local government officials in charge of local economic development in Peru and am currently doing fieldwork with people who are trying to tackle climate change through urban development policies back in the UK. I'm also supervising a PhD student who's working on the experiences of people living in a community which has undergone 'regeneration' - contact me off list if you'd like me to put you in contact with her.

Comment by Michael E. Smith on November 2, 2012 at 5:54pm

I'm not a planner and I am not deeply involved in that field. I only feed around the edges of the planning literature, but I have seen lots of material that seems relevant to what you are asking. Try searching on terms like "participatory planning", "charettes", "informal planning", or "generative planning". And, if you want to get into a literature that is very big and (much of it) quite clueless anthropologically, try "social sustainability" "community resilience" or "urban resilience". For some anthropological work, maybe some of the papers in City and Society 4(2) and 5(1) (on generative planning) are relevant

Comment by Chelsea L. Booth on November 2, 2012 at 5:10pm

Samantha,

There was a PhD student at Rutgers doing very similar research (although her project was based in southern France). Send me a personal message and I'll give you her name.

Cheers,


Chelsea

 

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